Category Archives: Pork

Spanish Cannelloni (Canelones Rellenos)

Canalones1 (1 of 1)Although cannelloni are of Italian origin, canelones rellenos is a popular dish in Barcelona, Spain (thought to have been brought there by Italian migrants in the 19th century). With a unique use of herbs and sherry, the fantastic flavors of this dish are distinctly Spanish. These canelones are delicious, so I hope you’ll give them a try tonight!

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 1/2 oz ground beef
4 1/2 oz ground pork
3 oz chicken liver, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 leek (white part), chopped
3 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp chopped parsley
9 oz dried cannelloni tubes
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
4 cups milk
4 oz tomato purée
1 cup grated parmesan or manchego cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add beef, pork, chicken liver, onion, leek, 1 1/2 tsp Canalones2 (1 of 1)salt and 1/4 ground black pepper. Cook 10 minutes, breaking up lumps with the back of a wooden spoon. Add sherry, thyme, diced tomatoes and 2 Tbsp of the parsley. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cook to room temperature.

Using your hands, fill the cannelloni tubes with the meat mixture and place them in a 13×9-inch ovenproof dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil.

Meanwhile, make a white sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and cook 2 minutes, until you have a nice, pale yellow roux. Add nutmeg and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Return to medium heat and whisk constantly for 15 minutes, until thickened.

Pour white sauce evenly over cannelloni. Scatter dollops of the tomato purée over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake for about 45 minutes, until lightly browned. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.

Serves 6.

Goulash of Pork Tenderloin with Sauerkraut, Dill and Sour Cream (Székely Gulyás)

Szeleky_Goulash1 (1 of 1)This version of goulash comes from the ethnic Hungarians who live in a region (Székely Land) which is now part of Romania. Székely goulash is characterized by its use of sauerkraut and sour cream, and it is delicious! Like many Hungarian recipes, goulash tends to call for lots of fat (lard, etc.). I’ve tried to slim down this goulash without compromising its great flavor by using a lean cut of pork, a small amount good quality, smoked bacon, omitting oil and using reduced-fat sour cream (one recipe I saw called for a slab of bacon and 1/4 cup of oil to brown it in! Yuck!). Anyway, this is a good, hearty dish for a cold winter’s evening. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 slices good quality, smoked bacon (about 2 oz), finely diced
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise into thin strips, then strips sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed caraway seeds
3 tsp salt
3 cups beef or vegetable stock
4 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 lb sauerkraut, rinsed, drained and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dry red wine
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Additional salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped dill
1 Hungarian wax pepper, sliced crosswise into thin rings, seeds removed

Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until brown and fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the pork and saute until browned, about 4 more minutes.

Lower heat to medium. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, caraway and salt to the pork Szeleky_Goulash2 (1 of 1)mixture. Saute until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Add 4 Tbsp of the stock, together with tomato paste and sweet paprika. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in sauerkraut, potatoes and apples, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour rest of the stock into the pork mixture. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours, stirring after 30 minutes.

Stir in wine, sour cream and paprika. Increase heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with additional salt to taste (I added another 2 tsp salt), ground black pepper and hot paprika. Serve over hot spätzle. Garnish with pepper rings and dill.

Serves 6.

German Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato and Onion Gravy (Falscher Hase)

German_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)I think I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but I love a good meatloaf, especially on a snowy, cold night like tonight. This wonderful dish, called falscher Hase (fake rabbit), originates in Germany’s eastern regions that were formerly part of the DDR (East Germany). Adopted from my favorite German cookbook, Nadia Hassani’s Spoonfuls of Germany, this meatloaf is homey, but deliciously elegant with the roasted tomato and onion gravy. I like to serve this with steamed new red potatoes tossed in some butter, salt, ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Give this dish a try — I think you’ll like it!

1 slice bread, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for 5 minutes, then excess milk squeezed out
1 slice good quality smoked bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, peeled and and quartered
10 oz lean ground beef
10 oz lean ground pork
2 eggs
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground marjoram
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
14 1/2 oz beef stock
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp flour
Additional chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Dice bacon and saute over medium heat until crisp. Add the diced onion and saute for about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread mixture on paper towels and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, combine bread that you soaked in milk, bacon and onion mixture, meat, eggs, German_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)parsley, mustard, paprika, caraway, oregano, nutmeg, cayenne, marjoram, thyme, coriander, salt and black pepper. Mix very well with your hands (add some breadcrumbs if  it seems too moist). Shape into a loaf and place in an ovenproof, lidded casserole. Pour tomato around loaf. Break up the onion quarters and sprinkle around loaf. Pour 1/4 cup stock over it.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Bake until meatloaf is brown, and the vegetables are nicely roasted, gradually adding another 1/2 cup stock.

Remove loaf from casserole and deglaze with the remaining stock. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain well, discarding solids. Add gravy back to sauce pan.

Whisk together the sour cream and flour, then whisk this into the gravy. Simmer for a few minutes until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice meatloaf into 1/2-inch slices. Pour some gravy over each serving and garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6.

Neapolitan Tomato and Pork “Soup” with Rosemary and Red Wine

Tomato_and_Pork_Soup1 (1 of 1)In Italian, this dish is called “zuppa” (soup), but to me, it’s more like a thick stew (maybe that’s because of how I prepare it). This dish hails from Naples, Italy, and is so simple and delicious — the flavors of the pancetta, salt pork, rosemary, tomato and wine come together very nicely! Some may find salt pork to be too fatty, but I think you could omit it and just add a bit of olive oil to the pan before adding the pancetta mixture, and still have fantastic results. I hope you’ll try this dish!

4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
1 oz salt pork, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs lean ground pork
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups red wine
1 28-oz can tomato puree
Olive oil
Crusty bread, sliced
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Combine pancetta, salt pork, rosemary and garlic on a cutting board — chop together with a sharp knife to create a paste.

Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onions and red pepper flakes;  cook for another 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the ground pork and the salt. Brown for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to break meat up.

Add 1 cup of the wine to the pork mixture and cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the wine and the tomato puree. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour, uncovered. Remove from heat and season with additional salt, if desired.

Heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the slices of bread and cook until nicely browned on both sides.

To serve, place a slice of bread in each bowl;  pour some soup over bread and garnish with parsley (you may want to do this at the table so your guests can see the crisp, yummy slice of bread before it’s hidden by the soup!).

Serves 4.

Braised Pork Loin in a “Black” Tomato Sauce (Brasato di Maiale al Sugo Nero)

Braised_Pork_in_a_Black_Sauce1 (1 of 1)Now that autumn has arrived in New England, it’s time to get back to the heartier dishes. This is a Southern Italian dish, where you braise a pork loin in a simple but delicious sauce until it just about falls apart (remember, the braising method is “low and slow”). The name of this dish (I’m guessing) comes from the tomato sauce, which cooks down until it is almost “black.” You’ll enjoy the smell of this cooking in your kitchen — I hope you’ll try this dish!

3 – 4 lbs boneless, center-cut pork loin, trimmed and tied with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals
2 tsp salt
6 large fresh sage leaves
3 oz pancetta
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups red wine
2 cups canned tomato puree

Rub the pork with the salt; slide the sage leaves under the twine evenly around the meat. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

Mince together the pancetta, garlic and parsley into a fine paste. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta/garlic mixture and cook for 3 minutes. Add the pork and brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Add 1 cup of the wine; let evaporate. Add the remaining 1 cup wine and the tomato puree. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for 2 hours.

Remove the pork from the pan;  remove twine and cover with foil. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, increase the heat for the sauce to medium high. Reduce the sauce until rather thick and “black,” about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with pasta or bread.

Serves 6.

Thai Caramelized Pork Stir-Fry (Muu Waan)

Thai_Caramelized_Pork_Stir-Fry1 (1 of 1)Here’s another simple, quick and delicious stir-fry dish. The garlic, liquids and sugar cook down into a wonderful, sweet and sticky sauce that nicely compliments the pork tenderloin. Those who enjoy Thai cuisine, but don’t like too much spice will like this recipe, as it does not have the usual red peppers in it. I hope you’ll try this dish tonight!

1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
4 Tbsp palm sugar (or light brown sugar), packed
1 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 1.25-lb pork tenderloin, sliced lengthwise down the middle, then thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 tsp white ground pepper
3 green onions, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 additional green onion, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch pieces for garnish
1 Tbsp fried red onions for garnish (store-bought, found in Asian markets in the Thai condiment section)

Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until very thick. Add the 3 sliced green onions and white ground pepper, and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately with steamed jasmine rice. Garnish with sliced green onions and fried red onions.

Serves 4.

Grilled Pork Churrasco with Fresh Pineapple Salsa

Pork_Churrasco1 (1 of 1)Here’s another delicious outdoor recipe (I’m trying to get as many in as I can before our short New England summer comes to an end). Churrasco is basically grilled meat, which is popular in many South American countries, as well as some European countries. The pork tenderloin strips for this dish marinate in an herbed, smoked paprika mixture for a couple of hours, so plan ahead for this one! I’ve got to say that it’s well worth the wait — the flavors of the grilled, marinated pork combine very well with the fresh pineapple salsa. I hope you’ll try this dish!

1 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 rounded tsp minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1-lb pork tenderloins, trimmed

3 cups peeled, cored pineapple, cut into 1/4-inch chunks (about 1/2 a large pineapple)
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 – 3 chopped, seeded jalapeño peppers
Tabasco sauce

Steamed white rice

Heat oil in a small heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the paprika and cook 5 minutes (very gently, so as not to burn the paprika) to infuse the oil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (I put it in a bowl and then into the fridge to speed up the cooling process).

Pour oil mixture into a blender. Add garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Blend marinade Pork_Churrasco2 (1 of 1)until herbs are finely chopped.

Cut each pork tenderloin lengthwise into 4 strips. Pound each strip in between plastic wrap to a 1/3-inch thickness. Place pork strips in a zip lock freezer bag;  pour marinade into the bag and seal. Toss the mixture well, ensuring that pork is completely coated. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours (turning occasionally).

Meanwhile, prepare the salsa by combining the pineapple chunks, yellow bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño peppers and several shakes of the tabasco sauce (to taste) in a medium bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place salsa in the refrigerator for a couple of hours while the pork marinates.

Prepare the grill. Remove pork strips from the marinade and grill about 2 minutes on each side.

Serve the pork with the pineapple salsa and steamed white rice.

Serves 4.