Happy New Year!
Growing up, my family had a Christmas Eve tradition. We would pick a country and find recipes of their traditional Christmas and holiday foods, and then cook the recipes to eat for our Christmas eve feast. It was a fun way of adventuring to a new land and learning about their traditions without leaving home.
Now that I have my own family, we enjoy keeping this tradition with one slight change–we do it on New Year’s Eve instead of Christmas Eve. (It simplifies my Christmas preparations). After dinner, we count down to the new year in the early evening, and then we watch a BBC YouTube video of London’s New Year firework celebration. The fireworks and scenic views are spectacular. It is a perfect way to celebrate and still get to bed at a reasonable time.
This year the country we picked for our holiday meal was Denmark. We ate pork roast, boiled potatoes and pork gravy, red cabbage, aebleflaesk (stewed apples with bacon and onion), Havarti cheese imported from Denmark (not dairy-free), and Danish butter cookies (also not dairy-free). (I would have liked to try making a dairy-free rice pudding, but we ran out of time.)
For the pork roast, I used a sirloin bone-in, roast sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic. Then, I placed it in a dutch oven and roasted it, without a lid, in the oven at 275° F until the meat thermometer in the middle registered 160° F. I have found that cooking the meat at a lower temperature results in moist, tender meat.
I used the meat drippings left in the pan from the pork to make the gravy with my dutch oven on the stove top. Add flour and a little oil, mix until it makes a nice roux, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then, add the water from the boiled potatoes to the roux, and whisk until the lumps are gone. (I love my mini whisk from pampered chef for getting out the lumps). Let the gravy simmer until it is nicely thickened.
I cut up and boiled some tasty Idaho potatoes with salt for the boiled potatoes–uper simple and delicious.
The red cabbage recipe came from here. I used dairy-free margarine and grape juice instead of currant juice. I loved this recipe. The red cabbage adds such a nice color to the plate. However, I think in the future, I will slightly reduce on the amount of sugar added into the recipe.
The apple recipe came from here. I modified it by using the regular bacon I had in the fridge. I crisped the bacon, took the bacon bits out of the pan, and then cooked the apples and onions in the bacon fat instead of butter, as the original recipe stated. Then, I added the bacon back for the last few minutes. There are some tasty sounding recipes on the internet that roast the apples in the oven, but my oven was at a low temperature for the roast. Since this recipe cooked the apples on the stovetop, it was the winner for this dinner.
Dinner was great!
I hope your holiday season was as fantastic as mine.