For one reason or another I had a bunch of apples at home. It seems whenever we go to the store we buy apples whether we have some in the crisper drawer or not. So, when I picked up a nice pork loin at a local Asian grocery store with a thick layer of fat and skin on it, it seemed like a no brainer. Pork and apples.
I sliced some apples and cooked them sous vide with some butter, star anise and a couple of cinnamon sticks in the bag. These cooked for about an hour at 85 C and were firm but fully cooked at the end. With half of these I made a barbeque sauce, based on the recipe at Tri2Cook’s recipe here. I subbed apples and apple cider vinegar for the blueberry and blueberry vinegar. Other than that the recipe was done as is. The end results was very nice and I still have some in the fridge to serve in a sandwich or with sausages. The other half of the apples was sauted in butter at the last minute and drizzled with Steen’s Cane syrup at the same time to give it a nice caramelized surface.
The Polenta cakes were made based on the recipe from “Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way” by Frnacis Mallmann. They are flavored with Parmesan and fresh oregano. I chose to roll the cooked polenta in plastic wrap into a sausage shape and then slice them into rounds for a more elegant presentation. These were finished on the cast iron griddle on the grill. Crispy on the outside and soft inside. I could eat a whole recipe by myself.
Continuing with the apple theme, I brined the pork loin in a mixture of apple juice with cinnamon sticks, salt and sugar. I then cooked it on the charcoal grill using indirect heat. In hindsight I think I should’ve removed the skin and simply left a layer of fat. In the time the loin cooked to rosy pink, the skin just does not cook down enough to turn soft and crisp. Instead it gets dark and hard. Other than that the pork was juicy and delicious with the brine flavor coming through. It also made excellent cold sandwiches for a day or two. As a last minute whim, I picked some Oxalis leaves and pods from my “garden” (really from my lawn) and used these tart weeds as garnish.