Tag Archives: cranberries

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.

The Drunken Pilgrim

In case of turkey emergency, drink glass.

Our friends Josh and Nette have an annual Pre-Thanksgiving dinner where they feed an apartment full of friends way to much food for the mere price of a signature cocktail to share. In addition to The Gobbler we wanted to pay homage to some classic holiday flavors: cranberry, cinnamon and…bourbon. Make sure to let your guests know if you make a pre-mix, though. We whipped up a big batch and stored it in the cranberry juice bottle, ultimately exacerbating fellow party goers drunkenness as they kept trying to dilute their drinks but ended up pouring themselves double after double. Good, if slightly slurred, times were had by all.

Equipment Needed: Rocks Glass or Highball Glass, Shot Glass, Spoon or Cocktail Mixer

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 shots honey bourbon or whiskey (we used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey with positive results)(about $25/750 ml)
  • 3 shots cranberry juice ($3.99/64 oz)
  • 1 TBSP whole cranberry sauce ($1.89/14 oz can)
  • 1 cinnamon stick ($3.59/2 oz jar)
  • 1 orange ($1.99/lb)
  • Ground cinnamon ($3.59/3.5 oz jar)
  • Ice (free)
  • Black pepper

Preparation:

  • Wash your orange off and slice it crosswise into thin discs. Remove any seeds if you need to and cut a slice from the center to the edge so you can set each disc on the rim of a glass.
  • Add a couple of ice cubes to your glass and scoop in a healthy spoonful of cranberries.
  • Pour in the bourbon and cranberry juice, toss in a cinnamon stick and give it a good stir.
  • Garnish with a dash of ground cinnamon, a grind of fresh black pepper and an orange slice.

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.