Hello, smart shoppers! Before we get to today's column, I'd like to share some information with you.
Pot pies have been a staple in the freezer section forever. In a pinch they're a great quick dinner, however, read the label: one pot pie is a serving for two. Even a kid can eat a whole pot pie!
Today's column is all about pork, "the other white meat." Pork is considered a low-fat meat.
Roast loin of pork, boneless pork roast and narrow boneless pork tenderloin has no more fat than a chicken thigh.
When I say pork, am I talking about ribs or sausage? Of course not, but you already knew that.
Love pork chops but can't afford them? Loin of pork is often on sale. Did you ever notice how much more expensive pork chops are compared to a loin of pork? I wonder where those chops came from? Aha, I know, from a pork loin.
If you want chops, buy a loin and ask the butcher to cut it into chops. Some may have an extra bone but they're still chops and the price doesn't change.
Same goes for double pork chops to stuff; they're very expensive unless you ask the butcher to cut double chops from a loin with or without the bone, the price stays the same.
A narrow, boneless pork tenderloin (long, slender piece of meat usually in a cry-o-vac package) is the lowest-fat cut of pork, followed by a boneless pork loin.
Buy a boneless pork loin when it's on sale and ask the butcher to do the same, a roast, chops or double chops or do it yourself. Buy a kitchen scale that goes up to 10 pounds, it's invaluable. Did I mention pork cutlets?
The problem I have found with a (bone in) pork loin is the way they hack the bones apart at the bottom of the roast, supposedly to facilitate easy slicing for serving. It never works. You ruin the roast as you try to slice it. Make your life easier. Ask the butcher to do three things for you. Trim most of the fat. Cut the roast into chops. Tie it back up so it looks like a roast again. When the meat is done, simply cut the strings and your roast is already sliced.
If you've tried roasting pork tenderloin, you have found it cannot be cooked by using conventional methods, (325 degrees for 35 minutes per pound), without overcooking and gravy is a near impossibility.
I've come up with a fool-proof, fast method. Dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
Enjoy. See you next week.
LOIN OF PORK
2-1/2 to 3 pounds pork loin roast, boneless or bone in
Salt and pepper
Ground marjoram (optional)
Rub meat all over with a light sprinkling of marjoram. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast in a pan on a rack in a 325-degree oven, allowing 35 minutes per pound.
Times have changed, so if you prefer your pork slightly pink, it's OK. Shorten cooking time to 30 minutes per pound.
When roast is done, remove to a platter and prepare the gravy.
Add about 1/2-cup water to pan and heat, scraping up all browned drippings. Pour into saucepan, de-fatting with ice cubes. When chilled, remove remaining cubes and fat with a slotted spoon.
Thicken gravy with a little flour and water shaken together in a jar. If necessary, season with powdered bouillon and add more color with Gravy Master.
For a boneless roast, slice thin. For a bone-in roast, cut string off roast. Serve with applesauce.
Time the roast according to size. A 2-1/4 pound narrow roast will feed five generously.
You must use a metal pan, not a glass roasting pan such as Pyrex. The glass will crack at the temperature we will be using.
Sprinkle roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder. We will first broil then bake the meat. Broil meat on all sides until it is nice and dark brown. This procedure will seal in the juices and give you a wonderful base for gravy.
Remove meat from oven, preheat to 425 degrees. Roast meat for 12 to 13 minutes per pound. Remove to serving platter and prepare gravy as directed in loin of pork. Serve with applesauce.
For a cookbook, visit www.romancingthestove.net.