Taking off to the cottage for a weekend getaway conjures up images of snow gear drying by a crackling fire while you kick back and enjoy a toddy or two. This romanticism can quickly vanish if you find yourself catching up on the chores that are often neglected while away from the cottage like snow shoveling, chopping wood or cleaning up the kitchen if you have been invaded with whatever family of rodents that have chosen to make your cozy retreat a shared dwelling.
Preparing meals ahead to take to the cottage is a sure fire way to guarantee that you can find time to relax and focus on the more important tasks at hand. Another alternative would be to fire up the slow cooker and put on a Cottage Roll Boiled Dinner.!
The Cottage Ham or Cottage Roll is a boneless pork shoulder butt that has been cured in sweetened brine similar to the brine used for peameal bacon. It was named a Cottage Ham to bring one the dignity of eating high on the hog without the cost. It is an easily prepared and is perfect for one pot cooking and gives a great base for making navy bean soup the next day. Serve it up with fresh rolls and lots of butter
Cottage Roll Boiled Dinner
• 1 – 3 lb cottage roll
• 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onions
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ½ cinnamon stick
• 6-8 cloves
• 6-8 whole all-spice berries
• 10 peppercorns
• 3 bay leaves
• ½ cup peeled & coarsely chopped carrots
• 5 medium potatoes, peeled & cut in quarters
• 2 cup sliced cabbage
Combine all of the spices into a sachet or infuser so that they are easily removed from the finished sauce later. Remove the cottage roll from the vacuum sealed bag and give it a good rinsing under cold running water to remove the excess salt and brining liquid. Leave the netting on the meat.
Place the cottage roll, onion, garlic and spices into a stock pot or slow cooker, and add enough water to just cover the surface of the cottage roll. If cooking the cottage ham by stove top – bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for an hour and a half. Add the remaining vegetables and allow them to cook for another 30-45 minutes until they are fork tender.
If using a crock pot cook the pork on a low setting for 4-6 hours and add the vegetables 60 minutes before the meat is done to finish this boiled dinner.
Carefully remove the cottage ham from the pot with tongs and set the ham on a cutting board. Remove the netting and discard, Slice the cottage ham and serve it plated with the potatoes and vegetables or serve it like a soup in a bowl with some of the sauce from the pot.
The left over cooking water is excellent to make soup or baked beans with the next day. Yields: 4-6 servings
Chef Brian Henry