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La Belle Cuisine - More Pork Recipes

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High on the Hog




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Pig with Daffodils in Bushel
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Lynn M. Stone
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La Belle Cuisine


High on the Hog

“A few farmers are raising pork the old-fashioned way for
discriminating palates that want taste, not leanness.”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

Thursday January 23, 2003
By Constance Snow

“Living high on the hog: It's an image of luxury and richness that can leave us licking our chops with envy in the Guilted Age of 'the other white meat,' when
mass-produced pork is bred to be leaner (and paler, and drier) for consumers
who want a trimmed-down alternative to chicken.
However, a few independent farmers across the country are bucking the system, supplying restaurants and upscale markets with pork raised for old-fashioned texture and juiciness. Some even grow "designer hogs" for chefs who specify customized programs of care and feeding. And du Breton Farms, North America's largest natural pork producer, has proclaimed itself ‘Proud to be Pink!’
‘Pink equals flavor,’ publicist Denise Zainea explained. ‘Du Breton Farms has stringent criteria for natural livestock raising that include 100-percent vegetarian feed and no administering of hormones or antibiotics. Before cooking, the meat is rosy pink with threads of marbling that impart a rich, succulent flavor.’
Chops, roasts and other prime cuts from the Quebec, Canada, company are avail-able locally at Whole Foods Market, which also carries Farmland natural pork loins. Meanwhile, the Midwestern group of growers known as Pipestone Family Farms plans to place its natural pork in Louisiana supermarkets this spring. Until then, you can order their wares by mail (866-767-8875 or www.pipestonefamilyfarms.com).
Nobody gets higher on the hog than the exuberant chef who proclaims that ‘Pork fat rules!’ Emeril Lagasse has supplied his restaurants with organically grown pork from a Mississippi farm since 1983, but he offered some tasty ideas for those of us who don't share his good connections.
‘I buy regular bone-in pork chops from the supermarket for one of the home dishes I like to do,’ he said. ‘Just sear them in a bit of olive oil, then make a roux in the same pan -- get a good brown color -- and add a lot of sliced onions, a little bit of garlic, salt and pepper. Use chicken stock to make a gravy and add a bay leaf. When it comes together with the consistency to coat a spoon, put the pork chops back in. Sometimes I add pieces of smoked sausage, too. Put a lid on it and let it simmer for an hour. To die for!’
‘Pan-searing is another good and simple way to cook chops,’ he said. "The tendency is to rush them, to use heat that's too high, trying to cook them too fast. What you need is a good moderate heat to sear them on both sides to lock in the flavor; but then reduce the heat to finish cooking, so you don't dry them out.
‘A chef I worked for 30 years ago showed me the secret for an old-time red gravy,’ Lagasse said. ‘Brown a couple of pork rib bones and cook them with the red gravy -- unbelievable, so full-flavored. It changes the whole character, absolutely fantastic!
‘I love cooking pork,’ he said. ‘It's so friendly to seasoning, taking on any personality you want. And it's the backbone staple of sausage making. Pork is
used in nearly every culture. The world would not be the same without it.’
Lagasse agreed to share a couple of more detailed recipes. The first is an easy introduction to the Asian/Polynesian fare that will be served at Lagasse's newest restaurant, Tchoup Chop (pronounced chop-chop), which opens in a few weeks
at Universal Orlando's Royal Pacific Resort. [The restaurant is now open!]
"We call it 'Kalua Pork, but it doesn't contain the coffee liqueur. Kalua is the Hawaiian term for slow cooking," he said. "You can use the basic roasted pork
for all kinds of things. If you did a Latin version, you'd have pulled pork. On
the Tchoup Chop menu, we use it in a lo-mein (noodle) dish mixed with stir-
fried vegetables. Here I've added a recipe for a tropical barbecue sauce for a
simple dish to make at home."
At the other end of the timeline, the Tamarind-Glazed Pork Chops with Molé
Cream and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
was created for the opening of Emeril's. Thirteen years later, it's still a favorite on the menu of Lagasse's original restau-
rant in the New Orleans Warehouse District. It's definitely a special-occasion
dish, not a quick fix, but don't be discouraged by the lengthy list of ingredients.
The various sauces can be prepared well in advance, from 24 hours to one month,
so you have plenty of time to get your show together and start the party with
a BAM!”

Tchoup Chop's Kalua Pork with
Emeril's Barbecue Sauce

Makes 4 servings

Emeril’s Barbecue Sauce
4 cups ketchup
1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
1/2 cup Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Creole or other
spicy whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced jalapeños
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Emeril's Red Pepper Sauce or
other hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix well. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to
three days. (The recipe makes about five cups, but you'll only need two
cups for the amount of roasted pork that follows.)

Kalua Pork
1 3/4 pounds pork Boston butt, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup Emeril's Rib Rub or Essence
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, or chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups Emeril's Barbecue Sauce (see preceding recipe)

In a medium bowl, combine the pork and rib rub, and toss to combine
well. Let marinate, refrigerated, for three hours.
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees [F]. Transfer the pork to a baking dish
large enough to hold it in a single layer. Add the chicken stock and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the meat falls apart, about 4 hours.
Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Using two forks, shred the meat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to caramelize and turn golden, about 8 minutes, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time to prevent them from sticking. Add the barbecue sauce and shredded meat. Cook, stirring, until heated through, three to four minutes. Remove from the heat.


Pork Tenderloin with Pepper Jelly Glaze
From du Breton Farms

Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 whole natural pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pepper jelly [Make your own!]

Heat oven to 450 degrees [F]. In a small bowl, stir together chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper; rub over all surfaces of tenderloin and place in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, or until internal temperature
reads 150 degrees [F] on a meat thermometer.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine vinegar and pepper jelly, stirring constantly to melt jelly. Brush mixture over pork and roast for five minutes more. Remove pork from oven and let rest briefly before slicing to serve. Serve with cornbread or with soft polenta and a salad of sliced cucumbers and red onion.


Peppered Rack of Pork
From du Breton Farms

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 rack of natural pork, 6 to 8 ribs
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper, or
black pepper seasoning blend

Heat oven to 375 degrees [F]. In small bowl, stir together mustard and garlic. With a brush or your fingers, apply the mustard over the outer surface of the pork. Sprinkle the pepper evenly over the mustard layer. Place on rack in shallow roasting pan and roast for about one hour, until internal temperature measures 150 to 155 degrees [F] on a meat thermometer.
Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice between ribs to serve.

High on the Hog continued...
Emeril's Tamarind-Glazed Pork
Chops with Molé Cream

Featured Archive Recipes:
Emeril's Shredded Pork Flautas
Grilled Apricot-and-Sage-Glazed
Pork Chops

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with
Fresh Peach & Ginger Sauce
Pork with Manchamantel Sauce
Roast Pork Calypso Style
Roman Roast Pork Loin)
Standing Pork Roast with Fresh
Herbs (Chef Susan Spicer)


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