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Pork Chops with Bourbon-Peach Mostarda Pan Sauce

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Today’s post has been on my mind since I first made the Peach Mostarda last year. The first thing I thought when I tried it was that it would be fabulous on pork chops… but it’s taken me until now to actually do so. The point of today’s post is actually pan sauces, which is a wonderful but basic technique. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I LOVE sauce. I often order extra sauce anywhere from bbq places to chinese, and this recipe is all about the sauce.

First, a little about pan sauces. The basic technique is to take a pan where you cooked meat, and use all the browned bits left (called ‘fond’), sautee some aromatics (garlic, shallots, ginger, onion, etc), then add a liquid (stock, wine, hard liquor, vinegar) and simmer it down for a few minutes while scraping all the fond off of the pan (called ‘deglazing), and finally finish with an accent flavor (such as mustard, jam, herbs, or capers) and some cold butter to enrich and thicken the sauce. You can leave the butter out if you’re trying to be healthier, but a little goes a long way here. The possibilities here are endless. It only takes a few minutes, done while your meat is resting from cooking (an essential step), and really adds an extra layer of flavor to your meal. Plus, sauce! Yum!

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Cooking Basics, Entree

 

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Pulled pork on fried polenta squares

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Last night I went to an appetizer party, and thought I’d create a new dish to take along. I wanted to feature my bbq sauce (recipe coming on Tuesday), but thought ribs would be a bit messy, so decided on pulled pork. I don’t cook with polenta much, and want to, so I decided to search up a good recipe. The one I settled on was from food blog Running to the Kitchen, and it’s a fantastic one. People raved about it. Sadly, I can’t claim credit, though I did add extra butter and cheese. Mmmm butter and cheese. I did a double batch of the polenta recipe I’m putting here, because the party was for 50, and the pulled pork makes so much. Feel free to save the pork for other uses (pulled pork panini with smoked cheddar, anyone?), or make a double batch of the polenta like I did. Anyway, let’s get started cooking!

Start by taking a pork butt (boston butt, pork shoulder), preferably large (6 lb) and bone in, and season it with your favorite bbq rub. Let sit an hour to form a crust, then cook for 10 hours in a crock pot on low.

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Drain off all the fat, shred pork in a bowl (discarding any remaining fatty bits and the bone), and mix with 1 quart bbq sauce (or less, if you have a smaller piece of meat, or like less sauce).

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Appetizer/Snack, Entree

 

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Oven Baked Ribs

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I love ribs. They’re absolutely one of my favorite dishes to cook, and I always cook them on a wood pellet bbq for 5 hours until they’re smoky and tender and falling off the bone. Recently, though, I adapted the recipe for an oven specifically to share with you all. It may not have that wonderful smoke flavor of real bbq, but it’s still pretty darn good, and doesn’t involve going out in the rain and cold in the winter, which is a bonus.

Start by preheating an oven to 225°F then removing the memberane on the back of the ribs. I’ve seen a number of methods suggested for doing this, I just pry it up with a fingernail on one edge of the ribs, grip it with a paper towel for better grip, and carefully peel it off the whole rack.

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Next I apply a dry rub to the whole thing. You should probably prepare ahead of time and wrap the ribs in saran wrap and refrigerated for a few hours then let them sit out and reach room temperature, but I almost never have that kind of time, so I just apply the rub and cook.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Entree

 

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