Whisk Wednesday~Longe de Porc aux Pruneaux

10 06 2009

I’m so far behind with my posting and cooking right now it’s almost ridiculous.  There’s a good reason…Life is taking up a LOT of my time!  I’m managing to get some stress relief time in the kitchen, but I’ll sure be glad when the end of the school year gets here!!  Somewhere along the line, I hear that happens tomorrow. I’ve just been too busy making it happen to be ready for it to happen! LOL!  Let’s get to the kitchen…I like it better in there!

Last week (see what I mean?) found us preparing the second course of our menu…Longe de Porc aux Pruneaux and Mousseline de Céleri Rave.  Translation:  Pork Loin roast with prunes and Creamed Celery Root Puree.  The pork loin was absolutely fabulous and well worth making again.  Shari, of Whisk: a food blog, thought she’d add an ingredient the next time she prepared this dish.  I think she’s right!  This would work well with several different fruits, but part of the flavor (rich and silky sweet) comes from the fact that the plums are dried.  Didn’t you know?  Prunes are an Italian variety of plum.  They’re oblong rather than round, and have a dark, richly sweet flesh that dries wonderfully.  If you’re driving on the state highway 20 miles south of here, and look right and left you’ll likely be seeing a lot of “prune-plum” trees.   Alas, I digress…

Pork-w-prunes1

The pork was wonderful.  We started with a whole pork loin, butterflied it, seasoned it with salt and pepper and stuffed one end with prunes.  I confess to adding a sprinkling of thyme to the inside of my roast.  We then rolled the roast and tied it.  I watched a great video on tying a roast on Alton Brown’s Good Eats one night.  Now, I’ve got the hang of it!  The roast is then seared with seasoning vegetables (onion, carrot with herbs added), then roasted and basted with the pan juices.

Pork-w-prunes2

The sauce this time around is a “gastrique”.  “Gastrique is a thick sauce produced by a reduction of vinegar or wine, sugar, and usually fruit. It is often served over meat or seafood to add a fruit flavor to the dish. It is made in its simplest form by caramelizing sugar and then adding vinegar,”…Wikipedia Our gastrique was created from a reduction of vinegar and sugar, with the deglazed pan juices.  Oh…my.  This was wonderful.  There were poached prunes used as a garnish as well…and they were gobbled up right along with the roast.

The surprise this time was the vegetable.  Celery root, also known as Celeriac.  I’ve seen it in the market.  It’s a big ol’ ugly thing.  So…I followed the directions…I peeled it.  I got all the hard brown stuff off…and it still seemed kind of hard on the outside.  It really was hard, too!  I ended up taking my Chinese cleaver to it!  What I now know is that I needed to get all of that really hard stuff cut off.  First.  So…if you’ve never cooked this stuff before, get twice as much as you think would be enough to feed your crew.  That was the reason I didn’t cut more off…I thought, “Surely they don’t mean for me to cut ALL of this off…there won’t be much of anything left!  Maybe it gets a lot more tender when it’s cooked…”  No.  That tough outer exterior is just as tough and nasty after cooking.  I seemed to have gotten all of the nasty bits in my serving, Bruce said he got none.  We agreed it had a slight celery flavor and was “good” in an unusual way.  He said he wouldn’t mind having it again, now and then, but not necessarily often.  I agreed.  I had a desire to grate just a bit of nutmeg into it…I don’t know why…I don’t even own a fresh nutmeg right now!  It just felt like I should!

PorkwPrunes-gr

All in all, this was a “keeper” meal.  I’d use both together again without hesitation.  Everything worked out just as I anticipated from reading the recipe and the techniques.  I thought the thyme on the inside was well placed and we really enjoyed the whole dish.

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3 responses

15 06 2009
mononoke

This is a very beautiful blog, you have lovely pictures, awesome recipes that make my mouth water!

13 06 2009
Kayte

Your photos are so wonderful of all of this…shows just how to do everything so nicely in just a few photos…that takes a knack. I love the job of tying that you did on that roast…that looks so professional! I noticed it right away even before I started reading about it. I agree with the celery root…nice to have, but not too often. And, funny, thing, I was thinking the same thing about the nutmeg…it needed just a little something and I was thinking nutmeg, too. Next time, I am trying a little of that in it.

11 06 2009
Angela@spinachtiger

Glennis your pork looks great. I ended up grilling mine and opting out. I never got around to getting those prunes, but perhaps this fall when it’s cold out, I’ll revisit.

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