Tag Archives: pork

Ale-brined Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork, nuts, fruit and stuffing; a meal in every bite.

The other white meat can sometimes fall victim to being boring, which is a fate we blame on people with no imagination. We turn this one up to 11 by soaking it with a badass brine and stuffing it full of home cooking favorites like, well, stuffing and cranberries. It’s almost a complete meal in and of itself but that shouldn’t stop you from pairing it with some mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables to cap things off.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Large Container with Lid, Large Roasting Pan (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cooking Twine, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Whisk, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin ($7.99/lb)
  • 16 oz brown ale (price varies)(we actually used an old autumn ale, you can use English ale, winter ale or almost anything other than an overly hoppy IPA or barley wine)
  • 2 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1/3 C  pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries ($2.99/6 oz bag)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 box of instant stuffing (about $2.50/6 oz box) (don’t judge us, just be sure you check the instructions on the box, the recipe typically requires a few tablespoons of butter and water)
  • 2 large apples ($2.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead a bit on this one because you’ll want to brine the pork loin for at least 2 hours before you cook it. 6-10 hours is ideal.
  • For the brine combine your beer, cider, maple syrup & salt in the 5 QT pot. Whisk it all together, place it over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly until the syrup and salt are dissolved.

Beer here!

  • Once it’s boiling, transfer the brine to your large container add a tray of ice cubes to accelerate the cooling process and thin it out a bit. Pop it in the fridge until it’s chilled (this should take about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • While you’re waiting for things to cool, trim any excess fat off of your pork loin and give it a good rinse.
  • When your brine is cold, place the pork in it an add the rosemary & peppercorns. Cover the dish and pop it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours; the longer you leave it in the more tender it’ll get.

Make sure you have enough brine to fully cover your meat.

  • When you can’t holdout any longer preheat the oven to 375°F and take the pork out of the brine. Rinse it, pat it dry, and put it on a plate to bring it to room temperature (at least 15 minutes). Save the rosemary sprigs for later.
  • While you’re waiting for the pork to warm, cook up your stuffing. This typically involves bringing water and butter to a boil, stirring in the stuffing and letting it sit in a covered pot for 5-8 minutes. Chop up the walnuts and stir them in along with the dried cranberries.

Chop the walnuts into manageable chunks but be careful not to pulverize them.

  • When the pork is un-chilled, butterfly it (a.k.a. cut it almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a sub roll).
  • Slice up your apples into thin pieces, lengthwise and use them to line each interior side of the loin. Spoon in your stuffing and lay the rosemary sprigs from the brine across the top.

Be careful not to over-stuff the meat, you need to be able to tie it up without too much excess.

  • Squeeze everything together and tie up the loin with butcher’s twine.

It's a good idea to pre-cut your twine so you don't have to do it with porky hands.

  • Pop the pork in the oven and cook it for about 45-60 minutes until it registers at about 165° F on your meat thermometer.
  • As with all meat let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Remove the twine, slice into 1-2 inch discs and serve.

Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza

Red checkered tablecloth sold separately.

Living in New York we’ve come to realize that pizza allegiances border on religious zealotry to which we say, why restrict yourself when it comes to pie? Thanks to Jake’s friend Sandy’s suggestion we tried making a deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet and, to no one’s surprise, the woman was right. It’s almost too easy, which is to say, why aren’t you making one right now?

Equipment Needed: Cast Iron Skillet, Frying Pan, Mixing Bowl, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Microplane,Wooden Spoon

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chianti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Cabernet Sauvignon

Suggested Beer Pairing: Red Ales, less-hoppy Pale Ales, Brown Ales, Amber Ales

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-made ball of pizza dough (we used a garlic herb dough that suited us just fine)(about $1.99/package)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli ($2.99/bunch)
  • 1  small onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 small red bell pepper ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella ($7.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • 1 – 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes ($2.19/each)
  • 1/3 C shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ($12.99/lb)
  • extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 400° F.
  • Mince your garlic cloves and rosemary together to get them as fine as possible.
  • Put a frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil to the bottom to help keep things moving. Remove the sausages from their casings, throw them in the pan and break them up with your spoon. Toss in the garlic and rosemary and cook until lightly browned (about 5-8 minutes).

Be careful not to overcook the sausage, it's still going in the oven once you're done here.

  • While the sausage is cooking away, pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into your cast iron skillet. Rub the oil around the pan so the sides and bottom are evenly coated. Proceed to spread the pizza dough across the bottom and up to the top of the skillet’s rim. Remember, this is a deep dish so you want to make a crust that can support the mountain of toppings you’re about to add.

You're gonna need to work the dough a bit to get it to stay up along the sides.

  • Cut your mozzarella into 1/8th inch – 1/4 inch slices and line the bottom of the crust. That’s right, traditional Chicago deep dish puts the cheese on first. Here’s a towel to wipe up your mind that just got blown all over.

We highly recommend splurging on the freshest mozzarella you can find for this one; it's a noticeable difference.

  • Slice up your onion and pepper into thin strips and cut your broccoli into small florets. Spread these veggies evenly over the top of the cheese.
  • Open the can of tomatoes and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and some crushed red pepper if you want to give it a little kick. When the sausage is done pour it in with the tomatoes and stir everything together. Spoon it into the pie to cover everything and make sure to distribute the sauce evenly for uniform cooking.

Spread the sauce evenly and fill every space not occupied by cheese or veggies.

  • Pop that monster into the oven for about 20 minutes. You’ll have to check in on your pizza around 18 minutes and every couple of minutes after that to make sure things are cooking evenly. The crust should be crispy and the sauce should be bubbling when it’s done. Grate on some Parmigiano to finish things off and let it rest for about 10 minutes to allow the toppings to set up a bit for easier serving and eating; the skillet will keep it warm.

3 Little Pigs Pork Chops with Spinach and White Beans

Time for some hot pig-on-pig-in-pig action.

This recipe came to us in a vision as we were pondering how to put as much pork in a dish as possible. Pork chops, pork sausage and, of course, bacon bring the whole hog to the table while the spinach and bean accompaniment make you feel slightly less guilty (while cutting the richness a bit). Maple syrup keeps the vice train chugging along, providing a nice sweet complement to the protein.

Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Wooden Spoon, Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Small Bowl, Pastry Brush or Basting Brush, Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

Suggested Beer Pairing: Dunkelwiess, Lager, Medium-bodied Ales

Ingredients:

  • 4 center cut bone-in pork chops ($4.50/lb)
  • 12 strips of bacon ($6.99/lb)
  • 3 links of sweet Italian sausage (about 1/2 lb) ($3.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 can cannellini beans ($1.69/10.75 oz can)
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach ($1.79/10 oz box)
  • 1/4 C pilsner or American lager (we used Budweiser) (price varies)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • 1/2 C grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Put your frying pan over medium heat and coat the bottom with olive oil. Toss in the onion and cook it down for about 5 minutes.
  • While your veg is cooking, remove the casings from your sausage links and chop up the meat. When the onion has softened add the sausage and cook it until it’s browned, about 8 minutes, making sure to keep it broken up with your spoon.

Skin those sausages!

  • As your sausage cooks (yes, you’ll need to multi-task) place the pork chops on a cutting board and run your knife down the horizontal center of the meat to create a pocket.

Be careful not to cut all the way through the chop and keep firm pressure on it so your knife doesn't slip.

  • Once the sausage mixture is properly browned, spoon it into each chop being sure not to over-stuff them. (Turn the stove off, but don’t clean the pan, you’ll want the scrapings for later.)

Try to resist the urge to overstuff the chop so you can still wrap the bacon around each piece.

  • Lay out 3 strips of bacon on your cutting board. Give the pork chops a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper and wrap the bacon around the each piece.

Wrap the chop so the loose ends of the bacon will sit on the bottom of the baking pan.

  • Remove the rosemary leaves from the stalk and mince them up. In a small bowl, mix them in with the maple syrup and use your brush to coat each pork chop evenly on all sides. Pop those little piggies in the oven for 30 minutes. They’re done when the juice runs clear or the internal temperature reaches 160°F (or about 155° if you like them on the medium side).

Spinach and Beans Preparation:

  • While your pork chops are cooking, take your frying pan and turn the stove back up to medium. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then pour in the beer and scrape the tasty bits off the bottom.
  • Drain the beans and throw them in. Add the spinach, vinegar and a palmful of salt and pepper and stir occasionally until things are warmed through, about 15 minutes or so.

Remember to drain the beans so the spinach doesn't end up too soggy.

  • When the pork chops are finished lay down a bed of veggies and place them on top. Proceed with amazing porky excess.

Swedish Meatballs with Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Our ultimate comfort food.

This recipe is what we think of when someone says “meat and potatoes.” A childhood favorite of ours, these Swedish meatballs come by way of Minnesota where our 93 year-old grandmother has been churning out tasty two-biters for three generations. We took a couple of liberties in sprucing up of the mashed potatoes but there’s no need to mess with perfection otherwise.

Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, 2 Mixing Bowls, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6-8

Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Shiraz, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Glögg

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, Porter, Stout

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef ($3.99/lb)
  • 12 oz tube of breakfast pork sausage (about $3.99)
  • 4 pieces of sliced bread (about $2.99/loaf)
  • 2 eggs ($2.79/dozen)
  • 1 1/2 C milk divided ($1.19/QT)
  • 6 potatoes ($1.49/lb)
  • 3/4 C sour cream, divided ($1.49/16 oz)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup ($1.69/10.5 oz can)
  • 1/3 C grated onion (about 1 small onion)($0.99/lb)
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 2-3 TSP allspice ($2/2.5 oz jar)
  • 2-3 TSP sage ($2/2.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Mashed Potato Preparation:

  • Wash the potatoes and remove any eyes or bad spots. Cut then into halves (or quarters if they’re big) and put them in the pot.
  • Peel the garlic and cut it in half as well. Cover the pot and put it over high heat. Once it comes to a boil add the garlic and rosemary sprigs and cook until you can easily slide a fork into the potatoes (about 20-30 minutes).
  • When they’re cooked, drain the potatoes and remove the rosemary sprigs (you can take the garlic out if you please, but we leave it in). Add 1/4 C of sour cream, about 3 TBSP of milk and 2 TBSP of butter. Mash and mix thoroughly.

Meatball Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Tear your pieces of bread in half and put them in a mixing bowl. Pour in about a cup of milk so the pieces are covered evenly and let them soak for about 10 minutes.

Soak in the wholesome goodness.

  • As the bread is soaking add the beef and pork sausage to another mixing bowl. Grate in the onion, crack the eggs in and add the sage, allspice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze some of the excess milk out of the bread you’ve been soaking (you want the pieces to still be pretty soggy) and tear the pieces into the meat and spice mix.

A cheese grater provides the right consistency so your onion mixes better.

One handed!

  • Using your hands squish and mix everything together so it’s evenly distributed; there’s no other way to do this so get in there and play with your food a bit.
  • Now the best part. You want to make sure the seasoning is right since it’s hard to readjust once the meatballs have been cooked. To do so, pull out a small lump of the meat mix (about the size of a quarter and 1/2 inch thick) and put it on a plate in the microwave. Cook it on high for about 45 seconds, let it cool and taste it. It shouldn’t be too salty, sage and allspice should be evenly balanced and there should be just enough pepper for a little bite. Adjust your seasoning to taste and retest if necessary.
  • When you’re ready to bake them take a little less than a palmful of meat and roll it into a ball. The ideal size for Swedish meatballs is one to two bites, so make these smaller than you would if you were making their Italian cousins. Pop them in your baking pan and throw those bad boys in the oven for 30 minutes.

Roll 'em up, but be careful not to pack them too densely.

  • When 30 minutes is up, mix the cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 C of sour cream and 1/4 C of milk together thoroughly. Pour the sauce over the top of the meatballs and make sure you’ve coated each one evenly. Pop them back in the oven for another 10 minutes to finish cooking. Serve with lingonberry jam, cranberry sauce (the closest American equivalent) and/or spicy mustard.

Carolina-style Honey Mustard Pulled Pork with Coleslaw

Nirvana on a bun.

Easy. Repeat after us, “easy.” When you realize that the preparation of the accompaniment is more complicated than something as delicious as pulled pork you’ll punch yourself in the face for not making this earlier. This is a sweet and spicy play on Carolina-style (read: vinegar-based) barbecue that’s a no-fail FAF (fire and forget; there, we can make catchphrases too).

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Dutch Oven or Heavy Oven-proof Pot, Colander, Mixing Bowl, Cheese Grater, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Spoon, 2 Forks

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Shiraz, Oaky Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Red Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs boneless pork butt (usually around $2/lb)
  • 1 head cabbage ($1.50/lb)
  • 2 large carrots ($1.99/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 1 clove garlic ($1.99/lb)
  • 1/2 C mayonnaise ($3.99/15 oz)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon ($0.50/each)
  • 2 TBSP white vinegar ($1.99/32 oz)
  • 1 C honey mustard ($3/12 oz)
  • 1/2 C sugar ($2.39/2 lb box)
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • 3/4 C apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 1/4 C water (free)
  • 2 1/2 TBSP chili powder ($3/3.5 oz jar)
  • 1 TSP cayenne pepper ($3/2 oz jar
  • 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce ($3.75/10 oz)
  • Hamburger buns (optional) ($2.89/8 pack)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Pork Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  • Whisk together the following ingredients in your dutch oven and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes: apple cider vinegar, both sugars, honey mustard, chili powder, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, water, garlic clove (peeled and halved), and 2 TBSP black pepper.

    Whisk that sauce up and make sure the bottom doesn't burn.

  • While your barbecue brew is cooking away salt and pepper your pork thoroughly. Once the sauce is ready pop that little piggy in and throw it in the oven for 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until you can slide a fork into it with no resistance.
  • Using two forks, pull the meat apart until it’s fully shredded and has reabsorbed some of the barbecue sauce. Serve by itself or on a bun with a healthy scoop of slaw.

Shred that little piggy up real nice-like.

Coleslaw Preparation:

  • Peel and wash your carrots, then shred them down on your cheese grater.

A cheese grater makes short work of the carrots and keeps the pieces consistent.

  • Wash the cabbage and  cut it off the core in quarters. Turn each piece on its side and slice into thin pieces (as thin as you can get without losing any fingertips).

Cut that cruciferous beauty into thin slices.

  • Peel and cut the onion into eighths and slice into thin pieces (same fingertip rule applies).
  • Throw everything in a mixing bowl, add the vinegar, lemon juice and mayo and stir it all together. Adjust the creaminess with more or less mayo and vinegar accordingly. Salt and pepper to taste and serve alongside (or on top of as we prefer) that beautiful pork butt.

Lavender and Rosemary Pork Loin

Behold our juicy loin!

Growing our own herbs has inspired us to seek out flavors that we normally wouldn’t work with. Enter lavender leaves, imparting a delicate floral note that complements our fresh-picked rosemary like mustaches do hipsters. Lean pork makes the perfect protein to bring everything together and pairs well with roasted veggies and/or mashed potatoes. Cook up a loin tonight and smile smugly knowing you’ve got sustainable flavor.

Equipment Needed: Roasting Pan (w/ rack if possible), Cutting Board, Chef’s Knife, Gallon Freezer Bag (or) Plastic Container (for marinating the pork loin), Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsners, Fruit Beers, Hefeweizen

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin ($5.99/lb)
  • 4 TBSP fresh lavender (not sure, we grew our own but the plant was $3)
  • 2 TBSP fresh rosemary (around $4 for a fresh bunch)
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz)
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP honey ($4/12 oz)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Trim and wash the pork loin then place it in the plastic bag or container.
  • Chop the herbs and sprinkle over the meat.

Chop the herbs into the smallest pieces you can to release their oils, ergo their flavors

  • Add the vinegar and oil, salt and pepper (about a TBSP each), seal the bag and squish things around so the meat is evenly coated. Toss it in the fridge overnight like a mafia informant.

Be careful not to overseason, you don't want to dry the meat.

  • When you’re ready to cook the next day preheat your oven to 400° F. Take the meat out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes to bring it up to temperature. Place in the roasting pan and cook fat-side down for 20 minutes. Flip it over so the fat’s on the top and put it back for another 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, coat with honey and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150°F. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Coat in honey for a sweet finish.

Pilgrim Pork Chops with Maple Roasted Squash

 
porkchops

The lighting is bad, but the dish is good.

Fall is in full swing and so is the Brothers’ kitchen as we keep thinking of ways to reinvent some of our favorite comfort foods. Gussy up this stalwart of porcine cuts with some hints of Thanksgiving and a little alliteration. Maple roasted squash brings everything together with a sweet reminder that takeout is severely overrated.

Equipment Needed: 2-13 x 9 Baking Pans (or a Baking Pan and something to roast squash in; think baking sheet or roasting pan), Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Vegetable Peeler, Basting Brush, Plate, Cup or Bowl, Wax Paper, Rolling Pin (or heavy can), Meat Thermometer

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine or Beer Pairing: Pinot Noir, Old Vine Zinfandel, Oaky Chardonnay, Heavier Ales (think Bitters, Reds, Browns or dark Belgians)

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless center cut pork chops (about $5/lb)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/bag)
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries (about $6.99/16 oz)
  • Honey, about 1/4 C ($3.99/12 oz)
  • 1 large butternut squash ($)
  • 3 TBSP Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle)
  • 2 TBSP butter ($2.99/lb)
  • Extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/34 oz bottle)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat your oven to 35o° F before you start anything else. Trim and rinse the pork chops.
  • Place the walnuts on a piece of wax paper and fold it over so they’re covered. Take your rolling pin or heavy rolling device and crush those nuts into tiny pieces so it becomes just slightly chunkier than breadcrumbs.
crushing

Walnut crushing, taking out your aggression from work since 1620.

  • On an extra plate, mix together the walnuts and cranberries. Drizzle honey over each side of each pork chop and press the chop onto the mixture (again, both sides) to coat evenly. We suggest honeying one side at a time so things don’t get too messy. Toss those little piggies into your baking pan and let them do their thing in the oven for about an hour, or until the internal temperature is around 160° F. You can eat pork a little on the rarer side these days thanks to modern medicine, but you still don’t want it bloody.
coating

Coat your chops.

  • Once the pig is in the oven, peel your squash and cut it in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the guts and cut the remainders into 1-1 1/2 inch chunks.
scooping

Give your squash a seedectomy.

  • Throw the squash into your other baking device and evenly coat the pieces in olive oil. Add a reasonable amount of salt and pepper and toss them in the oven too. Ideally you’ll do this about 10-20 minutes after the pork’s gone in; the squash will take around 45 minutes.
  • While everything’s cooking, put your butter and maple syrup in your receptacle of choice and heat them in the microwave until they can be mixed with a fork. Make it easy on yourself and avoid boiling butter and splattering by heating it in 30 second intervals until ready. Once your squash has been roasting for about 30 minutes, take it out and brush the buttery maple goodness on every piece, then return them to finish cooking. Serve with mittens to get in the full fall mood. 
brushing

Better brush strokes than anything hanging in The Met.