Tagged: pork

16 Jun

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Pork Medallions with Miso Sauce – New Video Recipe

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Pork, in particular pork tenderloin, is one of the leanest and most tender cuts of meat. Did you know that pork tenderloin actually rivals chicken breast as far as being one of the healthiest and leanest meats available? It is also relatively inexpensive, as there are no bones and little fat…therefore there is very little waste. Pork tenderloin is available in most supermarkets. It is often sold in multiples, but it does freeze well. Generally a tenderloin weighs between 3/4 to 1 1/4 pounds each and will feed between 2 to 4 people. The loin itself can either be cooked whole or cut into medallions.

Here is a quick and tasty video recipe for Pork Medallions with Miso Sauce.

However, this oh-so-versatile cut of pork can be broiled, grilled, barbecued, sautéed, pan-fried and it also lends itself well to a variety of different seasonings, rubs, marinades and brines. Here are a few more recipes for pork tenderloin:

Tapas-Style Pork Tenderloin

Southeast-Asian Pork Satays

Pork with Morel-calvados Sauce

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/ Apple Sage Jus

And one of Joe’s all time favorites, Panang Curry with Pork…honestly I am not exaggerating, he literally requests this dish every week. In fact, today is his birthday (shh…don’t tell him I told you), so guess what’s for dinner!

Happy Cooking!

ciao for now

dawn

19 Nov

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Berkshire Pork | Are All Pigs Equal?

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You may have heard of Berkshire pork, it’s on the menu of many fancy restaurants, such as Spago?s in Beverley Hills or the French Laundry in California. It is also referred to as Kurobuta – meaning black pig in Japanese (Berkshire pork is very popular in Japan). Berkshire pork is a heritage breed of pig, which was discovered over 300 years ago in Berkshire County in the United Kingdom. Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. It is thought by many to be the Kobe beef of pork. It is said to have a very specific taste, not generic and bland or mild like regular pork.

It seems that there is a crucial link between a pig?s diet and the flavor of the pork. Most industrially raised pigs survive on corn and soybeans, while Berkshire pigs often eat (or should I say ?dine?) on oats, molasses, fresh vegetables and fruits. Pigs are unique because the fat that they eat is redistributed into their muscle fiber – Meaning that pigs are, literally, what they eat. So, what a pig is fed is very important to how it tastes.

I even read about a farmer that literally put this to the test. One year he fed his pigs scraps?they had a fairly bland taste. The next year he fed them Chinese food and he said they were extremely greasy and generally not very good. The next year (like he wasn?t getting the idea by now) he fed them Dunkin? Donuts and he said they were inedible?like duh…poor little piggies.

In fact, there have been loads of taste tests, studies and general research done on Berkshire pigs?they all say that Berkshire pork is genetically predisposed to producing the finest quality pork due to its shorter muscle fibers and lots of marbling, which contributes to both the flavor and the tenderness. They also say that the reason why Berkshire pork is so juicy and tender, is the lack of stress on the animal. Stress causes the meat to be dry and tough. Berkshire pigs are apparently raised in a low-stress environment. Meaning that they are usually allowed to roam where they want and they have plenty of shade to keep them cool.

This was all very interesting to me, however nowadays, I often ask myself “how much of this is just marketing”. I wondered if this “Berkshire Pork” could really be that much better for the price. A regular pork rack was $7.99 a pound, while the Berkshire pork was $12.99 a pound.

So was it better? Holy “Berkshire Pork” Batman, it was fantastic. The first bite stopped me dead in my tracks. The texture, juiciness, and all of the other stuff they said about it, was true. It really was divine.

Would I spend that kind of money every time, seeing that a 4-rack roast cost me about $35 dollars? I am not sure that I would (only because I am not rich though, as it was really delicious), but if you were to brine a regular rack, cooked it properly and most importantly, made sure that it was well rested, it would still be really good.

I do have to say though, that I think because I spent what I did on the pork, dinner seemed to more of an event, which was really nice. We talked about the pork (okay me) all day and I took great care when I cooked it which made things much more fun. So, I suppose in the end it really was worth it, especially when you think of how much it would have cost if we went out for dinner and had it.

Here, is my recipe for “Slow Roasted Pork Rack” if you are interested. It also happens to go really well with the Braised kale and Soft Polenta.

Has anyone else tried Berkshire pork, and if so, what did you think?

Ciao for now,

dawn