As summer starts to creep up on us I start dreaming of all the ways to use juicy berries. I love to play with flavors and experiment with combinations that wake up bored taste buds. Fortunately I have a very willing group of taste testers who tend to hang around the kitchen like a pack of starving wolves (and I don’t mean the Chihuahuas). This roast was met with snarls and growls of delight.
Ginger is a perfect nippy partner to the sweetness of blueberries. Consider it a sort of yin-yang for the mouth, a counter balance of sweet to heat. The soda adds flavor, but also helps to tenderize your roast. If you use a raw picnic ham as I did, it has enough fat to keep it moist and succulent. Should you use a leaner cut of meat just add a little more soda to the pot as you pressure cook or roast in the oven.
I recommend you strain the leftover juices from the first cooking,before adding the berry sauce. It is a handy and cost-effective way to add great flavor to future meals. I like to make soups and the broth is a great soup starter; I used it for an Asian-inspired bok choy, carrot, and ginger soup. Even if you don’t make or enjoy soups you could use it to cook rice in, making a fun and unique side dish that’s sure to satisfy your own pack of wolves.
- 1/2 bone-in raw picnic ham (any pork roast will work)
- 2 liters ginger ale
- 2 inches ginger root, sliced
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp ginger powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Blueberry Ginger Ale Sauce
- 3 c ginger ale
- 1 c blueberries
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c blackberry brandy (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Rinse ham and place in a container or large zipper bag big enough to hold the ham and marinade. Pour half the bottle of ginger ale over ham, add ginger and all the seasonings. Shake or stir well and cover or seal and place in the fridge. Best if marinated for 24 hours; turn over once, halfway through.
Remove pork from marinade and place in the pot of the pressure cooker. Take the ginger slices out of marinade and place on the pork, discard the remainder of marinade (or strain and freeze). Add 1/2 cup of ginger ale to the pot with some salt and pepper. Pressure cook for 1 1/2 hours. If cooking entirely in the oven preheat to 350 and cook covered tightly for 2-3 hours. When done in pressure cooker, place pork in an oven-safe pan and brush on the blueberry glaze, and then place in a 350-degree preheated oven and brown for 15-20 minutes, basting with more glaze halfway through. Serve with a drizzle of the blueberry sauce.
Blueberry Ginger Ale Sauce
In a small sauce pan with the 3 cups of soda (and brandy if using) bring to a slow boil and simmer till reduced by half. Add remainder of ingredients, stir frequently while simmering for about 10 minutes. Should thicken a little, depending on how juicy your berries are. You can simmer and reduce it further to a thicker consistency.