A Recipe I Made And Wrote Up Last Year Around This Time And Just Found Again
1) Have your Irish family's dad bring home ham hocks from Dunnes. With the skin on. With bristles on the skin.
2) Despite -- or because of -- recently having read The Omnivore's Dilemma, stare at ham hocks in alarm, thinking, "Pig. Pig. Pig. Pig."
3) Get over yourself, kinda, and taste. Mmmmm. Pig. Salty.
4) Stare at massive, Flintstone-like bones, and think "Stock."
5) Poke around on AllRecipes. Poke around in cupboards.
6) In the world's largest slow cooker, add
- 1 half-eaten ham hock, after throwing the skin to the three feral Pomeranians who live out back
- 2 mostly-eaten ham hocks, ditto above
- 2 cups of dry green lentils
- 2 cups of diced carrots
- 1 diced leek because you couldn't find any onions
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can stewed tomatoes
- 2 tomato cans of water
- 1 tupperware of stock from the freezer, probably 2 cups
- 1 more pint of water, after consulting the recipe you're supposedly following
- 1 handful of soup mix containing barley, red lentils, and marrowfat peas, because the giant slow cooker now looks like Lake freaking Michigan and there's no way the lentils can absorb all that water
- 2 tsp of Meat Supreme Spice Blend, because your family is remodeling the kitchen and the spice rack has disappeared somewhere under the extra floorboards and caulking gun, etc, but the spice mixes are on a different shelf, so they're okay. This one contains red and green peppercorns, red berries (whatever those are), rosemary, mustard seed, onion, and thyme.
7) Between the spice blend and the salty meat, decide that you've covered Rachael Ray's irritating but well-founded "S&P" requirement. Realize you've been watching a lot of Food Network.
8) Turn slow cooker on "low" and go do your thing for the next eleven hours.
9) Taste. Find spices slightly overwhelming. Have brief fit of melancholy. Add some amazing tomato paste from a tube; soup will quickly becomes perfect.
10) Remove bones, and any suspicious bits that have fallen off the bones, and throw them to the ravening beasts. Poke large strips of meat with a fork and they will come apart into tasty pork floss.
11) Share soup with everyone you know! There will be enough.