been a while – second time for this great pork loin recipe!

I can’t believe its been more than a month since I last posted! Having a part-time job outside of the home put a damper on my cooking – and writing about cooking. I do, however, have my priorities straight – I just gave my notice at that job…Time to get more freelance clients. 🙂

I can sure understand how difficult it is for some folks to do a lot of home cooking. Once you get into a groove, home cooking, even the “all from scratch” kind can be quicker than you think, but it takes planning to get into a groove and if you have a lot of commitments outside of the home, you can be thrown off the groove more easily. It sure saves a lot of money, though. And it sure tastes good. 🙂

Pork Braised in Milk and Capers – from The Complete Meat Cookbook. This is AMAZING!!!!! Just AMAZINGLY delicious!!!! I made it a few weeks ago with a 7-rib roast. I think boneless. I know I prepared a boone-in 7 rib roast since I’ve been blogging, but I think I did an apple and onion thing with it. This was a “strap-on” 7 rib boneless roast I used the first time in the braising recipe. From what I could tell from Internet research (I STILL don’t know my cuts of meat very well) the rib roast is part of, or is similar in properties to any loin cut.

Today I used a 1/2 boneless loin with strap-on. Whatever strap-on means….Is it fat? Is it membrane? I left it on the first time with no chewy or gross “too-fatty” effects – and left some of it on today.

Anyway – this method of preparation totally infuses the meat with flavor. And, this recipe has really cool flavors. Fennel, sage, and I also added rosemary both times. Capers are always lovely. And, I used the shallots both times, instead of onions. Its says to use either, but I keep reading that professional chefs tend to use shallots – and that can be the reason restaurant food has that “something different that you can’t put your finger on” flavor. So, I use shallots whenever they are an option.

Oh – I just did a search to see if this recipe was online anywhere. Didn’t find it, but see this link and scroll down for a review of the meat cookbook – it even refers to this braising recipe.

I highly recommend braising pork loin – at least in milk. I read that leaner cuts of pork (and loin is somewhat lean, I think) don’t do well with braising, unlike beef. Something about collagen or lack thereof…. But loin sure does great with milk…

If you have this cookbook and try the recipe and use a cut of loin significantly less than the called for 4 pounds, do NOT cut the braising liquid amounts! My first try – the sauce, while very tasty, didn’t turn the “nut brown” called for and the curds didn’t get dark brown. Not enough liquid to give it enough time before it reduced too much.

This time, it seems to be getting there – but I halted the process and will finish the sauce later. But, it definitely has reduced nicely so far and looks like it will end up the right color once I degrease it and finish it off. But, it will taste great no matter what. The flavor combination of the recipe is just an all-round winner.

Another tip. I would have used a 5-quart dutch oven, if I had one, the first time when my roast was just over two pounds. I ended up browning it in a cast iron deep sauce pan (they call the style a “chicken fryer,” I believe) and then finished off this stovetop recipe in regular sort of pot – Revere Wear, or the like – but not a heavy pot.

This time, my loin cut (just under 4 pounds) was too long for that pot. I used the cast iron “fryer” for the whole show and it worked great.

NOW – next time I find pork loin on sale (this was a pretty good deal at 1.99/lb – and hardly any waste) I think I do a braise again, but perhaps try a different flavor base… curry goes well with milk-based things – that would be interesting….only a smaller cut, though – just because my husband isn’t a huge fan of curry flavor. He’ll eat it, but I can tell he doesn’t love it because he won’t eat leftover curry-flavored things for lunch the next day. BUT, if I serve it with basmati rice, he’ll enjoy it for a dinner meal. 🙂

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Now I have to start planning what I’ll prepare for an upcoming party for volunteers of the Linden Tree Coffeehouse. Yikes, that is next weekend!!!!