Cooking is so relaxing when you don’t have a kid following you around asking for a snack before dinner or to play legos or to help with a puzzle. You can actually read the instructions and include all of the ingredients. When I was growing up, I remember my aunts and uncles saying that my grandmother had been a horrible cook when they were young. I suspect this is probably because she always had someone tugging on her dress asking her for something. I may know a little something about that.
Yesterday after ballet, my kids insisted on going to their Gran’s to play. And let me cook in peace? I mean, how could I say no? It was so great that I actually got up at 5:45 this morning to start tonight’s beans. They better be good.
Last night’s pork and pears with parsnip mash was make-again good. And at the risk of sounding like a broken record (do people even know what that means anymore?), it was also easy enough for a weeknight. The steps are simple and lend themselves to being done in a certain order to be more efficient. Normally, I try to prep everything before I start cooking. This is typically because I can’t hold more than one instruction in my brain at a time during the witching hour that is dinner time. Sometimes I’m lucky to even hold one instruction in my brain. It gets that way around here. Anyway, this particular recipe is nice because while one piece (the potato and parsnips) is cooking, you have time to prep the other piece (pork roast). And there really isn’t a whole lot of slicing and dicing.
The potato and parsnips will cook quickly if you cut them into small cubes. Mine really did take only about 15 minutes as the recipe suggested. During the time that the veggies were boiling, I was able to slice the shallots, cut up the pork roast and pears, and brown the pork. Word of warning that this recipe involves butter and whole milk. If that’s a problem for your diet, don’t make this because I think that the butter is what made the meat more flavorful and the whole milk really gives the mash a nice consistency. I’ve made mashed potatoes for years with skim milk because that is all I had in the fridge, but it just isn’t worth it. Use the whole milk.
It seemed rather odd to me that once browned, everything gets taken out of the pan, only to be put back in at the last minute. Do it this way because it really worked. The pears give a lovely balance to the whole dish and the parsnips sweeten up the mash perfectly. Start to finish, I was done with this recipe in a little under an hour and I really was taking my time. I suspect it would have taken me the same amount of time if the kids were hanging on my clothes. Either way, this recipe was worth the effort. Perfect for a cold night. Let me know what you think once you’ve made it.