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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Mom's Cottage Roll

Pork is the remains a popular meat of choice for curing with bacon and ham being the most popular.  What many don't realize is curing meats at home is not as difficult as it would appear.  Curing meats at home is extremely easy and quite low cost.  By curing it yourself you can save substantial money if you can get the uncured meat on sale.  If you indulge in a smoker you can expand to making cured, smoked meats as well.  I recently experimented with cottage roll as a pork cut I would like to cure at home. 

cottage roll and vegetables cooking
Cottage roll is cured pork shoulder cut from the end of the shoulder.  It is similar in colour and flavour to peameal bacon but the texture is somewhat in between ham and peameal bacon.  It is a fattier than peameal bacon that is cut from the loin.  Cottage roll is held together for cooking by string mesh.  It is usually brought to a boil then low simmered for a couple of hours.

Mom's Cottage Roll

1 cottage roll (about 4 kg)
1 bayleaf
1 large onion
4 - 5 peppercorns
4 medium potatoes
2 large carrots
2 parsnips
½ small rutabaga
1 medium wedge cabbage

Place the cottage roll, bay leaf, onion and peppercorns in stock pot.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for 1 hour adding water if necessary to keep meat covered with water.  Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces.  Pour vegetables into stock pot.  Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.  Remove meat from stock pot.  Cut mesh from meat and slice for serving.  Serve the vegetables on the side.  Reserve stock and any remaining vegetables for soup made with some of the meat.

cooked cottage roll
Pictured is the cooked cottage roll just out of the stockpot.  The pinkish colouration is characteristic of cured pork.  The mesh is removed at this point then the meat is sliced for serving.  Slice about a half-inch thick.  Trim the fat from any leftover cottage roll slices.  Cube the slices then return to the pot with stock and extra vegetables for soup the following day.  If you find there is not enough leftover vegetables for soup but plenty of meat and stock, get creative.  Stir in a cooked beans (eg. navy, black, kidney) or noodles or add more vegetables or a combination of any of the ingredients mentioned.  The resulting soup is quite nice by itself but would be tasty with drop dumplings as well.

Cooking a cottage roll dinner is one pot cooking that can be done on the stovetop as this one was, in the slow cooker or even in the countertop roaster.  The important things to remember is to keep the cottage roll covered with water and to cook slowly so the meat is tender.  This really is a simple, low prep yet tasty meal that is economical as well.  The cottage roll was 4.39 kg (about 9 lb) for $7.45.  The total cost of the dish came in at just under $10.  It made enough for dinner for two that evening, soup for four the following day with enough leftovers for two. 

I served the cottage roll with the vegetables on the side.  A small garden salad and dinner rolls completed the meal.  I was quite pleased with the results of this one pot meal.  Cottage roll is now on my list of meats to cure at home just as soon as I can find a good sale on pork shoulder roasts!

1 food lovers commented:

Jacki Joy said...

This was a great recipe and tasted wonderful! I added a can of mushroom soup for a "gravy". You are right, it was even better as leftovers and I used some to make a hearty soup.