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Feb 1, 2008 05:00 AM

Frank Stitt’s Southern Table: Meats

February 2008 Cookbook of the Month, Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.

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  1. Sirloin Strip, Grilled Red Onions, Corn Bread and Salsa Verde (not Mexican but from south of France) Oh my, what a great party dish.

    Pork on Pork, Shoulder and Belly Simmered with Bourbon. If you make nothing else this winter you've got to make this. It is served up with the Glazed Autumn Veg and Creamy Grits. Pure comfort food on a winter's evening.

    I had the Pork Chops and Brochettes with Creamy Grits and Maker's Mark Sauce several years ago at the restaurant. It is excellent. Luckily I get to go back to the Restaurant mid-March. Can't wait to see what is on the menu then.

    1. Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Rosemary, Bacon and Onions, p. 223

      This was a dish that didn't turn out very well for me, but I think it was due to my roast. I had just gotten the book and wanted to cook something from it, and got a 2 lb roast (instead of 4 - that was deliberate, since there were just two of us). Turned out it wasn't a center cut pork loin roast, but rolled. I made the stuffing - though I wish he'd included a temperature for roasting the bacon and onions. I also made the bacon and onions a bit smaller than one inch dice, since that seemed awfully large to me (though matched the bread dice size), especially to pipe using a pastry bag. That was a complete fiasco and I just stuffed it in by hand.

      I had thought that I would need to cut the cooking time a bit since this roast was much smaller, and used my meat thermometer. When it came to 135 (my preference for pork) I took it out - he says to let it go to 145 - 150 - I'm assuming he's talking about probing the meat - but maybe the probe was supposed to hit the stuffing? - anyway, it was under done, put it back in for another ten minutes, let it rest again. Sliced it up - ends were ok - rest still quite a bit too pink for me - not just nice and rosy.

      I ended up quickly sauteeing a couple of slices a bit so we could eat it. It did taste good in the end, especially the stuffing, and I'll try it again with a four pound roast. Would be interested in comments about the internal temperature issue though.

      No photos b/c the slices looked so forlorn by the time I was done with them! Plus my husband was pretty hungry by then.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MMRuth

        Well tomorrow's dinner was going to be the pork shoulder and pork belly with bourbon sauce. I had ordered my pork from a local custom butcher. I went to pick it up today and the belly was sliced. Aaargh! So I spent almost 2 hours driving around town to the different ethnic groceries and had no luck. I had the shoulder and finally decided to use boneless country style ribs. I figured they would be fat enough. I'll let you know tomorrow how it turns out.

        1. re: Candy

          Sounds a bit like my $35 guinea hen - I asked the butcher to cut it up for me, and when I opened up the package, almost all the skin was off the breasts - which is key for that dish I think - the one w/truffles. But I'm attempting to fix it with some skin grafts from other parts! Good luck.

          1. re: MMRuth

            The Pork on Pork was good as it should be. No one but Doug and I knew the difference. I did the Autumn Glazed Veg and creamy grits (from Anson Mills, boy those are great grits). Since I knew dinner would be rich with a salad with butter sauteed pears, quickly seared foie gras and a Minus 8 vinaigrette I just made a bit of PC to go with drinks. jillp brought a lemon tart.

            1. re: Candy

              Sounds great. I did try those glazed vegetables - forgot to report - not so excited about them but I think I didn't pay enough attention to them. I'm going to try that pork recipe - am making the cured pork for tomorrow for the crostini.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Sounds great let us know how the crostini turns out Yes, the veg to require a bit of attention. Try again.

      2. Pork on Pork Simmered in Bourbon

        I actually ended up doing this over two days. I cut up, browned the meat, and braised it in the oven the first day, and then reheated it, removed the meat, and strained and reduced the sauce the next night. E doesn't like grits so I served it over creamy mashed potatoes with caramelized leeks and fresh thyme. This is a braised dish so the pork belly and pork shoulder was fork-tender, and the sauce was rich and flavorful with a hint of smoky sweetness from the bourbon. I used Knobb Creek, and added just a bit more as I was reducing the braising liquid (the braising liquid includes sauteed carrots and onions, bourbon, white wine, homemade chicken stock, garlic, and a bouquet garni made with a leek top, bay leaves, and thyme; then is strained and reduced to a sauce, and 2 Tb of unsalted butter swirled in to finish).

        With the leftovers I'm going to shred the meat and reduce the sauce to use as a base for a BBQ sauce, and make some great sandwiches.

        Recipe link: