As I said yesterday, this year I am breaking the tradition… BIG TIME!
And while we are on that subject, please allow me to open a parenthesis here.
For the last 16 years, I’ve been putting up natural trees. Well, here’s another tradition that got broken this year.
I got fed up with the whole process of going out to pick up the tree, bargaining with the salesman like no tomorrow to get a decent looking tree for the amount of money that I was willing to pay for something that would end up in the “trash”, then politely ask him to bring it to me on his way home, wait for said tree to be delivered, take tree in house, spread needles, water, snow and dirt all over the place, wait for tree to warm up and unfold its branches, THEN start to decorate it.
It would take forever, and there would be needles all over the place. FOR MONTHS!
Granted, I admit, I was never good at watering it, so it would dry out quite a lot… and quite rapidly too!
So anyway, this year, I finally solved that problem and bought a brand new…. artificial tree!
Here he is. Not bad, for a fake, is he?
I’m VERY happy with my decision.
As am I with my decision to give a healthfying treatment to our traditional Christmas menu.
Yesterday, I gave you the meat pies.
Tonight, I give you meatballs…
Here in Quebec, it is tradition to serve “Ragoût de boulettes et de pattes de cochons” (meatball stew with pork shanks) which is pretty much entirely made with extremely fatty pork meat.
Well, I decided to make a healthy version of this using nothing but turkey meat.
I used the legs to replace the chunks of pork that I usually get from the pork shanks, and I used the breasts to make the ground meat that I used to make the meatballs.
I am telling you, if you didn’t know I’d changed the recipe, you wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference.
Even my daughter, who was extremely reluctant (read completely horrified at the idea) to me modifying, even ever so slightly our habitual recipe, especially leaving the the pork shanks out, couldn’t stop telling me just how impressed she was with the way it turned out… ESPECIALLY the turkey legs. They’re so similar to the real thing, it’s not even funny. You get huge chunks of tender, juicy meat that are super infused with what seems to be the very spirit of Christmas.
I could not be happier with the results.
The meatballs are extremely moist and flavorful, there are tons of huge chunks of juicy, melt-in-your-mouth-tender meat that are totally infused with the very essence of Christmas, which you could totally swear were pieces of pork shanks, and the sauce is nice and super extra thick, just like it’s supposed to be.
That sauce… you almost need a knife to cut through it! Just like my dad use to make it.
I think even he, if he was still around, would have approved of this one.
And Ragoût de boulettes was HIS territory, HIS specialty and by far, his favorite Christmas food. Trust me, it was NOT something to be messed with.
But I am 100% positive that this one would’ve gotten his seal of approval.
Dad, this one’s for you. How I wish you could be here to taste it. I’ll raise a “boulette” to you on Christmas night, how’s that? 😉
And a glass too, of course!