Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

When I asked my kids what they wanted to eat for Thanksgiving there were no requests for turkey or beef. But there were LOUD requests for Grandmaman's Dressing - add in Louis' enthusiasm it was a "must have" for our day. The party poopers - Cole and Chloe will no doubt have macaroni or hot dogs. Eww. But for those of you interested:
The primary ingredient is ground pork.
Giblets and livers in abundance are also added. As this recipe has evolved, it is now at 2/3 pork and 1/3 innards. I have no doubt that there will come a time when it's closer to 1/2 and 1/2!
Take 2 or 3 medium sized onions and cut them up into fair size pieces - nothing too tiny - let it look like an onion when you eat it!
Combine in a stock pot the onions, giblets and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Simmer the giblets until cooked through. You will keep the temperature at "low" from now until you are done.

Add in plenty of Allspice, salt and pepper. By the time you're finished there won't be much Allspice left!
Remove the giblets and onions with a strainer and let them cool just a little bit before you cut them up.
While you're waiting for the giblet mixture to cool enough to chop up, add in your ground pork. Add in little bits at a time and stir - stir - stir so that nothing globs together. It's like a pork taco mixture, a bit soupy rather than meaty. Right?
The lovely Claire, who is now making the recipe from start to finish, adds in Kosher salt throughout the stirring process. Not too much, but the recipe certainly works better with some salt and fresh ground pepper.
Chop up all the giblets and livers and add to the pork mixture. Cover and cook - stirring occasionally - until pork is cooked though and there is no pink remaining.
The mixture will be a bit soupy with the fat rising (not too much since you used lean pork, right?). Don't drain the fat. It has the flavour AND this is the season all about flavour, right? Peel and boil up a couple of potatoes in a small saucepan. Mash and wait to see if the pork needs thickening. (It will) and you can add in the potatoes.
Give it another 15 minutes or so on low heat. Does it need more thickening? If so, add in some croutons. Just enough, don't over do it!
The finishing touch is to add in about a cupful of slivered almonds. Leave in stockpot for another half hour or so, until the almonds are well incorporated.

Now it's ready to eat.

At this point in the day both Louis and Claire have been taste-testing since the pork had no pink left in it. Of course, Louis was just tasting to make sure nothing was missing! True comfort food. I have been making this concoction since the year before Louis and I were married. It is the only family recipe he must have every holiday season. It changes every year and I don't know that what we are eating today resembles the original recipe, but it has become a true staple of our holiday season. The holidays don't start until this dressing is made. So, the holiday season has officially started in this house. No doubt I will go through this process again two or three times before Christmas comes and goes!


shirley319 said...

Hmmm.... interesting recipe..... Do you just eat it straight up? Or with another meat (the term "dressing" has me a bit confused). Can you post a pic of the finished product?

Great pictures, BTW, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Lily said...

this looks delicious. TFS

Midnite Scrapper said...

Mmmm...this literally made my mouth water. Great to see your daughter in there cooking up a storm. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!

agent713 said...

I'd like to see a picture of the finished product too. It sounds interesting!

Is this normally a side dish or a main dish?