Monday, October 24, 2011

Roast Pork and Vegetables with Buttermilk Mustard Sauce

I found an early edition of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" for two bucks at a local a thrift store this week and was happy to add it to our cooking library at last. Juila Child has always been an inspiration, though few food bloggers could claim to know her work as intimately as Julie Powell. Still, I'm happy to rediscover Child and her fellow authors' philosophy on roasts (particularly pork) is in perfect harmony with the Guardian Service Way: 
"... we think pork is more tender and juicy if it is browned in hot fat, then roasted like veal in a covered casserole. This slow, steamy cooking tenderizes the meat and renders out the fat very effectively."
This casserole or "waterless" approach appears in our posts on roast poultry and lamb and is simply this: brown the roast on all sides in hot fat, then cook on a vegetable rack.

Rôti de Porc Grand'Mère
(Casserole-Roasted Pork with Potatoes and Onions)
Adapted for Guardian Service Ware from Volume One of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Juila Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck

Serves 4-6

2-3 lb boneless pork loin, marinated with Marinade Sèche, see below
4 Tbsp rendered pork fat, lard or cooking oil
2 sweet potatoes
3 potatoes
2 medium onions
2 carrots
2 garlic cloves, whole
a medium bouquet garni: parsley and thyme sprigs and bay leaf
2 Tbsp butter
2-3 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup cider vinegar

Marinade Sèche
(Salt Marinade with Herbs and Spices)
"Fine for all types of fresh pork. This is our favorite, as it tenderizes the pork and accentuates its natural flavor"

Per pound of pork:
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground thyme or sage
1/8 tsp ground bay leaf
Pinch of allspice
Optional: 1/2 clove mashed garlic

Mix all ingredients together and rub them into the surface of the pork. Place in a covered bowl. Turn the meat 2 to 3 times if the marinade is a short one; several times a day if it is of long duration.

  1. If moist from the salt rub marinade, pat meat dry with clean dishcloth or paper towels. 
  2. Heat 4 Tbsp fat or oil in the Guardian Service Roaster over medium heat, coating bottom of pan well. Add the roast, searing each side for 90 seconds. Remove roast to the serving platter.
  3. Add vegetables and garlic to the roaster, cover and shake to coat vegetables with remaining oil. 
  4. Remove vegetables from roaster, add butter and return to medium heat. Layer sliced apples across the bottom, coating in butter. Return roast on top of apples and surround with vegetables. Top with herb bouquet and sprinkle with cider vinegar.
  5. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 1 hour or more, depending on desired temperature of the finished roast. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, carve and transfer to the Guardian Service Roaster platter. Garnish with roasted vegetables and cover until ready to serve.
A pork loin on a roasting rack of apple rings in the Guardian Service Roaster
After the pork has been cooked and placed on a platter, kept it warm for 10 to 15 minutes while preparing the sauce:

Sauce au Babeurre-Moutarde avec Poivre Vert
(Buttermilk Mustard Sauce with Green Peppercorns)
an adaptation of "Sauce Moutarde à la Normande" 

1/3 cup cider vinegar
2-3 dozen green peppercorns
1 cup buttermilk
2-3 tsp dry mustard
1-2 Tbsp softened butter
  1. Strain the meat and vegetable juices into a bowl. Degrease, if necessary.
  2. Reduce vinegar and green peppercorns until about 2-3 Tbsps of liquid.
  3. Pour in meat and vegetable juices and boil down rapidly until about 1 cup.
  4. Reduce heat, add buttermilk and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring in salt to taste.
  5. Whisk in dry mustard and simmer 2 to 3 minutes more. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Correct seasoning.
  6. Off heat and just before serving, swirl in the butter by bits, then pour the sauce into warmed Guardian Service gravy boat.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cranberry Walnut Oat Scones

I recently sent some friends a Guardian Service 15" Service Tray as a wedding gift, knowing that they'd come to value it, as I do, for the wonderfully crispy crust it produces on homemade pizza. But because the tray, purchased online, arrived from a third-party seller and I couldn't be there to explain, they put it into use just as its makers intended: as a beautiful serving tray. Indeed, all Guardian Service ware was intended to go directly from "stove to table," with its part Arts and Crafts/part Space Age–Streamline esthetic.

But the tray was never marketed as I've come to use it most, as a baking sheet. Part of the cookware's pitch was its "top-stove" technology—baking on a burner, from quick breads in the Duplex Utility pan to layer cake in the Kettle/Canner—yet the service tray is perfect for traditional oven baking: the thin, rough-textured aluminum resists sticking and distributes heat evenly, creating crisp crusts for pizza or the perfect finish on an eggy holiday gougères.

So in honor of my friends' wedding, here's another recipe well suited to the 15" tray: scones.

I prefer the heartier, Scottish–style scones and the tray is just the right size to bake up a half-dozen large triangle scones. Variations are endless, from savory herb and cheese combinations to the fruit and nut sort featured here.

Cranberry Walnut Oat Scones

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
Gently pat dough into round.
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. orange zest
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup half and half
  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  2. Mix dry ingredients and cold cut butter into flour mixture until the size of small peas using a pastry blender or two knives.
  3. Beat eggs in separate bowl, reserving 2 Tbsp. to brush tops of scones before baking.
  4. Add half-and-half to remaining eggs.
  5. Make a well in dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and as Irma Rombauer cautions us, "Combine with a few swift strokes. Handle the dough as little as possible."
  6. Turn dough out onto the tray, pat into a large round (approximately 2 inches thick), then slice into six equal wedges with a silicone knife or other scratch-proof tool.
  7. Brush triangles with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned.
Separate with a scratch-proof tool such as this silicone knife.
Brush tops of scones with reserved egg.

Jalapeño Cornbread

This traditional cornbread recipe was adapted from "Guardian Service Tested Recipes" to suit the Californio theme of our Gold Rush Stuffing in last year's Thanksgiving post on roast turkeyIt cooks to golden-brown perfection in the 10" Guardian Service Breakfast Fryer.

Jalapeño Cornbread
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely chopped
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
2 cups cornmeal
2 eggs
2 cups milk or buttermilk
4 T. melted butter, plus more for sautéing onion and peppers

  1. Melt butter in 10" Guardian Service breakfast fryer and reserve 4 T for batter. In remaining butter, sauté onion and peppers until tender.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add cornmeal.
  3. Beat egg, add milk.
  4. Mix quickly with dry ingredients and pour batter over the onion and pepper mixture.
  5. Pour melted butter over top and cut through batter with a spatula.
  6. Bake in oven at 400℉ (or in a layer pan on high in Guardian Service Kettle Canner) for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.