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Posts Tagged ‘pork’

I was in line at the corner market yesterday when some items “conveniently” located at the checkout stand caught my eye.  I’d been toying with a mango salsa idea for pork tenderloin and thought a few changes might be nice.  On a whim, I grabbed a container each of fresh pineapple and pomegranate arils, and luckily, the tinkering seriously paid off.

I love this way of preparing pork tenderloin.  You rub the meat with spices, sear it till it has a nice crust, and finish it off in the oven.  Then you hit it with a salsa of tropical fruit, lime juice, and onion so bright, it practically crackles with flavor.  I must have eaten half my weight in fruit salsa last night, so it’s a good thing it’s ridiculously healthy. Even if you’re skeptical of the fruit + meat combination, give this a shot. You’ll be surprised how well it works.

If you have time, brining the meat ensures optimum juiciness and flavor. If not, no worries; this will still turn out great. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal. Enjoy!

Pork brine

-2 Tbsp. coarse salt
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. bay powder or 2 bay leaves
-pinch of red pepper flake
-1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Cover the meat with water and stir in all the seasonings until dissolved.  Allow to brine (refrigerated) for up to 8 hrs.  Remove from the brining solution and bring to room temp. 30 min. before cooking.

Tropical salsa

-1 sm. yellow onion, finely diced
-1 1/2 c. fresh pineapple, diced (canned OK in a pinch)
-3/4 c. pomegranate arils (“seeds”)
-2 Tbsp. cilantro (fresh coriander), chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
-dash of ground red chilis or cayenne pepper
-juice of 1 1/2 limes
-salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Combine the salsa ingredients and chill for 20 minutes while you prepare the meat.

Tenderloin

-1 pork tenderloin (mine was a little over 1 lb.)
-2 tsp. sweet paprika
-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
-1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-3/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
-1 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. dried oregano
-vegetable oil, for searing

It can’t all be glamorous.

Trim as much visible fat and silverskin (white/shiny muscle membrane) from the meat as you can.  Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a small bowl, then rub all over the tenderloin using your hands.  Heat a few tablespoons oil in a large skillet or roasting pan until almost smoking.  Add the meat to the pan and do not move until the bottom is very brown.  Repeat on all sides.

Remove the meat to an oven-safe glass pan (if not using a roaster) and cover with foil.  Roast @ 425F for 14-20 min., or until done to your liking.  It’s OK if the center is faintly pink.  If the meat feels firm but slightly springy to the touch, it’s done.

Place the meat on a clean cutting board and tent with foil for 5 min. while you assemble the side dishes on plates.  (Black beans and rice are nice accompaniments.)

Once the meat has rested, slice thinly on the diagonal and serve topped with the salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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crispy bacon

You could chase away a hangover (temporarily) with the “hair of the dog that bit ya,” but some scientists (apparently not cardiologists) suggest another remedy.  The Daily Telegraph reports that a bacon sandwich is just the right elixer to boost amino acids, speed up metabolism, and whet your queasy appetite.  (more…)

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grandma maroni's meatballs

Okay, okay, so technically this 100-year old recipe beat Bobby Flay in a “throwdown,” but “smackdown” just sounds so much better.  That guy can be a cocky S.O. …well, you know.  I haven’t tried them yet, but intend to soon—just as soon as I come up for air amidst all this wedding planning.  This week I’ll also be posting a cheesy, meaty, baked Greek pastitisio recipe that will rock your tastebuds, so please stand by.  Thanks!  In the meantime, here’s the recipe for champion meatballs from the Food Network:

(more…)

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Pork Carnitas

I don’t know how authentic this recipe is exactly—it started with a wikipedia entry* and combines elements of various recipes I found online.  Regardless, pork carnitas is the perfect recipe for a Saturday or Sunday.  It takes a while to cook, but most of that is “passive” time in the oven.  And the result?  Tender, crispy, intensely flavorful shredded meat for your tacos, enchiladas, or sandwiches!

-pork butt (aka Boston Butt; approx 2-3 lbs.)
-salt and pepper (lots)
-vegetable oil
-3/4 lg. onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-3/4-1 c. white wine
-1 c. beef broth
-2-3 c. milk (or enough to cover the meat halfway AFTER you’ve added the broth)
-3 bay leaves
-4 cloves
-4-6 juniper berries (optional, but they’re good)
-1 tsp. dried oregano
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-chipotle pepper, jalapeno (fresh, not pickled), or hot pepper sauce, to taste

garnishes:
-a few sprigs cilantro
-tomato
-salsa
-crema or sour cream
-lime

1. Preheat oven to 250F. Liberally salt and pepper the roast on all sides. Brown well in a deep oven-safe casserole dish on all sides (this takes about 10 min.) Remove roast.

2. Add sliced onions to the rendered fat. Cook until translucent. Add garlic, cook until fragrant (don’t brown).

3. Deglaze pan with white wine and broth, scraping up brown bits. Return roast to pan.

4. Pour milk over meat (it might curdle; don’t worry). Add in the remaining spices. Bring to a boil. Cover.

5. Move to preheated oven. Cook covered on low heat for 3-4 hrs. Baste occasionally.

6. When meat is falling apart, remove from pot using tongs (leave fat and broth). Shred into bite-size pieces on a large cookie sheet.

7. Broil meat 8-10 min. until beginning to brown and crisp up.

Serve in small tortillas with chopped cilantro, tomato, salsa, crema or sour cream, and lime wedges to squeeze over.

*wikipedia mentions that cola (Coke) can be substituted for the milk. que tradicional! 😉

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For pork or chicken. Excellent on the grill.

-1/2 c. peanut or olive oil
-1/3 c. soy sauce
-1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
-1 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce
-1 Tbsp. honey
-1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-1 Tsp. fresh ground black pepper
-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
-1 tsp. Allspice
-Juice of half a lime

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