Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Tastebuds Are in Heaven!

Wuotan's mother is staying with us for a few days so we had a fancy home-cooked dinner last night and, oh my goodness, it was so delicious! It was one of those meals where every bite makes you close your eyes and groan in food ecstasy. It was a simple combination of mustard-wine marinated pork loin chops and olive oil-rosemary roasted vegetables.

Today, after being out for most of the afternoon, we returned to the house and as I opened the front door the scent of last night's dinner wafted out and actually made me smile as the memory of those creamy, earthy flavors washed over me.

The recipe for the pork is based on one I found on (see link at the end of this post), where the original poster states it came from a newspaper so I'm not sure where it really originated. As always, I've made my own adjustments.

Heavenly Mustard-Sherry Pork

6 thick-cut pork loin chops
2 tablespoons dry mustard powder
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup cream sherry
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground grains of paradise (or black pepper)
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, tightly packed

In a shallow casserole dish, place the pork chops in a single layer. Sprinkle about a half teaspoon of mustard powder over each chop, flip the meat over and sprinkle another half teaspoon on the other side of each chop. Spread a generous amount of minced garlic to coat the tops of each of the chops.

In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least six hours, flipping the meat about halfway through so both sides get the effect of the marinade.

The next day, remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 1/2 hour).

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 F. When oven has reached the desired temperature, place the whole casserole in oven, uncovered, and cook for about 30-35 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165-170 F. As the meat roasts, baste it occasionally with the juices.

Cooking in the marinade will keep the meat from getting dried out and the hot pan juices make a wonderful sauce to spoon over the meat when it is served.

Roasted Vegetable Medley

3 large carrots
3 medium-sized red beets
3 medium-sized russet potatoes
3 medium-sized red onions
1/2 butternut squash
1 head of garlic, minced
olive oil to taste
coarse salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
dried rosemary to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Cut the carrots, beets, potatoes, onions and squash into 1" cubes to guarantee even cooking times. Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and add minced garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss the veggies in the oil until well-coated.

Place the roasting pan on the bottom rack in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Vegetables are done when they can be pierced easily with a fork.

Note #1:  My apologies for the lack of photos. I will try to be better about posting pictures for my recipes going forward.

Note #2:  I actually put the meat and the vegetables in the oven at 400 until the veggies were done, then removed them and turned the oven up to 450, cooking until the meat reached the desired temperature.

Note #3:  Here is a link to the original pork recipe:

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