Monday, June 2, 2008

This is not your Mother's pork chop

For some, dinner for one can sometimes mean fast food (something I would crawl through broken glass to avoid). I will admit that there are times when I just want something simple like a sandwich and a beer or a burrito from the great quick Mexican place across the street.
Tonight I made a pork chop that was transcendent. Meaty, juicy, succulent and so flavorful I wanted to gnaw on the bone (oh yeah, I did that). Growing up, my mom would cook 1/2" thick pork chops until they were at least well done. WTF? Even today I have literally begged to get a medium rare pork chop at a "good" restaurant to be told that the cannot serve pork unless it has been cooked to 145 degrees. I don't think there has been a documented case of Trichinosis in the USA since pre-WWII (okay, there were about 12 cases in the United States last year).
Here is the deal, apparently feeding pigs raw meat "garbage" is the biggest factor in the production of trichinosis (duh). Buy your meat from a reputable butcher and you too can cook a chop that will make you think twice about ordering a Rib Eye Steak the next time you go out to dinner.
So, dinner for one was:


Brined & Dry Rubbed, Double Cut Standing Rib Pork Roast Chop
Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic
Roasted Corn, Tomato, Onion, Pepper and Parsley Salad

Paired with

2000 Panther Creek-Nysa Vineyard-Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Brining pork helps impart a little more moisture to the meat since today's pork is much more lean than it was even 20 years ago. Brine in a mixture of salt, sugar, citrus and garlic for 4 hours. The dry rub was added 3 hours before cooking. I cooked the chop on a Weber BBQ and all I can say is pay attention.
These duck fat roasted potatoes are simply good quality russets, a little olive oil, some duck fat and rosemary with salt and pepper. Heat your oven to 425 degrees and cook the potatoes for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes go ahead and turn the potatoes over and cook for another 20 minutes. You can add the whole (slightly crushed) garlic at this time too.
The salad is as simple as the ingredients and is a nice colorful addition.
Yes, I see it, this label is F***ed up.

The 2000 Panther Creek Pinot Noir was drinking nicely. I got about 3-4 cases of these wines last year when Panther Creek had a dispute with a distributor. Wines that are perfectly aged and that should be selling for $50+ dollars per bottle were going for $17 per bottle (love it when that happens). The wine was showing just a hint of age on the color with a slight brickish ring of color. The nose was dried rose petal floral with a hint of fennel and some earth. Bright cherry fruit and some spice on the palate with maybe some citrus peel on the finish. Drink this now while it still has a little fruit left.


dp said...

I agree, people tend to overcook their pork. I like mine with a little pink in the middle. Anyways, brining the pork also helps to kill off the "cooties".

Looks great!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

any friend of Heather is a friend of mine, dude!
Can't wait to spill myself all over your blog! I "heart" me some good wine, so let's get to it!

Duck fat. Total food porn.

Norm Schoen said...

dp-I totally agree on the overcooked pork. Even Alice Waters is down with cooking a roast to 135 degrees.

Catherine-Welcome, we have much to discuss about wine. I try and be judicious about my wine categories. I am going to add simply a "wine" category for everyday stuff. You might want to check out the posts labeled as:"This wine is better than sex". Yes, doesn't duck fat rock?

Heather said...

Oh pork, what can't you do?

Jan said...

Hi Norm, I came across your blog through Heather.

I cooked a little pork on the grill this week (very slowly) maybe you would think it overdone, I don't know. Yours looks delish anyway.

Emiline said... fat roasted potatoes. That sounds so good.

Everything sounds really good. Love the whole menu.
And yes, people are so weird about pork being cooked rare.