"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, May 31, 2013

Recipes–Thai Style Braised Pork Loin

This is a truly delicious recipe, and although it requires a number of steps, it is worth it.  The pork loin is marinated in coconut milk and spices, then braised over high heat and served with a sauce of coconut cream, fresh basil, green curry, and sweet mango chutney.  It is spicy, sweet, and fragrant.

Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients.  You may have to make an extra trip to the store for a few items, but once you have them preparation is simple.  Composing the marinade takes about ten minutes, the sauce and garnish another ten, and the braising of the pork about twenty.  So all in all, no more than 30 minutes of work.

Thai Style Braised Pork Loin

For the Marinade

* 1 can coconut milk

* zest of one lime

* 3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

* 3-4 shakes hot pepper flakes

* juice of two limes

* 4 cloves garlic, chopped

* 1 Tbsp. hot curry powder

* 2 tsp. paprika

For the sauce

* 1/2 can coconut milk

* 1 very large handful fresh basil, chopped

* 1 Tbsp. green curry paste

* 1 Tbsp. sweet mango chutney (hot or regular)

* 2 heaping tsp. garlic flakes

For the Meat

* 1 1/2 lbs. pork tenderloin (It comes packaged in two long filets)

* 1 Tbsp. dried basil

* 5-6 grindings fresh black pepper

For the garnish

* 1 cup sliced unsalted almonds

* 1/2 cup raisins

* 1/2 cup coconut flakes

* 1/2 cup lightly chopped fresh basil

- For the marinade, put all the ingredients into a plastic bag, place the meat inside, turn a few times to coat well, and put in the refrigerator overnight or for at least eight hours

- Take the pork out of the marinade, wipe well to remove excess liquid and rub with the dried basil and fresh pepper.

- Put the 1/2 can coconut milk, fresh chopped basil, green curry paste, garlic flakes and mango chutney in a saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce becomes slightly colored (i.e. the ingredients have mixed well).  Taste for spices.  If too hot or spicy, you can add extra coconut milk.

- Put the nuts, coconut flakes, and raisins in a medium sized iron skillet and roast until the mixture is fragrant and brown but not burned.  Set aside for about an hour to cool.

- Heat an iron skillet to very high heat, then braise the filets until very brown on all sides

- Reduce the heat and cook for an additional 15 minutes (approx.) It is a bad idea to cut into the filet to test doneness, for the juices will run out, so you will have to tell be feel.  The meat should be done when it is slightly firm to the touch.  It shouldn’t feel soft or malleable.  It is a bit tricky, for you do not want over- or underdone pork.

- When the meat is done, let it sit for about 20 minutes; then cut into 2” pieces

- Arrange the meat on a platter, pour the sauce evenly over the top, add the nut-raisin-coconut garnish, add the chopped basil and serve

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