Category Archives: Pork

Grilled Indonesian Pork Satay with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

Indonesian_Pork_Satay (1 of 1)I’m about to get a brand-new pellet grill — can’t wait to show you how it does! In the mean time, I fired up the Weber grill and made these fantastic satays. This variety comes from the island of Bali (I believe it’s the cinnamon and nutmeg that make them Balinese). I love the combination of spices in these – wonderful with the peanut dipping sauce! This dish is a bit involved, but very well worth the effort. I hope you’ll give this one a try this weekend!

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sambal ulek, divided
1/2 tsp + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Laos powder
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower six inches finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp tamarind water or lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb lean ground pork

1 small onion
3 Tbsp peanutbutter
4 tsp kecap manis
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk

Soak about 18 bamboo skewers in water.

Combine 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sambal ulek, 1/2 tsp brown sugar and the next 13 ingredients (shallots through ground pork) in a food processor. Process well until you have a smooth paste. In a large bowl combine paste and ground pork. Use hand to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare peanut sauce by heating 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in1 tsp sambal ulek, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and the next 6 ingredients (through lemon juice). Slowly heat, gradually adding the coconut milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Get grill going.

Mold about 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture onto each skewer (as in the picture above). Place satays on grill and cook, turning occasionally until done, about 7 minutes. Serve satays with the peanut sauce and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

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Pork Medallions with a Creamy Thyme-Mustard Sauce

Pork_Medallions_with_Mustard_Sauce (1 of 1)Pork tenderloin is my favorite cut of meat from the pig — it’s lean, tender and easy to work with. I often substitute if in recipes that call for pork loin (and even pork shoulder, which to me is so slimy, it’s kind of gross and hard to deal with). Tonight I used pork tenderloin to make this “medallion” recipe, where the meat is the star, but the delicious sauce gets 5 stars! This dish goes perfectly well with mashed potatoes and green beans — give it a try next time you’re in the mood for pork and let me know what you think!

1 1-lb pork tenderloin, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces;  each piece then pounded to a 1/4-inch thickness
2 Tbsp butter, divided
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
8 oz sliced white mushrooms
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced (both white and green parts, separated)
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard

Heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once foam from butter subsides, stir in mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper in a large, shallow dish.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat in pan used for the mushrooms. Dredge each piece of the pork in the flour mixture and place into the pan in a single layer (I used a very large pan and was able to accommodate all pork at once — you can do a couple of batches, if necessary). Cook pork until heated through, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove pork from pan — cover with foil and keep warm in an oven.

Add white parts of the green onions to the pan. Sauté 1 minute. Stir in white wine and bring to a boil. Deglaze pan as wine boils for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme and the sour cream. Bring back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Let sauce simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in Dijon mustard, then remove from heat. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Spoon sauce over pork and garnish with the green parts of the green onions. Serve.

Serves 4

Braised, Shredded Pork from the state of Michoacán, Mexico (Carnitas)

Carnitas (1 of 1)This delicious dish is from the Pacific Coast state of Michoacán, although it is prepared throughout Mexico. It makes a lot of shredded pork, and it is very versatile — the first night you serve it on its own with a few sides, the next night you make tacos with it, etc., and it freezes well. The other day, I added it to a home-made ranchero sauce, and it was fantastic! Original versions seem to be full of fat. They typically call for pork shoulder or (aka Boston butt), which is a fatty part of the pig. I’ve made this a few times with center-cut pork loin, with all visible fat removed. After braising for three hours, it turns out moist, delicious, and it just falls apart like its counterpart does. I also replace the typical ton of lard with a couple tablespoons of olive oil — I realize that this probably changes the flavor and texture, but there is already so much flavor, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, in the photo, I serve it with a simple red cabbage coleslaw, corn sticks and slices of blood orange. Yum. I hope you’ll try this next Sunday!

1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups chicken stock
1 12-oz can cola
2 tsp oregano, toasted in a dry, medium-hot skilled
2 bay leaves, toasted in a dry, medium-hot skillet
8 whole allspice berries
2 2-inch cinnamon sticks
2 chipotle chilies en adobo, minced
2 Tbsp salt, divided
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
5 – 6 lbs boneless pork loin, trimmed of all visible fat, cut into fist-size chunks
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 small oranges

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven, add the onion, garlic, chicken stock, cola, oregano, bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon sticks, chipotle chilies, 5 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, and stir well.

Season pork with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes.

Bring the onion mixture to a boil. Add pork and oranges, cover so that the lid is ajar and place in oven.  Bake for about 3 hours, until pork is very tender. Remove pork from pan and shred with a couple of forks.

Remove the oranges, slice in half and squeeze juice back into pan. Remove bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Add shredded pork back to pan and stir well.

Increase heat to 425, place pork back into oven, uncovered. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and serve.

Serves 8.

Roasted Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with a Plum Sauce

Rosemary_Pork_Tenderloin1 (1 of 1)As in recent posts, I’m trying to get as much out of the herbs from my garden before it’s too late. Last night I chose to make something with my rosemary. I made this wonderful roasted pork tenderloin — the pork is prepared by rubbing it with a garlicy rosemary and olive oil paste. The aroma is fantastic! The pork is served over a bed of frisée that’s been slightly wilted in some of the rosemary paste, then topped with a sweet/sour plum sauce (I served it with mashed potatoes). This turned out to be delicious, so I hope you’ll try it out!

8 oz pitted prunes
1 1/3 cups water
2/3 cup Sherry vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 large pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 lbs), trimmed
1 cup chicken stock
1 large head frisée (escarole), coarsely sliced

Add prunes, water, Sherry vinegar and sugar to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until syrupy, about 20 minutes. Set aside

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper into a food processor. Process to a smooth paste. In a shallow roasting pan, coat pork well with 3 1/2 Tbsp of the rosemary paste (set remaining paste aside). Place pork in oven and roast until middle of thickest part registers 150 degrees F, about 30 minutes. Remove pork to a cutting board and loosely tent with aluminum foil.

Heat remaining rosemary paste in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. As soon as paste begins to sizzle, stir in the chicken stock, then the frisée. Cover and cook until wilted, about 6 minutes.

Divide frisée among 6 plates. Top each with pork slices and plum sauce. Serve.

Serves 6 .

Tapas-Style Meatballs (Albóndigas Pequeñas)

Albondigas1 (1 of 1)I think Spanish cuisine is one of the best in the world, but I don’t think I figured that out until well after I backpacked through Spain (with no money) right before college. It seems similar to Italian, but its flavors are quite different and distinct. One of my favorite Spanish culinary ingredients (besides saffron, of course), is sherry — it is commonly used in a variety of dishes, and it adds a fantastic depth of flavor. This delicious meatball dish is simple — it has the sherry, but I don’t think you’d be able to pick it out. So good, I hope you’ll try these tonight!

Albóndigas

6 oz ground lean ground pork
6 oz ground veal
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp olive oil

Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 Tbsp dry sherry
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the meatballs with one hand until well-incorporated and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from fridge, and form meat into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and brown on all sides (I like to swirl and toss them in the pan so they brown evenly), about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside.

Add the additional 1 Tbsp olive oil to same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1 minute. Stir in wine and sherry. Turn heat to high. Bring mixture to a boil and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the cayenne, salt, peas and meatballs. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer another 10 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Season sauce with additional salt, if desired. Serve as part of a tapas meal (serves 6), or as an entre with rice and a vegetable (serves 4).

Italian Meatloaf

Italian_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)Some of my readers may recall that I have a thing for meatloaf. Well, it’s been a while since my last meatloaf post, so here we go (again). This fantastic version comes from central Italy — its ingredients are simple, but make for a delicious meatloaf and sauce! Really easy to prepare — hope you’ll try it out!

 

Two thick slices bread, torn into pieces and soaked in about a cup of milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1/4 lb pancetta, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 chopped parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup dry white wine
2  14-oz cans diced tomatoes with juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain milk from bread, squeezing out excess liquid. Combine bread and next 8 ingredients (ground beef through black pepper) in a large bowl. Mix well with hands.

Coat lidded casserole with cooking spray. Add meat mixture to casserole and form into a Italian_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)10-inch x 5-inch loaf. Combine tomatoes and wine, together with a pinch of additional salt in a bowl. Pour tomato mixture around loaf. Cover, place in oven and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Slice meatloaf in casserole into 1-inch slices. Serve with hot pasta.

Serves 8.

 

Vietnamese Caramalized Pork Patties

Vietnamese_Caramalized_Pork_Balls1 (1 of 1)These pork patties are spectacular as far as I’m concerned! So full of flavor! Aside from the caramalization and other great ingredients, the sauce has a ton of ground black pepper — this is typical of many Vietnamese sauces, and I think it’s what makes this dish (must be from the French influence in Vietnam). If you like Southeast Asia’s obligatory sweet, hot, sour, salty flavor combo, I think you’ll really like this dish!

3 Tbsp tamarind purée
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 cups finely chopped shallots (about 5 very large Euro-style)
3 red Thai bird chilies, minced
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 large cloves garlic, very finely shredded or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
1/3 (slightly rounded) cup sugar
3 scallions, sliced

In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp fish sauce with 1/2 cup water. Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix together 2/3 cup chopped shallots with half the minced chilies and 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Set aside

Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in remaining 1 1/3 cups chopped shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add remaining minced chilies and garlic. Stir-fry an additional 40 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pork, remaining 2 Tbsp fish sauce, remaining 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper and the cooked shallots. Make 18 small patties (a little less than 1/4 pork mixture, at about 2 1/2 inches each in diameter).

In a skilled large enough to easily fit all patties in a single layer, heat remaining 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add patties and brown on each side (about 3 1/2 minutes per side). Turn heat off and remove patties from pan — wipe out pan with a paper towel.

Add 1/3 water and 1/3 sugar to pan over medium heat and swirl gently until sugar is dissolvedVietnamese_Caramalized_Pork_Balls2 (1 of 1) and mixture begins to caramelize (about 12 minutes — you should end up with a nice, copper-colored sugar-water. Remove from heat. Slowly add fish sauce/water mixture to sugar-water. Return to a medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked shallot/chili mixture. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes, until shallots have softened. Stir in 3 Tbsp tamarind purée. Add back the pork patties and stir to ensure patties are well covered in the sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (turning patties after first 10 minutes). Remove lid. Remove patties and set aside. Simmer sauce another couple of minutes until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Serve patties over steamed jasmine rice, topped with sauce and sliced scallions.

Serves 6.