Monday, December 26, 2005

Boxing day

Patient Mr. Scruffy, the Idaho potato terrier, Christmas 2005.

Dinner tonight will be festive, but different. We managed to get MM to make us a nice big pork loin, so we'll be feasting on Bruce Aidell's recipe from his meat cookbook for tuscan herb infused pork loin with a few less garlic cloves.

I still feel like crap and sound like a tubercular, so TH has grounded me from talking or moving for the rest of the day. I actually feel fine, I just sound terrible.

Here is the recipe - it makes an amazing sandwich the following day.

Tuscan Herb Infused Pork Loin

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tablespoons dried
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage or 1 tablespoon dried
2 teaspoons crushed fennel seed, see cook's notes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Pan Sauce:
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or beef broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook's notes: To crush fennel seed, process in a small food processor or place in a heavy, zipper-style plastic bag and pound with a mallet.

Preliminaries: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1. Brush meat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Combine herbs, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Rub over meat. Drizzle meat with additional 1 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Brush shallow roasting pan with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and scatter sliced garlic on bottom to provide a bed for the roast. Place roast on garlic, fat side up. Place in middle of preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn oven to 300 degrees. Roast 1 1/4 hours longer or until instant-read thermometer reads 150 degrees. Remove from oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Prepare sauce. Pour off fat and add wine to the roasting pan. Bring to boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Add broth and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. If desired, strain the sauce. Taste and add salt and/or pepper as needed. Slice pork and spoon sauce over the top.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional information (per serving): 355 calories, 22 grams fat, 7.1 grams saturated fat, 102 milligrams cholesterol, 1,007 milligrams sodium, 58 percent calories from fat

Source: "The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly (Houghton Mifflin, 1998, $35)

Served with roast potatoes, stuffing and green beans it should be nice way to cap off the mid part of the festive period.

Cool things to note:

I noticed today that the sarcacocca is starting to bloom, should smell great in a few.
Oh, and TH found the first snowdrops! whoo hooo!



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