Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Roast pork and pumpkins

Goodness me, Nancy made last night's dinner sound like a Lou Reed album. We weren't really so gloomy.

A couple of things...

The reason that the onions were caramelized is that I sliced them very thin and used them instead of a roasting rack. I seared the pork in a saute pan and then sauteed the onions, mushrooms and garlic in the same pan. Then I deglazed it with red wine put the pork on top and put it in the oven.

When roasting anything it is import to me that you get that nice brown crust on the outside by either searing it in a pan or in a very hot oven, the pan method is easier to control.

It's also important to remember that if you are drinking wine as you cook to wrap a towel around the handle of the saute pan if it has been in the over for thirty minutes. Seared flesh is so old school as a garnish for roast pork.

It is important to have any roast on a rack or elevated, particularly if it is a cut that renders a lot of fat. This is exactly where the phrase "to stew in your own juice" comes from. If you are roasting or dry cooking something it will boil and toughen if it is in it's own liquid.

I also glazed the pork with mustard, honey, apricot jam and oyster sauce. I mention this to add on to Martha's brown sugar Salmon glaze. The combination of sweet and hot makes a nice combination for a glaze for almost anything and it is very popular up here for salmon.

I put some of the mitzuna and some arugula in the salad. The mitzuna is beautiful.

If the apples in the box had been awful I would have made applesauce. I am not sure where the pork/applesauce connection comes from but it really is a great combo. If I had had red cabbage I might have cooked some of that with a little caraway. What with all this talk about Deuteronomy keep in mind my maternal grandmother's, alev shalom, maiden name was Eisenbach.

I also let the pork rest for about five minutes after it had come out of the oven. This is such an important step in roasting that I think it is worth mentioning, particularly if you are roasting a large slab of beef. It has to sit for 10-15 minutes at room temp before you slice it. Even those small racks of lamb should sit for about five minutes. If you cut meat too early you loose color and juice.

Why do we cook (and drink) like this every night? Well, the restaurant scene here is not exactly spectacular and since most of them are customers it is very rarely relaxing for me. Both of us love to cook so why shouldn't we do it? To me it's no stranger than asking Susan how she can do needle point after a day of work. And walking the doggie is not such a big chore.

At least both of us enjoy it. Once when I was home from Culinary I was cooking something and my mother, alev shalom, looked at me in genuine amazement and said "You really like this don't you?" She couldn't imagine anyone cooking for pleasure; to her it was complete drudgery

My question would be how do Alec and Sharon manage? Sheesh. The new parent thing is very difficult.

I also have to agree with Hunter Davis. I have seen his porch and putting a pumpkin on his porch makes about as much sense as handing Henry the keys to an Audi TT with a case of PBR Long Necks in the back seat.

Off to the gym to burn some of this off...



Cuzzin"M" said...

Aunt Ruth(alev shalom) always made her brisket similar to your pork there grave-turning going on...whereas she always browned it on every side before putting it on a bed of onions in the oven. I have taken to skipping the browning step but it sounds like I shouldn't be.I do cook it on a bed of onions although,neither she nor I brown them first. It might be time to return to my cooking roots.

Nancy DeCherney said...

PBR long necks? puhleeze.