November 2011 COTM: Gourmet II: Beef, Veal, Pork and Lamb
Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapter about beef, veal, pork and lamb.
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Island Pork Tenderloin, page 475
We had a tenderloin from our local ranch, so I found this recipe to try. The pork is rubbed with a mixture of salt, pepper, cumin, chile powder (I ground an ancho chile mix), and cinnamon. It then goes into a hot skillet for a quick browning. The skillet is removed from the heat, and the pork is coated with a blend of brown sugar, chopped garlic, and hot sauce. (The recipe calls for tabasco, I used "Inner Beauty" hot sauce from Costa Rica.) The skillet then goes into the oven for about 20 minutes, until the pork reaches 140º. After the pork rests, it is sliced and topped with the pan sauce.
Delicious! The taste is sweet and spicy, a lovely combination. Plus, I really liked this method of cooking the tenderloin. We usually grill it, weather permitting. But during rainy, blustery times like this, the quick sear and the oven finish is the way to go. I'd definitely use this method again with different spice treatments. But I'll also keep this exact recipe in my do-again list.
Just an addendum to the Island Pork Tenderloin…
I sliced up the leftover tenderloin and used it in pressed sandwiches. Added a couple paper-thin slices of ham, muenster cheese, and a mixture of cilantro, parsley, garlic, and pickled jalapenos. I cooked them on a grill pan under a brick. The sweetness of the pork marinade coupled quite nicely with the spicy herb relish.
Braised Beef, Peppers, and Onions -Ropa Vieja- p. 441
I seem to be on a Cuban food kick as of late, and this fantastic dish only has me wanting to delve deeper into the depths of this delicious cuisine.
It is a fairly lengthy process, but it is well worth the effort.
Beef is simmered until tender in a melange of carrots, onion, celery, and garlic in water, with oregano and cumin. I did sear the meat before this step to obtain a nice crusty brown layer on my meat, scraping up the flavourful fond afterwards. Something about grey meat just doesn't appeal. The beef cooks for about 90 minutes, and afterwards soaks in its broth to cool. The broth is strained and reduced for about 30 minutes and transferred to a bowl. In the same pot, green peppers and onions are softened, then the (shredded) meat is added back in along with a portion of the broth. Tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, oregano and cumin get mixed in. More simmering. Separately, sliced red and yellow bell peppers are sauteed until soft, then added into the stew. The remainder of the broth is added to the desired consistency. I just dumped the rest in, thinking any extra sauce would be mopped up by the rice it was served with. The dish is finished off with a handful of green olives and green peas.
This was an excellent meal! The recipe called for 3 lbs of beef, but I only used 2 lbs, using the full amount of veggies, and that was more than enough meat for me. The meat was tender when shredded, but firm enough to hold its shape in the pot and not dissolve into thousands of small threads. The sweetness of the peppers in the robust sauce coupled with the briny bites of olive made for an excellent dinner. The colours of all the vegetables in the dish made it irresistible. This recipe is extremely similar to the other version I've used, with equal results. I will stick to my other recipe if only because it is a bit less hands-on work, but altogether, this was splendid. The leftovers were probably even better.
Lemon Garlic Lamb Chops with[out] Yogurt Sauce, p. 504
I served this lamb as part of a festive birthday dinner w/app, sides (Madhur Jaffrey's eggplant "in the picking style," arugula salad, quinoa salad), and dessert.
Not much to it: make a marinade of lemon juice, chopped garlic cloves, dried oregano, olive oil; marinate lamb chops (I used lovelyb loin chops from our FM rather than shoulder) a couple of hours. I "grilled" these in a pan on my stove, and realized I couldn't really reheat the marinade (w/a bit of water) on the grill pan (so lost the benefit of the fond) so I did that in a small saucepan, and spooned the reduced marinade over the chops after they were cooked.
The lamb chops were delicious, but no moreso than in the way I usually prepare them (spread a mixture of dijon, olive oil, minced garlic and herbs) over them before grilling. What I really didn't like was how the marinade turned the chops so grey before I cooked them. And the chops cooked so briefly that they never seemed to brown in a way that overtook the grey. Possibly that was my imagination. At any rate, I'll just stick w/my usual method for now.
I skipped the yogurt sauce since one of my guests does not like yogurt, or most dairy products, and instead served these with Tahini Sauce (p. 891), which was delicious. As one guest said, he'd be happy to just eat the sauce with bread.
Chop Suey, Pg. 488
If you ever want to increase your vegetable intake this is the recipe for you. Ten different vegetables, counting garlic, plus a pound of pork tenderloin constitute the basis for this dish. Of course that means prepping, from rinse to slice, at least 8 of those vegetables. Bamboo shoots and water chestnuts are in tins. I think it took me almost 30 minutes to do the snow peas: stringing then slicing in 1/4 inch pieces.
The vegetables: garlic, celery, snow peas, mushrooms, onion, green bell pepper, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, bok choy. The first thing to do is prepare the tenderloin for marinating by slicing in half lengthwise then cutting across in 1/8 inch slices. Mix together minced garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt and cornstarch, add sliced pork and stir to coat the meat. This stands for 15 minutes while the vegetables are prepped... One by one the various vegetables are stir-fried in batches in hot oil (I used peanut oil) for a few minutes and as each is finished they're tossed into a large bowl.
Make a slurry with chicken stock and cornstarch , set aside. Stir-fry the meat till tender and return veggies to wok. Toss together, make a well in center of wok, add slurry., bring to boil, toss all together, serve. Steamed jasmine rice was the side dish.
Result: A mild, well cooked final dish of the comfort food variety. There was a minumum of seasoning: a little bit over 1 Tbsp oyster sauce, 1 1/2 tspn soy sauce, small amount of salt, NO pepper, a bit of home made (salt free) chicken stock. If I *ever* make this again, I'll certainly increase the seasonings, but after all that it was a nice dinner and while we're not Crazy about it we did like it..
Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce, pg. 480
Made these for dinner Friday evening, and I thought they were TDF, Mr. QN, however thought they might indeed bring about his demise, more on that in a moment.
This is a layered dish of pan cooked pork chops covered with sauteed apples, topped and smothered with a cider cream reduction sauce sauce. The sauce itself is scrumptious. Pretty easy too, saute shallots in butter (I substituted olive oil + a little butter for all of my cooking/frying in this recipe, and it tasted fine that way), when softened add cider, cider vinegar, sage and reduce by half, add stock, reduce by half, add cream, reduce by half, set aside.
Fry pork chops in a separate skillet. This should be the easy part, but somehow getting pork chops (or really any bone in meat) just right in a frying pan is a beyond me. Anyway, I cooked them for the 8 minutes that the recipe calls for, removed them to a warm platter, tented, and proceeded with the rest of the recipe.
Having poured off the fat from the skillet, saute apple wedges until just brown and just soft, remove to a bowl and toss with brown sugar (I used about a third of the recommended amount, which was plenty for my mix of local northern spy and yellow delicious apples). Add some stock to the skillet for a minute to de-glaze the pan, drain the juices from the skillet and the platter with the pork chops into the pan with the sauce, mix this together.
Put the apples on top of the pork chops, pour the sauce over them and serve. So far so good. My pork chop was perfect. Mr QN's was way under-done, urgh!
So, if the luck of the pork chop draw is with you, this is a winner! Otherwise you may spend the evening wondering if you're doomed for having consumed raw meat.
I sort of made the meatloaf (Old Fashioned Meatloaf on page 449) but I did not pre cook the veggies in butter but chopped onion and spinach in my food processor and used a garlic press for a large clove and mixed all together and it was good. Pork and beef and ketchup with Worcestershire is always good. (I also halved the recipe and used a 50 50 pork beef mix from my favorite Italian butcher)
Cuban Roast Pork Loin, Pg. 468, 2004 Ed.
This was one of the tastier Cuban roasts I ever made. Probably because it marinated for the full 24 hours - the recipe says anywhere from 2 to 24. I find it's easier to do these types of roasts on week-ends where I prep the next day's dinner before starting Saturday night's. Anyway, we were delighted with the outcome.
Mash into a paste garlic, oregano, salt & pepper then rub it all over the roast. Stir together a combination of orange juice and lemon juice and olive oil. Rub spice mash over the meat and put into a zip-lock bag. Pour in the liquids, refrigerate till use. When ready to cook preheat oven to 325F. Melt some butter in a Dutch oven with olive oil. Take meat from marinade, reserving the marinade, and brown on all sides. Before putting the DO in oven pour marinade all around the meat. Roast till interior temp is 145F. It took about 50 minutes for our 3.75 lb roast. Let meat rest while you make the pan sauce. Bring pan juices to a boil and reduce by half. Serve over thinly sliced roast. The side dishes were my version of rice and beans, and steamed broccoli.
There was more than enough to make the Cuban Sandwiches on page 192 two nights later as suggested. .
I plan on making this sometime this week, and am happy to hear that it's so good! I'm mostly making it for the use of the leftovers for the Cuban sandwiches. We're not huge pork roast fans, so I wasn't looking forward to this dish as much as its later incarnation on 'the list'. Thanks to your review, I am eagerly anticipating this dinner! I'll try to remember to marinate it far ahead of time.
Oh Allegra, I certainly hope you like this dish. The meat was very tasty and full of flavor. But two nights later in the sandwiches it was terrific. The flavor of the garlic and citrus had intensified and in combination with the other elements of the sandwich - well...we loved it all over again.
I haven't posted a review of the sandwiches yet because I only had three of the ingredients of the original recipe: the rolls, roast pork and mayo. I improvised for the ham, pickles and "yellow ball park mustard". Also I didn't coat the exterior of the rolls with butter before pressing the sandwiches. But, even with all of that the sandwiches were luscious so you're bound to like them. .
Cuban Roast Pork Loin
Made this earlier in the week than I had planned, due to the great review from Gio above. The pork was bathed in such a flavourful marinade, it was hard to go wrong! We really enjoyed this, and the tart and savory pan sauce served over the meat was lovely. Served with Cuban-style yuca and yellow rice.
I am very much looking forward to using my leftovers for those delightful-sounding Cuban sandwiches! I made sure to wrap the roast up slathered in the remaining pan sauce, hopefully infusing all the goodness into the pork.