"Pork fat rules!" - Emeril Lagasse
As a regular feature of this column/blog, Friday will always be recipe day. Since Friday is particularly important to Muslims, out of compassion, multicultural sensitivity and good ole American generousity, every recipe will involve...........THE PIG!
Among livestock, it is a shame that pigs are the most intelligent. But they are so damn delicious! Pork, as you will find, is very versatile. I could devote an entire blog to pork recipes alone and never run out of ideas. Mohammed can go screw himself and send me to Muslim hell for all I care - life just isn't worth living without bacon. To any Orthodox Jews out there, no offense intended. You guys may just want to skip Friday recipe day altogether. Without further adieu, let's dig with the pig.
From my culinary years, I learned that simplicity is always the best method. Going all out, in and under the kitchen counter is a waste of time. Usually this indicates there is something wrong with whatever you are cooking and it needs to be disguised. Hogwash! You can't polish a turd, and there is no use wasting time cooking substandard meat. For the best quality pork in the world, look no further than Neiman Ranch. If you happen to come back in the next life as a pig, this is the life you want. Unlike commercially raised pork, which are raised in confinement, these hogs are allowed to roam, root and do pretty much whatever they please until, well, you know. It's a bit more expensive, but the flavor and texture are superior. Plus, you can feel at ease knowing that your dinner lived le bon vie.
Brining pork adds even more tenderness. This simplest brining solution is 1/4 cup salt to one gallon of water. If you like, you can add FRESH herbs, garlic and whole peppercorns to the brine, but just don't overdo it. Remember, we want to taste the pork, not Simon and Garfunkel. Don't brine for more than 24 hours.
Here is a very simple marinade for your pig.
1/2 cup olive oil (regular, or pommace olive oil will do)
2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
2 Tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
1-2 Tbsp each fresh chopped Italian parsely, fresh thyme, and maybe fresh oregano
This should be sufficient for up to four tenderloins. Slather them good with this and let them sit for 2 hours at room temp, or overnight in the fridge.
Start up a good hickory fire on your grill. The hotter the better. Now is the time to drizzle some soy sauce and Worcestershire on your pork. In general, you do not want to use salts or acids on your meat of any variety until right before cooking, since salts and acids actually "cook" the meat, which will make it tough. Grill the tenderloins on all sides, flipping about every minute or two until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Now before you shout "trichinosis", don't worry. There has not been a documented case of trichinosis that originated in the United States for decades, because it is illegal here to slop hogs for commercial sale. If anyone gets that bugaboo, they got it in another country. Remove from grill, place in a pan or a baking sheet and tent with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to "rest" for about ten minutes - the residual heat will continue to cook it. Slice thinly. Four tenderloins should serve eight very hungry people, and give you some leftovers for sammies the next day.
Hope this gets your tummy growling, and feel free to send any recipe requests for the beloved pig my way and I will be happy to do my best to accomodate.