Good evening everyone.
It’s been a few days, but I’ve been trying to clear away my leftovers.
Tonight was pork night. Slow, deliciously roasted pork loin chops. No knife needed.
2 pork loin chops
1/2 cup beef stock (home made preferably)
1/2 cup red wine
1 overflowing spoonful of creme fraiche
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
dried parsley (use your judgment)
5 or 6 small gold potatoes, cubed
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
olive oil & butter
1. preheat oven to 350F and chop, smash, season, etc. everything to get it out of the way.
2. rinse and pat dry the pork chops. season generously with salt and pepper.
3. in a saute pan with sides, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. once the butter’s foam subsides, sear the pork on both sides so a nice, brown crust forms. remove when done.
4. in the leftover fat, add onion and saute for about 2-3 minutes. add the garlic, thyme, dried parsley and beef stock. simmer for 2-3 minutes.
5. add dollop of creme fraiche and stir until melted completely. taste and add salt and pepper as needed (you should probably just make it a habit to taste your food constantly…and use a different spoon every time you do)
6. simmer for 1 minute, then add the red wine. simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the alcohol has cooked out.
7. add pork to a small roasting pan. pour liquid over chops, and add potatoes to the pan. cover the pan with foil and put in the oven for 2-2 1/2 hours. After one hour, flip the pork. After 2 hours, check the pork. If you can pierce it easily with a fork, it’s done (the fork should really melt into the meat with little to no force on your behalf).
I’ve got the beginnings of a cold right now, and this was one of the best comfort-food dishes for it. It wasn’t too heavy, it was nourishing (pork is always good for the soul), and the meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender. It was practically falling apart as I sliced into it with the fork. UGH, SO GOOD. The creme fraiche added a whole other level to the sauce. It lightened it up while thickening it. So savory, so good. I could’ve eaten 5 more chops like this. The potatoes were perfectly cooked. They just absorbed all the delicious flavors of the pork, beef stock, creme fraiche, red wine, garlic….everything. Delicious. It seems like 2 hours, in my oven, was the perfect amount of time. I encourage you to braise things. Yes, these dishes take hours, but come on…I got all my laundry done in the meantime. Plus, your house will smell SO GOOD.
Good evening everyone.
It seems as though the rain in Boston is finally over, just in time for the marathon. Fortunately, my apartment is located right along the route, so tomorrow shall be quite interesting!
After a very stressful weekend, I decided to make something savory and delicious for dinner tonight. Something involving red wine and braising in the oven. In my effort to get rid of as much food as possible within the next two weeks, I dug some oxtails out of the freezer. Perfect.
I don’t know the chemistry behind this, but red wine develops the most unctuous, decadent, luscious flavor once the alcohol has cooked off. And when braised for 3 1/2 hours in the oven with vegetables and your meat of choice, it becomes the most velvety, savory sauce. It blows my mind every single time. Seriously, every time. This is a dish I can get enthusiastic about. The meat literally pulls right off the bone, which is an accomplishment for oxtails. The meat is pretty tough, so getting it tender is a challenge. I’ve stewed oxtails in the past to a degree of success, but never have I had oxtails so tender as these. Braising in the oven is truly the way to go.
Oxtails Braised in Red Wine, adopted from here
2 meaty oxtails
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sweet or hot Spanish smoked paprika
3/4 cup red wine, such as a Shiraz
1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat oxtails dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown oxtails in batches without crowding, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer as browned to a bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot.
Cook onion, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf in fat in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Add paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Add oxtails with any juices accumulated in bowl and chopped tomatoes (liquid should come about halfway up sides of meat) and bring to a boil.
Cover pot and braise oxtails in lower third of oven, turning once or twice, until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Skim fat from sauce, then add salt and pepper to taste.
I made some spaghetti with this dish, as you can see. It made a good accompaniment, especially with the sauce.
Some of you may gawk at the 3 1/2 hours it takes to cook. Don’t judge, your efforts are rewarded.