Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Palate-Pleasing Pork Recipes

Bacon-Wrapped Apple-Raisin Pork Loin

Crisp Virginia bacon keeps your pork loin tender while tart Granny Smith apples and sweet California raisins flavor the meat, providing your taste buds with an avalanche of savory delight. Serve with baked acorn squash, roasted new potatoes, chunks of tender turnip and whole carrots.

Place the pork tenderloin in a plastic zipper bag with the apple cider, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and star anise pods. Marinate it in the refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours.

Remove the pork loin from the bag and pour the marinade into a saucepan, including the cinnamon and star anise. Wash your hands with soap and water.

Add the apple butter, raisins and molasses and bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Remove the anise pods and cinnamon sticks from the raisin sauce.

Lay the pork loin on a plastic cutting sheet so its length runs left to right. Make a slit from left to right, halfway down the side. Make a second and third slit, if needed, until the pork loin will open like a book.

Cover the pork loin with the second cutting sheet and pound it to 1/4-inch thickness with the meat mallet.

Slice the apples into 12 pieces, from stem end to blossom end without peeling them. Trim away the core and seeds and lay the apple slices on the flattened pork loin.

Drain the raisin sauce through a strainer into a mixing bowl. Spread the drained raisins evenly over the apples on the pork loin. Reserve the raisin sauce for later.

Roll the pork loin into a tube and fold each end closed. Cut two pieces of string twice the length of the pork loin plus three inches. Lay them side by side, one inch apart.

Cut at least four more pieces of string the same length as the circumference of the pork loin, plus three inches. Lay them across the first two strings, one inch apart.

Lay the pork loin on the net pattern you made with the strings. Pull the ends of the short strings together and knot them tight against the pork loin. Repeat for the long strings.

Heat the saute pan on high for three minutes. Rub the pork loin with olive oil and lay it in the saute pan. Pan-sear the pork loin on all sides, including the ends.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork loin on a broiler pan and cover it with foil. Roast the pork loin for 45 minutes.

Lay half the Virginia bacon on a clean cookie sheet in a single layer, with all the slices running left to right, with their long sides touching, to form a rectangle.

Weave the remaining bacon strips between the strips of the rectangle. Fold every second bacon strip to halfway to the left and lay a bacon strip across the ones you did not fold. Return the folded strips of bacon to their original positions.

Repeat folding every other strip of bacon and laying strips across the ones you did not fold, until all the strips have been woven together.

Remove the partially-cooked, apple-raisin-stuffed pork loin from the oven and lay it on the bacon weave. Fold the left and right sides over the ends of the pork loin. Reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees F.

Roll the pork loin in the bacon weave and place it on a cookie sheet with rolled sides. Bake for 30 minutes at 275 degrees F before inserting a meat thermometer into the roast. Remove the roast from the oven when the internal temperature registers 145 degrees F.

Ingredients and Equipment:
Plastic zipper bag
2-pound pork tenderloin
1 cup apple cider
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 star anise pods
2-quart saucepan
2 polyester cutting sheets
Meat mallet
3 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup apple butter
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons molasses
Small mixing bowl
Kitchen string
Saute pan
Olive oil
Broiler pan
2 pounds Virginia bacon
Cookie sheet with rolled sides
Meat thermometer

Roasting the bacon-wrapped pork loin at 275 degrees for 30 minutes prevents the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines.


USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: Fresh Pork From Farm to Table

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service: What Are Nitrosamines?


More Palate-Pleasing Pork Recipes:

Roast Pork with Oranges, Apples and Cauliflower

I needed to do something with the 4-pound cauliflower, oranges and cilantro I bought at Pro's Ranch Market this past Friday. This recipe is the tasty result. Cauliflower lacks the zest that I prefer in my food. Cooking it with pork roast for 1.5 hours at 375 degrees F allowed the pork juices to blend with the flavors of the apples, onions, oranges and cilantro. The cauliflower absorbed all the flavors and turned butter-soft. 

Center-Cut Pork Loin Roast with Cilantro and Guacamole

Slow-roast center-cut pork loin stuffed with chorizo, cilantro and guacamole. Serve the tender slices of stuffed roast pork with a generous helping of casamiento, or beans and rice, blended with grated cheese and jalapeno rings. Top the casamiento with strips of roasted red bell pepper and sun-dried tomatoes.

Luau Pork Roast and Grilled Plantain with Ginger

Taro-wrapped pork tenderloin with citrus, mango, bell pepper and grilled plantain provides 1/4 of your daily vitamin A, over half your daily vitamin C, and almost half your daily thiamine.

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