Fall Walks, Bears in the Creek and Roast Pork with Gravy…what could be better?

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Roast Pork with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots

I felt a little bit guilty yesterday writing about bad fried chicken purchased in a grocery store without writing about some of the Yes!Chef! made food that we have been having here at the Schmautz Haus.  Yes!Chef! loves the fall because he loves fall cooking.  He likes to make slow-cooked meats, home made gravies, fresh mashed potatoes, slow roasted veggies…I could go on.

We’ve been at Lake Tahoe for a good portion of the last 4 months…well, truth be known, it’s mostly me and my dog who have been spending quite a bit of time in Tahoe.  Yes!Chef! comes up on the weekends and we try to get out and about together.  Fall is probably my favorite time of year in Tahoe (although, you can’t go wrong any time of year).

Colorful fall scene on Lake Tahoe
So Inviting…

The colors are changing on more than just the leaves.  This time of year the Kokanee Salmon return to Taylor Creek to spawn and, sad to say, die.  In the process, they change from regular salmon fish color to bright orange.  The male fish snout also grows into a hook.  They are a beautiful sight to see.

Brightly colored Kokanee salmon
Brightly colored Kokanee salmon

Obie and I were down at the creek looking at the fish one day and a family from Texas was standing next to us talking about the fish.

Little girl:  Mom, do you think the bears will come down and eat the fish

Mother:  No, honey.  The man at the hotel told us that the bears do not eat these fish because they don’t taste good.  So you don’t need to worry.

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I don’t think the bears got that memo…

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I’m afraid I did speak up and tell this family that, yes, the bears did frequently visit the creek for the fish.  Their eyes got very wide and I told them that the bears were not interested in people, only fish.

So, after a few hours walking around, looking at fish and photographing the bears, we were ready for Yes!Chef!’s slow roasted pork.

The pork was succulent, and tender.  (Not dry like the fried chicken I show-cased yesterday. Blech!) The gravy was not heavy or gloppy and very easy to make. And you probably should make mashed potatoes to sop up the extra gravy…just sayin’.

Look at that gravy
Look at that gravy

Yes!Chef!’s Roast Pork with Gravy

  • 3-5 pound pork shoulder or Boston Butt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch

      Cooking Instructions

  1.     Preheat oven to 375
  2.     Season roast on all sides with salt and pepper
  3.    Rub  all sides with chopped garlic and thyme leaves
  4.    Place in roasting pan and then into oven.  Roast until internal temp is 165 degrees, about 20-25 minutes per pound.
  5.    Remove meat from pan and set aside to rest

To make gravy

  1.    Sautee onion in 1 tbsp. olive oil until translucent
  2.    Add chicken stock and thyme.  Squeeze in roasted garlic.  Mash all together until incorporated.
  3.    Strain grease from pan drippings and then add de-greased drippings to gravy pan.
  4.    Put on stove top and simmer.
  5.    Mix about ½ cup hot gravy mixture with corn starch.  Stir together until fully incorporated.  Pour back in to gravy pot and stir.  Bring to boil and stir until thick.  Remove from heat.

.    Cut up roast into chunks, place in serving tray and pour gravy over top, reserving some gravy for mashed potatoes, noodles or rice…whatever suits your fancy.

     This is such as easy recipe and it makes the house smell great.  Just the meal you need after your fall walk (or running from bears.)  It’s also well-received by guests who look forward to a nice homey fall meal.

     When you come to Lake Tahoe in the fall, make sure you visit Taylor Creek and the Visitor Center with the Stream Profile.  You will love seeing the beautifully colored fish…

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    The gorgeous fall colors…

Fish and fall colors
Fish and fall colors

And maybe a bear, or two…

The Three Bears
The Three Bears

…or three.

Enjoy this very easy and tasty meal.

Published by

Karen Schmautz


7 thoughts on “Fall Walks, Bears in the Creek and Roast Pork with Gravy…what could be better?

  1. Great pics, particularly of the salmon–unbelievable. Do you fish for them? The meal is wonderful, exactly the sort of thing my upstate Grandmother used to cook. Any wild blueberry pie for dessert? Ken

    1. At this point in their cycle, they probably wouldn’t taste very good to humans because they are near death. I’ve never tried the lake salmon, but the trout is delicious. I wish I had wild blueberries to use, but I made an apple cake instead. Thanks for your kind words.

  2. Your pictures of Lake Tahoe always get to me. I grew up going to a camp in North Shore. It is a viseral thing for us chefs, in the fall, to need to slow cook a big hug fatty piece of meat until it falls apart. BTW the Chef’s Watermelon Gazpacho was a hit with the Chairman of Whole Foods John Elstrott, this summer at a Retreat I catered. He loved it. I gave Yes! Chef the credit for the recipe.

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