Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday: slow baked pork loin

There's a cooking technique that is used pretty often here that I don't exactly know how to translate: niedergaren. The idea is to cook meat in a very low oven (typically 80C) until the internal temperature is correct, it's a method that would make Harold McGee happy. For want of a better term, let's call it slow baking. I've been wanting to try this for a while, so yesterday when I saw some nice pork loin roasts on sale at Coop I knew what had to be done.

My preparation of the pork was utter simplicity: brown it all around in clarified butter, season well, put in a meat thermometer, then put it in a preheated dish with some zucchini planks and toss in a preheated 80C oven. Let it sit there, undisturbed until the internal temperature is 62C. Yesterday's roast took a bit more than 3 hours. The result is incredibly tender, juicy, and, since it was good pork, flavorful. We will be using this method more often, particularly since yesterday I bought a cookbook devoted to it.

As a sauce for the pork, I made a vinaigrette by mixing thinly sliced celery, diced artichoke hearts, crushed garlic, minced red onion, and finely chopped parsley with a pre-emulsified mixture of seedy mustard, cider vinegar, molasses, and rapeseed oil. This was then allowed to stand for a couple of hours before serving (we had nothing but time yesterday!).

We ate the pork and zucchini with rice and a big green salad and there were no complaints at the table. Well, none except: "I ate too much", but that came later. :-)

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