Have I ever mentioned that my son goes to a Coop Preschool? If you aren’t familiar, a Coop preschool is a community effort where the parents participate in the classroom on a rotating basis and perform jobs in and outside of the school to make sure the school runs efficiently throughout the year. Long story short, this means that I work in the classroom one day per week and I have a “job” for the school-year, which happens to be “Field Trip Coordinator”.
As soon as I sat down to set up our Field Trips for the year, I knew that Oxbow Farms had to be on our list. Oxbow is a local, organic farm and education center (Carnation, WA) that does a magnificent job at educating both kids and adults alike about where our food comes from, how it’s grown and how a 25-acre organic farm operates.
They have a Fall Farm Adventure for kids which is essentially a 6-part scavenger hunt to find all the parts of a plant. I immediately booked this tour for October for our preschool (it was awesome by the way – my son got to dig up a purple carrot and pull it out of the ground, then wash it and eat it!)
Simultaneously, after having meet them at IFBC in September, Oxbow reached out to me and asked if I would like to participate in their “Oxbox” Project.
The “Oxbox” is a food challenge where Oxbow provides you with a CSA box (farm-share) and you are challenged to create one or a few meals out of the box to showcase how to use these seasonal vegetables!
Since I love to use local, organic and seasonal produce and already support this farms mission, I thought it would be fun to be challenged with specific ingredients and see what I could come up with. I arranged to pick up my CSA share the day of our tour and as soon as I opened it, I thought “Pork Loin Roast”. It was a chilly and overcast day and I really wanted to make a slow-cooked stew or roast would warm both our house and bodies.
With some inspiration from Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill, I set out to make what turned into “Harvest Pork Loin Roast”. While there are quite a few steps and photos in the instructions below, this is a very easy dish to put together and perfect for entertaining or a relaxed, weekend dinner with friends.
The purple carrots, celery root, Japanese white turnips and leeks all found their way into the roast. I served a small salad on the side with the fresh lettuce and parsley. The butternut squash is in my garage (aka squash closet) and the napa cabbage was roasted with garlic. The only thing that lingered was the Radicchio, which eventually was braised and served alongside some simple roast chicken a couple of days later.
All in all, I was really impressed with the quality of Oxbows produce. I have tried a couple other local CSA’s since moving here and have continually been disappointed with their quality. Oxbow is now one I am seriously considering, the only downside being that they don’t offer a year-round option, but half a year of amazing quality, organic produce is better than none right?
- You could substitute mini white potatoes for the turnips but note that they will fall apart a bit and probably thicken the sauce so reduce the cooking time at the end for the sauce. I wouldn’t recommend substituting red turnips as their flavor is much more harsh and I think might overwhelm this roast a bit.
- Turnip Greens have a strong flavor and are not considered a “mild” green. I happen to like them but I like all greens so I’m easy that way. You may want to add some spinach or slow cooked collard greens to soften the bold flavor profile a bit if you aren’t used to robust greens.
- While Oxbow Farms provided me a farmshare box to use in my cooking challenge, this is not a sponsored post.
- Remeber to reduce or increase cooking time based on the size pork roast you use!
Inspired By: Braised Pork with Fennel and Red Bliss Potatoes (p. 174) from Alfred Portale Simple Pleasures
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- .25 ounce dried porcini mushrooms + ½ cup boiling water
- 2 pounds Boneless Pork Loin Roast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 leeks (whites only), cleaned and thinly sliced
- 1 large yellow onion, root left on and quartered
- ¼ cup peeled and diced celery root
- 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
- 6 to 8 medium cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 small bunch Japanese white turnips, greens separated, trimmed and halved
- ¾ cup whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2½ chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons butter, divided
- Cover the dried porcini mushrooms with ½ cup boiling water and set aside.
- Mix salt, pepper and fennel seeds together. Rub on pork, covering all sides and set aside.
- Clean leeks (click here for more info on how to clean leeks) and thinly slice.
- Peel celery root and dice until you have ¼ cup.
- Peel onion, leave root (furry end) in tact and quarter. Peel and smash garlic cloves. Peel carrots and dice.
- Separate the turnip greens and submerge in cold water.
- Clean turnips, trim ends and halve.
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Grab an oven-safe pot with high sides and heat over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Once hot, use a tongs to place the pork roast in the pot. Sear for 10 to 12 minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Remove from pot and set aside.
- Add remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil to pot. Once hot, add leeks and onion quarters. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until starting to brown.
- Add garlic, diced carrots and celery root and continue to cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
- Add porcini mushrooms and soaking liquid and use a wooden spoon to scrap any browned bits off the bottom of the pot into the sauce. Continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until liquid reduces by about half.
- Return pork roast to pot along with halved white turnips, drained tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf and chicken stock.Bring to a boil, immediatley lower to a simmer and cover, leaving a slight space for steam to escape. Place pot in oven with lid ajar and cook for 90 minutes or until internal temperature of 155F.
- Remove pot from oven and remove pork roast to a cutting board. Drain sauce (reserving vegetables!) and return liquid to pot.
- Bring back to a boil, lower light to medium and cook uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes so sauce can reduce. Don't season the sauce until after it has reduced as the flavors will become concentrated. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary, add 1 Tablespoon butter and stir to dissolve.
- In a separate frying pan, heat remaining 1 Tablespoon butter. Once hot, add drained turnip greens, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and black pepper and cook until just wilted.
- Remove to a serving tray and set aside to place sliced pork roast on top.
- Thinly slice pork and place on top of wilted turnip greens. Serve with sauce, a spoonful of the cooked vegetables from the roast and Enjoy!