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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guilt - the Great Motivator: Recipe

I think I've come to realize that I am compelled to act when I feel guilty - by act, I mean cook, naturally. I was leaving at 1PM Sunday for a work-related overnight trip when my husband looked at me and sweetly said, "so what should I make the kids for dinner tonight?" I stood there and thought for a minute and then I looked at the clock. It was Noon - on the dot. I was packed and I was relatively ready so I said, "well I can put up some dinner for you now and you can eat it later, when you're ready."

In a moment I knew what to do. I actually had a loin of pork in the refrigerator that I was supposed to have made several nights in a row before this day but I ignored the loin each time. So I grabbed it and a big pot and put up some dinner for my family. I was feeling guilty for leaving them on a Sunday - a nice day, to boot. So I now know that 1) I can be manipulated into cooking; 2) I have the ability to make a really good dinner in a hurry; and 3) I love my family and despise leaving them so I do whatever I can to ensure they have as much of me as they can - even when I'm not around to enjoy it.

This recipe is a tough one to alter, I wouldn't dare. I find it near impossible to mess with any of Marcella Hazan's recipes which is where this comes from.

Roast Pork with Vinegar and Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
2 lbs. pork loin
1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns, mashed
3 Bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
In a large Dutch Oven melt butter and oil together over medium-high heat. When it's foamy, put in the pork and brown all over until deeply brown - about 7-8 minutes. If you see the butter begin to burn, lower the heat a bit. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, generously.

Once the pork is well browned, remove it from the pot for a moment. Pour in the vinegar and scrape up any bits - do not let it evaporate, so deglaze pan quickly. Add the bay leaves and peppercorns and mix well. Put the pork back in the pot and turn several times in the sauce. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Allow it to cook about 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is cooked. During the course of the cooking be sure to turn the meat at least once. If at any time the liquid looks like it's been reduced too much, add water - 1 tbsp. at a time.

Remove roast to a platter and allow it to sit a few minutes. Meanwhile, bring the sauce to a boil and allow it to thicken a bit - about 3-4 minutes. Then slice the meat and pour the sauce over. Serve immediately.

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