All right, what did you think when you read “Gruel?”
Gruel has a negative image because it gets associated with stalags,gulags, prison camps, 19th century English orphanages etc.
Gruel is simply a grain that is boiled and has a high water to meal ratio.
I’m not sure if what I made would be considered “Gruel” because it has meat and mushrooms in it, but just looking at the finished product, it is gruelish.
Several months ago the grocery store had a reset and the dried mushrooms were marked down to 50 cents a bag and I bought about six bags. I did not like the way the mushrooms turned out when I made them before, so I thought that I would boil them up here, wiz them up and use that for the base of the gruel.
I also bought a package of “pork neck bones”. At the time that I bought them, I thought that they looked funny. I know my pig parts and these did not look like pork neck bones. They turned out to be various cut offs from pork items and for $1.20 a pound, I think that I came out ahead.
Browning the pork.
Very simple seasoning, salt, ground pepper and red chili flakes.
I took the pork parts out , added the water and boiled the two packages of the dried mushrooms.
I wizzed the mushrooms up, added the barley and then tossed the cut up pork back in.
This pot made enough for lunch all week, plus a bowl to sample.
Turned out gosh darn, nasty good. !!!