Sunday, July 1, 2007

Braised pork

This is a dish that I've been working on for a while now. It was inspired by an excellent braised pork shank that I had at the East Coast grill this winter. Instead of using pork shank, I go with the easy to find and very cheap pork sirloin. Cut the pork into a couple of large pieces, season with salt and pepper, brown it in a heavy pot and then add the braising liquid. I use chicken stock (low sodium broth or water would do just fine) and a few scoops of apple juice concentrate, if you have an almost empty bottle of wine sitting around, you can toss that in too. Add a sliced orange, reserving some of the zest, one roughly chopped onion (a small one), a couple crushed garlic cloves, a few sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, and some peppercorns. This is a braise, not a stew, so make sure that the liquid only comes about half way up the meat. Once you toss in all the ingredients, cover the pot, turn the heat to low and go read a book, do some homework, watch some TV...whatever. A couple hours later, its time to get the finishing touches done. Remove the meat and pass the braising liquid through a strainer. If you are planning on having left overs, reserve some of the liquid so you can use it to reheat the meat. Take the liquid you are using and reduce it to about half or a quarter of its original volume. If you have some demi glace, don't be shy with it. Once you get it down to the desired level, start adding some balsamic vinegar. Start with a little bit, maybe a teaspoon, and keep adding until you get just enough to taste the vinegar. Your looking to strike a balance between the balsamic vinegar taste and the fruity sweetness that you get from the oranges. Put the pork back in the reduction to coat it, plate it, and spoon the remaining liquid around the dish. This time around, I served it over a bed of polenta with kale. The pork is topped with a gremolata of sorts, made with orange zest, cilantro, and pine nuts.

1 comment:

Karl said...

Hey Sam,
GK told me about your looks great. I look forward to trying out some of your suggestios,
Karl H/Poulsbo