Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Dinner

Pork Loin w/ a Braised Apple & Pistachio Gravy - Cornbread Sausage Stuffing - Roasted Red Potatoes & Broccoli

When I think Traditional Easter Feast, this is the first thing that comes to mind and it's one of my favorite meals to prepare! The Loin was first marinated for 2 hours with some fresh squeezed orange juice, lemon juice, cider vinegar, smashed garlic cloves, salt, pepper & fresh thyme. Then the loin was removed from the juices, patted dry and seared on all sides in olive oil until golden brown. The loin was removed from the pan to allow fresh diced onion, garlic & a granny Smith Apple to saute for a minute. Then the pan was deglazed with cider vinegar and white wine, chicken stock, pistachios and the loin were added back to the pan & sent into the oven at 350 degrees for about 1h, 20m. I like to cook it until the center reaches 140 degrees then let sit until ready to carve.

Once the loin reached 140 degrees and was let to sit, the pan was returned to the stove to reduce the braising liquid by half. Then in another pan I sauteed some shallots for a few minutes then added the strained braising liquid along with the pistachios. I let this reduce by about a 1/4, then added a little flour to thicken up the gravy. Perfect!

The stuffing was started by chopping some white bread into small cubes and mixing in some crumbled corn bread- about equal parts. Then I browned some mild sausage in a pan until very crispy and most of the fat was rendered out. The sausage was drained then mixed into the bread along with salt, pepper, ground thyme and sage. Then I caramelized 1 1/2 onions and about 6 stalks of celery, both diced fine in a 1/2 stick of butter. This was mixed in with the bread and sausage until nicely combined then transferred to a pan until it was ready to be baked for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

The potatoes and broccoli were simply oven roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper, lemon juice and fresh thyme. Simple and delicious!!