PORK & SCALLOPED POTATO STEW

While Mary touts this as a one pan recipe I don’t mind the extra dishes to make any recipe easier. Yields 6 to 8 servings

PORK & SCALLOPED POTATO STEW adapted from Mary Berg

STEW
1 1/2 – 2 pounds (700 grams) trimmed pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into bite sized pieces
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup WONDRA flouor
4 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, peeled & cut into wedges
2 LARGE carrots cut diagonally into large rustic pieces
1 leek, cut into 1 inch slices
4-5 cloves, minced
1 cup (250 milliliters) dry cider (alcoholic – non alcoholic – your choice)
1 cup (250 milliliters) homemade chicken stock
2 sprigs FRESH thyme leaves
1 FIRM sweet apple
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
2 cups baby spinach leaves

  • Place a large cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium-high heat.
  • Season the pork in a large mixing bowl with salt and pepper.
  • Scatter with 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat.
  • Add the avocado oil to the pan and sear the pork in batches until golden brown.
  • Transfer pork pieces to a plate.
  • Add the butter to the pan along with the onions, carrots and leeks, cooking 5-8 minutes JUST until they begin to develop a little color.
  • Stir in the garlic along with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the pork and any juices back into the pan.
  • Add the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits.
  • Stir in the stock and thyme.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, peel and cut the apple into 8 to 12 wedges, toss with the lemon juice and set aside with the greens.

SCALLOPED POTATO TOPPING
1/3 cup (85 milliliters) half and half
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
FRESH grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon FINELY chopped thyme, plus more for serving
2 medium (about 550 grams/1 1/4 pounds) sweet potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium (about 400 grams/3/4 pound) yellow potatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 SMALL red onion, thinly sliced rounds
Sour cream, for serving

  • Whisk together the cream with salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and thyme.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°.
  • Stir in the apples and greens.
  • Arrange the sliced potatoes on top, alternating between the two colors, tucking in slices of red onion here and there.
  • Brush the topping with the cream mixture and transfer the pan to the oven.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the potatoes are tender and golden brown on top.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before serving with sour cream and a sprinkling of thyme.

AMISH COUNTRY CASSEROLE

The beauty of casseroles is that the sky’s the limit. You CAN make them up as you go! Whether you are trying to clean out the refrigerator or recreate your grandmother’s budget leftover dinner at the end of the week this is a category of recipes that has no end.

With fall approaching we are entering the CASSEROLE phase of the year. This Amish Country Casserole I adapted from LOU LOU GIRLS is ALL about the comfort!! It can easily be made ahead of time and tastes wonderful whether you bake it and serve it now or freeze it and bake it later!

AMISH COUNTRY CASSEROLE
1 (12 oz.) bag medium bow tie noodles or pasta shape of your choice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1 can CAMPBELL’S condensed tomato soup
1 can CAMPBELL’s cream of ANYTHING soup (your choice, though I like either mushroom or celery)
1 cup WHOLE milk
FRESH ground sea salt & black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
1/2 cup sweet Vidalia onion, diced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or cheese flavor of choice (I often use Jack)

  • Preheat oven to 350°. 
  • Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well.
  • In a large skillet melt butter, add onions and cook a couple minutes before adding beef, cooking crumbly.
  • Drain off grease.
  • In a large bowl stir together tomato soup, cream of anything soup, milk, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
  • Fold in pasta and ground beef mixture.
  • Spread mixture into prepared baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.
  • Then top with grated cheese and serve with a salad.

COON BALLS aka SAUSAGE BALLS – Raccoon NOT INCLUDED

This recipe or a similar version of it has been around since the beginning of time I believe. BUT, I can’t find any direct links to how they originated. I assume them to have began as a southern recipe based on the name, but don’t let the name fool you – there is no raccoon in them, but I suppose there once was probably around the time that the Bisquick was also homemade.

Most recipes call for just the basic ingredients of Bisquick, sausage and cheese. But, the beauty of this recipe is that you can make it any way you want with any flavors you want as long as the proportions are good 😀 Any way you make them, they are simple with few ingredients and virtually foolproof.

COON BALLS are great by themselves, but consider adding a dipping sauce – especially if serving as an appetizer or at a tailgate party. They are also great for breakfast with a sausage gravy.

COON BALLS aka SAUSAGE BALLS

1 pound ground country sausage (hubby likes the hot variety sometimes)
8-16 ounces (about 4 cups) coon cheese or sharp white cheddar cheese, FINELY shredded
2 1/2 – 3 cups Bisquick
2 tablespoons FINELY chopped sage or thyme leaves (depending on sausage flavor)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika (once again depending on sausage flavor)

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Using your hands blend all together until well mixed. Now if you’re a bit wimpy use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer. This will be a THICK mixture.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls. I use my medium cookie scoop to get uniform sizes.
  • Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Bake 20 minutes or until browned.

NOTES:

  • DO NOT USE PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE! Pre-shredded cheeses contain a moisture blocking cellulose that will dry out your mixture. Shred your own!!!!
  • DO NOT DIP measuring cup into the Bisquick. Spoon the Bisquick into the measuring cup. When you dip into the Bisquick it tends to pack the cup. You need a looser fill.
  • They freeze really well! To freeze uncooked sausage balls FLASH FREEZE (so they don’t stick to each other) them flat and separated on baking sheets before transferring to ziplock bags or containers to freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before cooking. If freezing already cooked make sure to COMPLETELY cool them before the FLASH FREEZE.

PEACH HONEY MUSTARD PORK CHOPS

PEACH HONEY GLAZED PORK CHOPS
2 tablespoons honey or honey mustard (optional)
2 tablespoons peach preserves
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4-6 THICK boneless pork chops
2 peaches pitted and diced
6 SMALL yellow plums, pitted and diced

1 cup of your favorite salsa

  • Prepare the BBQ grill for medium heat.
  • Combine honey or honey mustard and peach preserves in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In another bowl combine the peaches, plums and salsa. Set aside. I like to make this several hours ahead and chill it so the flavors can meld together.
  • Generously season each pork chop with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Grill chops 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through.
  • Brush chops with glaze and let rest.
  • Serve with the salsa.

NOTE: I can’t use the honey mustard due to a SEVERE allergy that could kill me, but I’m told the honey mustard adds another layer of flavor that’s super yummy.

HAM & BROCCOLI BAKE

HAM & BROCCOLI ALFREDO BAKE
12 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina or baby swiss cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 pound country ham, FINELY diced
1 tablespoon Frank’s hot sauce
1 jar Alfredo sauce or preferably homemade
2-3 cups al dent noodles or pasta, prepare al dente
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped tarragon
1/2 cup FRENCH’S crispy onion rings

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Coat 2 quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add broccoli florets 1-2 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Drain broccoli and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl toss fold together the ham pieces, hot sauce, alfredo sauce, tarragon, 1/2 cup of cheese and broccoli.
  • Arrange ham mixture in baking dish.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly.
  • Sprinkle remaining cheese and the crispy onion rings over top, baking 5-7 minutes more until cheese is melted and crispy.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

COPY CAT BROWN SUGAR BOURBON PORK CHOPS with BRUSSELS SPROUTS & APPLE PAN SAUCE

BROWN SUGAR BOURBON PORK CHOPS with BRUSSELS SPROUTS & APPLE PAN SAUCE
2 boneless pork steaks
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cups Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
2 CRISP apples, cored, peeled & diced
3 LARGE green onions, sliced thin and divided
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon better than bouillon chicken base
1/2 cup homemade chicken stock

  • Pat pork steaks dry.
  • Generously season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Sear pork steaks 4-6 minutes per side in hot oil.
  • Transfer pork steaks to platter and keep warm.
  • Wipe out pan and add butter.
  • Add Brussels sprouts cut side down. Sear Brussels sprouts until JUST crisp on the edges.
  • Add apple and whites of green onions, cooking 2 minutes until apple are starting to soften.
  • Whisk together the chicken base, chicken stock, brown sugar and bourbon. Add to pan, cooking 5-7 minutes until sauce has thickened and apple is tender.
  • Return pork steaks to pan, turning to coat in sauce.
  • Plate pork steaks and arrange Brussels sprouts and apples over steaks.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with green onion tops.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Sweet & Savory
TEXTURE: Crispy edge Brussels sprouts and tender sweet apples compliment the flavorful pork.
EASE: Easy to Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

PORK STEAKS with APPLE CREAM SAUCE


PORK STEAKS with APPLE CREAM SAUCE
2 LARGE pork steaks
1 LARGE apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple brandy
1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 LARGE shallot, sliced thin
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup half and half
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)

  • Generously season pork steaks with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • In a large skillet melt butter over medium high heat.
  • Brown pork steaks on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add shallots to pan, sauteing until softened.
  • Add apple slices, sauteing 2-3 minutes. Remove and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add apple brandy, cooking 30 seconds more.
  • Add chicken broth or white wine.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil, simmering for 5 minutes.
  • Add pork and apples.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes until pork is cooked through.
  • Whisk together cream, mustard (if using) and cornstarch.
  • Stir into the apple mixture and heat through, simmering until sauce is thickened.

COPY CAT PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE

PAN SEARED PORK CHOPS with BRAISED RED CABBAGE & APPLE
1 + 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 boneless pork steaks
1 SMALL red onion, halved and THINLY sliced
1 LARGE clove garlic, FINELY minced
1/2 pound red cabbage, cored and THINLY sliced
2 LARGE apples, 1 cored & sliced the other cored and grated
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup hot water
1 1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon beef base
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 green onions, minced and separated

  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter and oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Pat pork steaks dry.
  • Whisk together the FRESH ground sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper until well blended.
  • Generously season pork steaks on both sides with the seasoning mix.
  • Add the pork steaks to the skillet searing 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer pork steaks to platter and keep warm.
  • Add the remaining butter to the skillet.
  • Add the onions and cabbage to the pan, 3-4 minutes until slightly softened and beginning to caramelize.
  • Whisk together the beef base, warm water and vinegar.
  • Add vinegar mixture to pan, stirring to blend.
  • Add apple pieces topped with the pork steaks, cover and simmer 5-6 minutes to soften apple and reheat pork steaks. MOST of the liquid should cook off, but DO NOT BURN.
  • Slice pork and serve over cabbage mix.

RECIPE REVIEW
TASTE: Sweet & Tangy
TEXTURE: Tender caramelized cabbage, onions and apples topped with fork tender pork tenderloin. 
EASE: Moderate.
APPEARANCE: Appetizing and visually appealing.
PROS: Great meal for company.
CONS: None that I found!
WOULD I MAKE THIS AGAIN? DEFINITELY Yes.

HOT HONEY BUTTER GLAZED PORK CHOPS

HOT HONEY BUTTER GLAZED PORK CHOPS
4 boneless, center cut pork chops, patted dry
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef base
1 tablespoon Frank’s original hot sauce
2 tablespoons water

  • Whisk together honey, hot sauce, bouillon base and 2 tablespoons hot water. Set aside.
  • Heat skillet and melt 1 tablespoon butter and avocado oil together.
  • Season both sides of the pork chops with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add chops to the hot skillet cooking 4-6 minutes on each side.
  • Add glaze, turning to coat chops all over, cooking 2 minutes more or until chops are cooked to your desired doneness.

SKILLET PASTA with VODKA SAUCE

SKILLET PASTA with VODKA SAUCE
1 bunch green onions or 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vodka pasta sauce, homemade or jarred – your choice
3 cups homemade beef stock
12 ounces penne pasta
1/4 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomato pieces
1/2-3/4 cup quartered marinated mozzarella balls
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Coat 12 inch non-stick skillet with non-stick cooking spray. I like to use my heavy enameled cast iron crock pot skillet.
  • Heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add beef, sweet Italian sausage, most of the green onions (save some for garnish), FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste, cooking 8-10 minutes and breaking up the meat into small crumbles until meat is cooked through.
  • Add garlic and stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Drain the meat and discard the grease.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the sauce and water to skillet. Bring to boil.
  • Add pasta and red pepper flakes.
  • Cover 10-12 minutes and cook JUST until tender.
  • Stir in meat and remaining sauce, cooking a couple minutes to heat through.
  • Gently fold in Mozzarella ball pieces.
  • Top with scallions and serve immediately.

CORN STUFFED PORK CHOPS

CORN STUFFED PORK CHOPS
3/4 cup FRESH bread crumbs
1 can Green Giant Mexican corn niblets
1 LARGE shallot, diced
2 mini red peppers, 1 diced, 1 sliced
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian Leaf Parsley
4 thick pork chops (preferably bone in)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup homemade chicken bone broth

  • In a mixing bowl blend together the bread crumbs, corn, onion, chopped red pepper and parsley.
  • Slice a 3 inch pocket into each pork chop.
  • Fill pork chops with corn mixture.
  • Rub pork chops well with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Melt butter and oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.
  • Add pork chops, browning 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Add broth, cover and reduce heat to low, cooking 45 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Serve with chopped parsley and red pepper rings.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew)

Brunswick Stew has a complicated history to say the very least. Brunswick, Georgia and Brunswick County Virginia have been dueling over the HOME and ORIGIN of the stew for many years. Brunswick County Virginia holds an annual “Stew Off” and Brunswick, Georgia displays not one, but two separate memorial sites of where they claim the first Brunswick Stew was cooked up. Historians state that the Virginia version predates Georgia by about 70 years and was even printed in early cookbooks. There is also a Brunswick, North Carolina, but they tend to just stay out of it altogether.

Credit: Robert Moss

Credit: Courtesy of Jim Auchmutey

From my research some of the earliest recipes called for squirrel or groundhog meat and used hominy claiming that these were Native American in ancestry and the basis for the first Brunswick stew. Basically it was a “roadkill” stew. Game meat such as deer, rabbit or even bear meat was often used along with corn or squash, basically what was on hand for early Appalachian settlers, and was simmered with butter, onions, stale bread and seasoning.

While today’s Brunswick stew typically uses beef, chicken or pork, it is still a thick tomato based stew that uses a variety of basic vegetables like corn, carrots and potatoes as well as butter beans. Okra is a common vegetable used and is a great thickening agent, but I personally don’t care for it so omit it altogether. It’s typically served during cooler weather, but in reality is good anytime. 😀

Virginia favors chicken and rabbit meat. Georgia’s version typically uses a mixture of pork and beef with hotter spices and often accompanies barbecue. North Carolina favors pulled pork and Kentucky, yes even Kentucky get in on this, but they call it Burgoo.
Virginians think that Georgia’s stew is too spicy and Georgians think that Virginia’s stew is too mushy and thick. Also Georgian Brunswick stew almost always has peas and Virginian Brunswick stew almost NEVER has peas. The meat and even the vegetables vary by location, but the one thing southern cooks ALL agree on is that the stew MUST have a thick paste like consistency.

This article in Southern Living is one of the most thorough to follow but, this article at It’s A Southern Thing is one of the simplest and easiest to follow.

So after all that, I offer you MY version of Brunswick Stew loosely based on an old recipe I found in my grandmother’s pile of cut out recipes. To stay out of the fray of the debate I decided to call mine EVERETT STEW making it regional to the area I was living in when I developed the recipe.

EVERETT STEW (formerly known as Brunswick Stew) serves 4-6
4 medium new potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 medium onions, chopped SMALL
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups homemade chicken bone broth
2 or 3 cans crushed tomatoes
4 tablespoons brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
3-3 1/2 pound pork butt, cut in half, trimmed of excess fat**
1 can white beans
1 or 2 cans of Mexican corn niblets
Chopped green onions for garnish

  • Spray the inside of your crock with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Stir together the potatoes, onions, carrots, bone broth, tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Nestle pork pieces down into the mixture, turning to coat well.
  • Cover and cook on LOW 7-9 hours or HIGH 5-6 hours until the meat shreds easily with two forks.
  • Remove meat, shred and return to the slow cooker along with the corn and white beans. Cook another 30 minutes on LOW to heat through.
  • Top with fresh chopped green onions.
  • Serve with crusty bread or FRESH rolls.

**NOTE: This recipe can be made quicker (2 hours simmering) on the stove top if you have leftover meats to use.