Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hogs is Coming

It is March, which means that it's time to put away your overcoats and parade ladders and break out your trailerable outdoor cookers for Hogs for the Cause 2011. Tickets on sale now for the obscene low price of $10. Pork, music, and beer - what more could you ask for? World Peace, really that is what you want? Loser.

March also means that it's time for another installment of things to make with pork. Starting with this: spinach, a pork tenderloin, a red pepper, and parsnips.

First thing first, make a marinade by combining a 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, a few dashes of hot sauce, some salt, and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

Take your pork tenderloin and slice it into 2 inch or so medallions. Pour the marinade over the medallions and rub in. Leave it be for as long as you got. I had two hours; the pork could have gone longer.

Peel and slice your parsnips. Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375 degree oven, tossing a few times, until they're crusty but still soft. Remove from oven and puree with cream and butter. Keep warm, before serving, taste, adjust seasoning. There, you just made parsnip puree. The sweet, almost cinnamon flavor of parsnips is very surprising and welcome in this dish.

Heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat until little wisps of smoke start escaping. Meanwhile, remove the pork medallions from the marinade and dry thoroughly. Coat the bottom of your cast iron pan with canola oil, wait til it shimmers and add the pork. Cook for about 5 minutes per side until a nice crust forms on each, then place in a 375 degree oven for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow meat to rest.

Finely dice your red pepper and a shallot, then add this to a saute pan set on medium heat with a good glug of olive oil. Saute for 4 minutes or so, add salt and pepper, and then the spinach. Once the spinach starts wilting, toss to combine, and splash on about 2 tablespoons of vinegar (champagne or red wine is best here). Taste adjust seasoning.

Serve immediately.

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