A hearty believer that life should be filled with fun and whimsy, Sam weaves together a colorful journey through her delicious creations. Follow along with her recipe tutorials, get sneak peeks into exclusive brand photo shoots, and have a great time along the way. No judgement here, just scrumptious fun!
In my life, there’s a constant battle brewing between eating healthy and delicious food. Plus, add on top of that the fact that I’m a working mom with a growing small business… it’s a very slippy slope towards fast food and high-caloric TV dinners. I’m constantly vowing to cook healthier meals for my family and also challenge myself to make them just as delicious as our splurge dinners. So I was up for the challenge when Mountain States Rosen chose me to compete in their “ReVEALing Excellence” recipe contest. I was tasked to come up with a slow cooker recipe for their healthy Cedar Springs Veal shoulder roast. Personally, I think slow cookers are the pot of gold at the end of a ‘balanced diet, busy mom’ rainbow – you just throw in all the ingredients and in a few hours you’ve got a weeks-worth of food! I knew right away that I wanted to do a delicious, but healthier take on the pulled pork sandwich. But before I started on the recipe development, I found myself at an impasse… I didn’t know anything about veal. Sure I’ve had it a few times at a fancy restaurant or two, but I’ve never actually handled it in the kitchen before. So I was pleased to learn that veal is a very versatile meat. Like chicken or pork, it can be cooked and served in a variety of ways. It is also a tender meat, with a velvety texture that makes it very tasty indeed. And surprisingly, I didn’t know that veal is actually a lean meat that is packed with nutrients. Standard portions of 3 ounces is less than 400 calories and packed with protein. Sidebar for a Portlandia “is the chicken local?” moment (if you haven’t seen that skit, I highly suggest you watch it here!). I was very pleased to learn from Mountain States Rosen that they are dedicated to raising their animals safely and responsibly. Born and raised in the United States of America, all of their lamb and veal comes from a co-op of family owned ranches and farms. They have established protocols which focus on animal quality of life and well-being, making sure that the animals are fed wholesome, nutritious diets. The ranchers and growers also ensure that the animals have healthy, natural housing to minimize stress and improve quality of life. Alright, the moment of truth had arrived. What recipe was I going to create?! Here’s how my thought process (a.k.a. free association) went: the slow cooker lead to pulled veal; the all-American company lead to Bourbon flavoring; the health conscientiousness lead to adding apples and peaches; and the glutton in me lead to a pretzel bun sandwich topped with a decadent aioli. Pulled Bourbon Cedar Springs Veal with Apple Peach Aioli?! Let’s do this!
In a small mixing bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and chili powder to create the rub. Thoroughly cover the Cedar Springs Veal shoulder roast in the rub and place in the slow cooker. Pour the bourbon, beef stock, balsamic vinegar, and honey into the slow cooker pot. Top the roast off with the peach slices, applesauce, sliced onion, and apple slices. Cook on high for 6.5 hours. Carefully remove the Cedar Springs Veal shoulder roast from the slow cooker pot and place in a large mixing bowl. Using shredding claws or forks, shred the shoulder roast thoroughly and set aside to cool a bit. To make the Apple Peach Aioli, remove 1 cup of the fruit reduction from the bottom of the slow cooker pot and place it in a blender. Add the mayo, bourbon, garlic cloves, and olive oil to the blender and blend until a smooth sauce is formed. Store in a mason jar or gravy boat for serving. Create the final pulled Cedar Springs Veal sandwich using the veal, aioli, smoked gouda, cilantro, jalapenos and pretzel buns. Enjoy! I was selected for this opportunity by Mountain States Rosen and they supplied the veal for the post as part of their “Revealing Excellence” recipe contest. The content and opinions expressed here are all my own.