Sometimes the Irish can save civilization. Sometimes it's all they can do to rustle up dinner.
Technically, I'm a mixture of Scot/Irish, Scandahoovian and Cree, but it's hard to tell with the green eyes, red hair and freckles. In any case, I draw from my Warrior Farmer roots in a lot of my cooking with good, meaty stews, soups and breads often on the winter menu.
It was a good night for it as I was pretty tired. I stayed up way too late last night (for my schedule) catching up with a friend who had been away for a while. Today dawned way too early.
Still, duty calls, reports to write.
Probie comes over, a puzzled luck on his face, looking at a document I'd just finished.
"uh, doc. . . WHAT'S RIGOR MORRIS?"
I look up straightfaced (Typo? Me??") . . "DEAD CAT FOUND AT THE SCENE."
It was just one of those days, So I was glad to get home for something nourishing. Tonight, no guns, no glory, just some really good leftover soup and some fresh baked bread. To make - caramelise a large diced onion in a pan with a splash of olive oil, add 4 ribs of chopped celery and about six sliced carrots and cook for a couple of minutes. Put in a crockpot with 1 and 1/2 lbs smoked ham hocks, a pound of uncooked and rinsed white beans, 2 quarts fresh chicken stock, a pinch of rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon white pepper, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper,a large clove of garlic cut crosswise, a dash of hot sauce (I like Heavy Metal Heat by the Scoville Bros.), 1/4 teaspoon wild honey and 12 sprigs of fresh thyme, plus a couple dashes of salt (to taste). Cook on high for 4-5 hours, until beans are done, remove any stems of thyme, squeeze garlic to remove pulp, discarding the skins and stir into soup. Remove hocks and shred meat. Take a 1/2 cup of the bean mixture and pulse in a blender and stir back in with ham hocks.
With that, some quick bread.
Cheddar Peppered Biscuit Bites. Full of the bite of fresh cracked pepper and sharp cheese, they're baked in little triangles for little bite size bits of crunch with a soft, yeasty center.
Serve warm with butter , the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of old fashioned soup, stew, or even chili.
For now, enjoy the comforts of home. Tomorrow, a little firearm post - refinishing old blue.