Nha Trang, Vietnam
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Jean-Georges's Pork in Caramel
"Vegetables are interesting but lack a sense of purpose when
unaccompanied by a good cut of meat."
~ Fran Lebowitz
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Pork in Caramel Sauce
sweet-and-salty caramel sauce is classic Vietnamese, but Jean-Georgess addition of
shallots, and especially butter, makes this unique."
Makes 4 servings.
Jean-Georges: Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef
by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman, 1998, Broadway Books
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup nam pla or nuoc mam (Asian fish sauce)
4 shallots, thinly sliced (use a mandoline if you have one)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
1 pound pork or veal loin or tenderloin, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 tablespoon canola, grapeseed, or other neutral-flavored oil
1 tablespoon butter
Coarse salt (optional)
1. Place the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high
Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until it melts and turns the same color
pla dark golden brown. Remove from the heat and, at arms
length (this will
spatter), add the nam pla.
2. Return the pan to the stove, turn the heat to low, and add the
shallots; cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the shallots are tender and the
is a gorgeous shade of brown. Add 1 teaspoon black pepper and
set aside to cool.
3. Add the vinegar to the sauce and stir. Season the meat very
lightly with salt, then place it on a plate with about 2/3 of the sauce.
4. Place the oil in a large skillet and turn the heat to high. When
it smokes, add the meat and cook on one side until it browns, about 2 minutes. Turn over
the meat and cook on the other side for 1 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter, along with half of
the sauce from the plate (discard the remaining sauce on the plate). Cook, turning as
necessary, until the meat is beautifully browned on both sides. Dress with the reserved
sauce, sprinkle with a little coarse salt, if you like, and serve.
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