Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pork and why I can't nuke things.

I'm still embroiled in all my first world problems. The big addition has been the total and utter lack of hot water since oh..... 10pm last night. They almost had me fooled into soaking under a hot shower to ease my congestion but fortunately I loaded the dishwasher first and noted the odd and horrible sound that indicated it had ran out of ANY kind of water 10 mins in.
I am therefore Thankful. If I had had the hot water shut off on me mid shower I would have seriously lost my Schmidt. Which makes me cough.
Instead I set to the task of making dinner with no energy and no running water. Oh and instead of just nuking things I actually have to cook because.
1. I said I didn't need a microwave when we moved and I'm not backing down now.
2. There is no where in my postage stamp kitchen to put one. Seriously I have something like 24 inches sq of counter space as it is.
3. We have a thing about wasting food. We do that way to much. That means the Pork loin I 'rainchecked' from Sunday dinner will be in the trash tomorrow. Which is gluttonous and bad and there are Starving Children In Africa. (This is not only true but has been uttered with small variations since biblical times)

In the best of internet traditions I googled it while polling FB for thoughts. Then I realized I miss my mother and I'm a long way from home. Then I just sort of threw things in my big stockpot, flipped the heat down to low and returned to my recliner.

Here's what I did.

2.5lb pork loin (Cut into 1inch cubes)
Half an onion diced
half a Jonagold apple. also chunked up.
1 bottle of hard cider
chili powder (1/2tsp or more to taste)
kosher salt.*
bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil

(* there are no measurements because the thrifty women that taught me to cook didn't use recipes. They sprinkled, pinched, tasted, poked and tutted til they liked how it tasted and called it good. Its not rocket science or I wouldn't be able to do it :-)


Put the diced meet in a gallon zip lock bag. add your seasonings and a drizzle of oil. shake to coat and remember you can add more salt and pepper later.
In that big pasta/stock pot heat some more olive oil. in batches sear the pork on all sides. It took 3 batches when I did it.
Then the onion goes in. when its nice and soft add the apple and let it get nicely caramelized. make sure you're getting lots of crust on the bottom. if you start running low on oil in the pan add a knob of butter for flavour.
De-glaze with the pan with the cider making sure to scrape the pan for those scrummy burnt bits.
back goes all that meat and with the rest of the bottle of cider. in with the bay leaf and on with the lid.
Flip the heat to low and LEAVE IT ALONE. Strictly alone. For hours. At least four.
check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
Serve it over rice/cous-cous or in my case roasted potatoes.

A taste of Autumn from south Somerset in Texas. with only about 30minutes real effort If you get your husband to make the sides from the freezer stash of Alexia spuds.

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