1 tart apple (like a Granny Smith), diced and tossed with a little cider vinegar
2 cups chicken stock (or 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and 1/2 cup hard cider)
2 TBSP heavy cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Carefully cut the fat off the pork chops. Render it over medium heat. If you have less than 1/4 cup rendered fat, add vegetable oil to make up the required amount.
Wipe a small amount of the fat on a cookie sheet. Spread the pearl onions, carrort, parsnips, and potatoes on the greased sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Lay a few sprigs of fresh thyme over the vegetables. Roast in a 375F oven for 30-45 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and starting to turn golden on the edges. Toss them around halfway through the roasting so nothing scorches.
Meanwhile, cut the meat into 1" cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Sear over high heat in some of the rendered fat, using a pan that is not non-stick. Set the meat aside. Add a small bit more fat to the pan and then saute the onions and apple over medium heat, stirring around to loosen the dark bits that have stuck to the pan from searing the meat. When the onions are golden brown and the apple is mostly mush, put the meat back in the pan. Add the chicken stock and lower the heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours, adding water or more stock if necessary. When the pork is tender and the sauce is reduced nicely, toss in the roasted vegetables.
Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Add the cream and remove from the heat. Stir until the cream is completely distributed in the sauce.
2 lbs lean ground beef (or a mixture of beef, pork, and veal)
1/2 lb mushrooms, very finely minced
1 TBSP shallot, e\very finely minced
2 TBSP white wine of your choice
2 cups minced vegetables*
1/2 cup beef stock
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
2 TBSP double concentrate tomato paste
1/2 cup catsup or chile sauce
salt, freshly ground black pepper
* Minced Vegetables: Use some combination of these:
finely minced celery, including leaves
onion, chopped very fine
carrot (I always use one grated carrot because it adds moistness and sweetness)
red or orange pepper, finely minced
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Place the mushrooms and shallots in a non-stick pan over medium low heat. Stir them around a bit and let them cook. The first thing that will happen is that the mushrooms will give up a lot of liquid. When this occurs, add the white wine and turn the heat up. Stir constantly until the liquid is gone. Season with salt, pepper and (if you like that sort of thing) a little cayenne pepper. Turn the heat off and let this stuff (technically known as a duxelle) cool to room temperature.
Mix the stock, the egg, the cheese, the matzo meal and the tomato paste. Stir it together until it's a smooth consistency. Add the vegetables, the meat, the thyme and some salt and pepper. Using your hands, start to mix it all together. When it seems like it's partway mixed, add the mushrooms. Keep working it with your hands until the mixture is consistent.
Turn it into a casserole and smooth it out, making the edges about 3/4 the thickness of the middle. I use a large, low-sided oval baking dish so that the meat is not more than 2-3" thick in the middle of the loaf. If you use a pan that makes a thicker loaf, you will need to cook it longer.
Spread the catsup or chili sauce over the top of the loaf. Place in the center of the oven and bake until thoroughly cooked. For a 3" thick loaf, this will take about 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before you cut into it. (If you don't rest it, then the juices will all run out all over your plate instead of being absorbed by the loaf. This will result in a drier, less tasty loaf.)
I've been writing WoW-fiction again, and it's made me start thinking about my RP, my gameplay, and related WoW-stuff. I thought about putting some of those musings on my regular blog, but that's really a journal for myself, and not a place for specific WoW content. Instead, I'm going to open up this blog to entries other than just links to story updates.
I've been writing more WoW-fiction lately, as a side-effect of some in-game RP, and that, also, will eventually get posted here. More details after the break.