I'm feeling a little financially constrained, on account of the ongoing job hunt, and I've been mostly eating my own cooking for better than a year now. It's been a few weeks since I found a good bargain on beef of chicken, and I've pretty well depleted my supply of previously bought-and-frozen bargains. So when I found no good sales on either this week, I decided to try the $3/lb pork roast.
I'm not quite sure how it is that i have almost no experience cooking fresh pork. I've cooked and eaten my fair share of bacon, ham, and sausages over the years, but until today I had only ever cooked fresh pork in the form of the occasional pan-fried pork chop, and that probably less than a half-dozen times in my life. I suppose it may have something to do with the fact that one of the first polysyllabic words I remember learning was trichinosis --- I was maybe three or four, and my mom was telling someone the "Mommy, is that a people down there?" story** --- which she never told without a discursion on the dangers of trichinosis. Add to that the fact that we never kept pigs, and I don't recall my mom ever cooking fresh pork. So I've just never really gotten acquainted with it as a cook.
So it gets to be about 5:00 this afternoon, and the only thawed meat in the house is this pork roast, which I haven't given any thought at all about preparing. And my knee is sore enough that every trip up or down the stairs is a chore, so I really don't want to go grocery shopping. And, of course, since I don't have any experience with pork, I'm sort of vaguely worrying about trichinosis. So I decide fine - post-roast in the pressure-cooker, and I'll overcook it just to be sure. So I go into the pantry tinking "What do you flavor pork with?" Damned if I know, and all the computers are back up stairs, so I'm not going to google it. So I look around for inspiration.
I drain a can of pineapple chunks into the pressure-cooker, putting most of the pineapple itself into the fridge --- where I spot a mostly-empty bottle of barbecue sauce, which I rinse out into the mix. I look around some more and notice an apple in the fruit bowl that's maybe not crisp anymore. "Well, applesauce is good with pork-chops, right?" Peel it, grate it, add it to the mix. Grind in some pepper; maybe half a teaspoon of salt; light the burner under it. Brown the pork in the George Foreman Grill. Turn off the heat under the now simmering pressure cooker, add the meat, put on the lid, bring it up to pressure, and leave it there for 40 minutes.
The result: Really quite yummy pork that is literally falling apart. I'm definitely going to be doing this again.
* The week: Last Friday I got a cast on my sprained wrist. (I had the option of a brace or a cast, and went with the cast, on the theory of avoiding the temptation to take the brace off --- which I'd already been doing for two weeks by then.) Friday afternoon, I tripped going down the stairs outside W20. I was going down diagonally (beside what I guess is now MITFCU), so I was able to catch myself on a step two or three higher than the one I'd tripped on by sticking out my left arm, taking the impact on the palm of my cast and regaining my footing without actually falling down the stairs, but adding a twisted ankle and re-injuring the knee I'd landed on in my original fall. Friday night I started getting paresthesia in that thumb, and when that was still going on that afternoon, I went to the Mt. Auburn walk-in. Which sent me to the ER (eye-roll) to have the cast what they call "bivalved" --- basically cut in half-end-to-end and wrapped with an ace bandage, so the patient can adjust the pressure. That seemed to make it better at first, but by the next day I couldn't feel my thumb again, so I just finished taking the cast off and went back to the brace. And finally, yesterday morning, I tripped on the foot of the stairs at home; managed to protect the wrist this time but re-injured the knee again.
** One day when my sisters were little (so around ten years before I was born), my dad killed a bear. The farmhouse was built diagonally into a slope, and at the downhill corner we had a ground-level door into the basement. So after my dad skinned and dressed the deer, he hung it from the rafters in the basement until he could get it to the butcher. The next morning, my sister Johanna, knowing nothing of all this, went down to the basement for some reason --- and came back white as a sheet and wide-eyed, saying "Mommy, is that a people down there?"