At this point I really should just follow my instincts.
I read a recipe, think, “Well, that’s not going to work;” but, intrigued, try it anyway. And then it doesn’t work.
Last night it was a romanesco-calabaza gratin. Baked “uncovered” for 30 minutes, then topped with cheesy-nutty breadcrumbs and baked for another 30, I was sure the top layer of veg would never soften adequately without covering for the first half of baking to allow a bit of steaming. End result, it was edible–almost delicious–but it could have been softer.
Roasted Pork Loin, stuffed with Beer & Vinegar Braised Cabbage
Yield: 8 Servings
For the Pork
3-4 lb. Pork Loin
2 T coarse mustard
20 g Neutral oil
For the Cabbage Stuffing
200g Vidalia onion, emincer
1 t. caraway seeds
½ t celery seeds
1 small head green cabbage, sliced in ½” strips
1 small head red cabbage, sliced in ½“ strips
100g carrots, julienne
4 oz cider vinegar
12 oz Unibroue Ephemere Ale
Pinch of sugar
20g butter, Salt & pepper
For the Sauce
Pork trimmings (including bacon rind removed from salad lardon)
100 g onions, mirepoix
2 garlic cloves, smashed
400 g tomatoes, quartered
30 g bourbon or rye
1000 g pork stock
5 g Chervil, hacher
5 g Parsley, hacher
For the Gastrique
85 g brown sugar
85 g cider vinegar
For the Pork Stock
6 lbs. pork bones
450 g onions
450 g carrots
3 celery stalks
50 g tomato paste
225 g tomato scraps
100 g mushroom trim
80 g leek greens
½ head garlic
For the Stock
- Roast the bones in an oven set to 375º until golden, stirring occasionally and making sure sucs don’t brown too quickly.
- Add onions and carrots and continue to roast until starting to caramelize.
- In a large pot, sauté leek and mushrooms until caramelized, add tomato paste and cook for several minutes. Add tomato scrap & let the juices reduce significantly.
- Add roasted veg and bones & cover with water. Add bouquet and bring to a boil. Simmer for 6 hours, adding water as necessary to keep submerged. Skim as needed. Strain and chill.
For the Stuffing & Pork
- Sweat onions in neutral oil until translucent and just starting to color.
- Add seeds and allow the flavors to bloom for a few seconds
- Add carrots and cabbage and sauté briefly.
- Add ale, vinegar & sugar and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to simmer & cook until the cabbage is tender.
- If necessary, pour out excess liquid & add butter, sautéing to coat cabbage.
- Place in a colander and allow to drain while it cools. Set aside.
- Butterfly the pork loin, season both sides with salt and pepper and then brush just the inside with mustard.
- Layer the cooked cabbage on the loin, leaving a ½” boarder and roll loin back into shape. Secure with butcher’s string.
- Sear all sides of the roast in a pan with neutral oil.
- Place in the oven preheated to 375º and roast until a thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145º.
- Remove from the oven and let rest before slicing. Deglaze pan with stock and add back to sauce.
For the Sauce
- Brown pork trimmings and bacon rind.
- Add mirepoix and garlic and caramelize. Degrease and flambé with bourbon.
- Add tomatoes and allow them to release their juice and reduce.
- Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and reinforce for at least 30 minutes. Strain.
- In a separate pan, melt brown sugar until it reaches a dark caramel.
- Add vinegar to deglaze and cook until combined.
- Bring reinforced stock to a boil, reduce to nappant. Add gastrique bit by bit until a balanced flavor is achieved. Add herbs.
Heirloom Bean Salad with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
4 cups Eye of the Goat beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
15 g Worcestershire
2 bay leaves
1 onion, split in half
400 g plum tomatoes
1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
30 g Cider Vinegar
15 g Dark brown sugar
15 g Mustard
85 g Neutral oil, plus more for tomatoes
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered appropriately4 Green onions, sliced on the bias
Salt and black pepper
5 g Chervil, hacher
- Rinse the beans and cover with fresh water in a russe along with bay leaves and onion.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 ½ hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare dressing by slicing plum tomatoes in half, tossing with oil, salt and pepper and placing upside down on a sheet tray.
- Roast tomatoes in an oven set to 300ºF for about one hour. Remove from oven and allow them to come to room temperature.
- Place in a food processor along with garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.
- Strain and then slowly drizzle in oil, either whisking by hand or returned to the processor on low, to create an emulsion.
- When the beans are ready, drain and toss the hot beans in the dressing. Chill.
- Add the tomatoes, green onions and chervil, toss, adjust seasoning and chill.
4 Starchy Potatoes
- Cut potatoes into spheres with a melon baller.
- Just cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the water comes to a boil, strain and allow potatoes a few minutes to dry out.
- Sauté potatoes in neutral oil until golden. Degrease.
- Add butter and finish in an oven set to 375º.
- Place bean salad in the center of a plate. Lay a few slices of pork atop, nap with the sauce and place a few rissoléed potatoes around the plate.
Unibroue Ephemere Apple (white ale brewed with green apple must)