Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pork au poivre rosé with "creamsicle" beurre blanc

I found out that our liquor store sells shochu, yay! Mix with a little Trader Joe's sparkling limeade and you're laughin'. Getting shitfaced on lime chuhai makes me smile. Booze and painkillers are best mates (if your liver can take it). See that? That's how I'm doing this. I'm typing with a busted-up pinky finger.

This is the last of the pork tenderloin that we bought a week ago. Four days of dry aging in the fridge gave it a nice patina, perfect for a faggoty-assed sauce such as creamsicle beurre blanc. This is the dish I had envisioned when I chose the ingredients for this month's Royal Foodie Joust. No one made it, I'm a little surprised.

Okay, I guess I'm not that surprised, since I think I invented vanilla-orange sauce for pork. But I always think I invented something, just to Google and find it on three or four menus around the US, and maybe a recipe or two on epicurious. This is always really fucking frustrating for me, because cooking is my only real form of creativity, and I don't want to bite off anyone else's style. Oh well! Whaddyagonnado.

Since I'm not doing the Joust this month, I'm entering this recipe into my baby girl Emiline's thang, the Saint Paddy's Day Pub Crawl. Also, since she is classy beyond her years, she is giving up some goodies for the winner of her contest!

So Emiline, for you I made this divine dinner. And a tip o' the hat to the Irish, it has potatoes!

Pork au poivre rosé with "creamsicle" beurre blanc
A nod to a traditional steak au poivre, I used pork tenderloin medallions instead of beef, and pink peppercorns instead of black. A vanilla-orange beurre blanc is further enriched with the use of bourbon instead of white wine.

Pink peppercorns taste somewhat like the needles of a Jeffrey pine, kind of a heptane fruitiness. Pink peppercorns are actually not in the Piperaceae (pepper) family at all, but in the Anacardiaceae (sumac) family, making them kin to mangoes and cashews. That, right there, was probably more science than you wanted in your recipe. Serves 2.

8 oz pork tenderloin (I guess this is 4"?), sliced into 1" medallions
2 tbsp pink peppercorns
1 tsp Maldon or other good sea salt

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced shallot
half a cup of bourbon or whiskey (I guess it would be apropos to use Irish whiskey)
Juice and zest from 1 large, sweet orange (I used a Valley Cove, which is the best fucking thing I've had in a coon's age)
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and scraped
4-6 more tbsp butter
pinch salt

Wash and pat dry the pork. Crush the peppercorns up in mortar and pestle (or other device). Pat the crushed pepper and salt onto the medallions and set aside. Heat butter in a small-ish pan over medium-high heat. When foamy and sizzly, add the pork and brown on both sides. Transfer pork from pan to an oven-proof plate, cover with foil and roast gently in a warm oven until cooked through (but not past medium-well).

Add the shallot to the sizzly butter and reduce heat to medium-low. You can add a bit of olive oil if things are getting too brown. When the shallots are getting good and glossy, deglaze the pan with the bourbon. Add the orange juice and zest and vanilla beans, simmer for like 15 minutes until nicely reduced and the alcohol is evaporated. Remove from heat and let it sit and cool for a minute or two.

The trick to making beurre blanc is whisking in the butter to make a creamy sauce that contains no cream. Well, that's not really a trick, it's just what it is. You don't want the butter to melt completely! THAT MEANS FAIL. Cooling the booze/orange/vanilla mixture slightly will improve your odds of not fucking it up. Cut the butter into nubs and whisk it in bit by bit until it's all emulsified and creamy.

Spoon sauce over pork. Serve with fingerling potatoes that have been boiled tender, then fried crispy-skinned in butter. Toss those with a crunch of good flake sea salt and fresh thyme. In retrospect, I guess I could have a little green on the plate. Maybe some nice fava beans? I wish I didn't suck at Photoshop.


Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Crap. Why didn't I think of that???? Great job once again. Especially with a busted up finger!

Peter M said...

I would have no shame in licking that plate clean, you haven't added any new cussin' words to my vocab today and that beurre blanc is going str8 to yer ass! ;)

Bellini Valli said...

I often wonder what people have in mind when they select the ingredients for the Foodie Joust. I'm all over this one:D

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

A very interesting recipe. It looks really succulent! But, what the hell are you doing cooking and typing when you should be sitting on your a$$, resting! ;)

glamah16 said...

Oh how elegant,and creative. Very nice use of booze(I'm a little jealous mine didnt turn out as elegant). I need to buy some of that shochu. The Wiki page was interesting. A booze that can prevent thrombosis and diabeties!

Syd said...

I'd hit that.

I was jonesing for a little Voodolily. Food, cursing, booze, and drugs? You exceeded expectations.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Man, Heather, if I'd known *this* recipe was out there, I might have joined the joust this month. It looks absolutely heavenly. I sure hope you're feeling much better quickly.

Peter G said...

Very creative recipe Heather..and I loved your choices for this months Joust...hope the finger gets better.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Enough with the pepper lecture, just pass me the plate, damnit! Oh, and hope the finger's getting better...

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That dish looks great and I really like the combination of flavors. Vanilla is always a great touch outside of the usual dessert world.

The sauce sounds creative to me! I also hate the exercise of coming up with something awesome and new only to discover that the entire internet has already had the same idea. I just stopped looking to see if my ideas have been done, so now, I am simply a unique snowflake who spouts sheer culinary genius that is entirely new and original to all. I'm humble, too! ;-)

Núria said...

What a BEAUTY Heather! Spectacular dish! So nice with all the pink peppers spread over the sauce and the white plate!
Hope your finger feels better :D

There's no space to be original anymore!!! :-/

peter said...

Every time I think I invent something it turns out that it's old news. It doesn't matter- if you thought of it, you thought of it.

I was just this morning thinking about making homemade vanilla vodka and mixing it with sumac tea for a creamsicle variant. Go figure...

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Now that is an inspired dish I must say, Heather! You made this with your finger all wonky, too? Man, that is what I call dedication.

Emiline said...

Ahh, so this is what you were thinking when you chose the ingredients. Do you love working with all three things?

This is a great entry. I love the idea of the "creamsicle" beurre blanc. Excellent job.

Heather said...

Judy - Thanks! I had been thinking about it for a long time.

Peter the Greek - I'm a little off my game since the injury, I'll try to think of more inventive cuss words next time! :P

Valli - I can't wait to see what ingredients you choose! ;)

Susan - I can't not cook! It just takes a lot longer with a fucked-up digit.

Courtney - I'm sures tasted a lot better! Chocolate-y good and the booze still kickin'! Yes, please.

Syd - I was butterflying a chicken titteh the other day and thought of you. It totally looked like pussy.

Jen - Don't be afraid to mix dessert with dinner! Magic can happen.

Petah Down Undah - You did a fantastic job elevating those three ingredients to something special.

Ghetti - I am healing! I don't feel like fainting every time I change my bandage, so that's progress.

Mike - I'm so glad I'm not the only one who goes through this! I demand ownership of my recipes.

Núria - We should always keep trying to invent something new! I might make some gross food along the way, but I'll keep trying.

Peter - Thanks - that's how I feel, too. :) I really have never seen this anywhere before I made it up.

Jenn - I just can't not cook! I asked Scott for help with a lamb shoulder on Sunday (heavy lifting involved), but this wasn't too bad.

Heather said...

Oh, you snuck in there quick-like, little missy! Yes, I love these things very much. I keep a lid of vanilla beans stashed in my freezer for special dishes like this. :)

Catherine Wilkinson said...

oh, you bitch! You may have just won Emiline's contest with that!
And here I am, dreaming about Guinness, potatoes, James Joyce and a bunch of other sad ass Irish inspiration.
You sure you didn't get a little absinthe to go along with the Vicodin at the drugstore????

Just for that incredible dish, I'm going to send you another stellar....retarded cat site!

Nicolette (Nikki) Miller-Ka said...

You did pick some awesome ingredients for the joust. I like my dish I made, but I REALLY wanted to make some kind of soup with barley and rendered bacon, maybe even some fat back and garnish it with a pink peppercorn ice cream. Shit. Next time I'll do what I really want to d and not what's easy.

Anonymous said...

I could swear i can see a fingertip in the plate... or is it a potato? :-)
Nice work for someone who's handicapped. Mucho creativo!

Cindy. Lo. said...

It looks very yummy!

Nilmandra said...

That is beautiful pork. I did notice the lack of green, hehe. I guess it was a meat and potatoes kind of meal ;)

michelle @ thursday night smackdown. said...

you know, i tried my best for you, i really did. but nothing i do is ever good enough.