top of page
  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Don't underestimate the versitility of pork

When you think of the most versatile meat, chicken is usually the first one that comes to mind. I’m one that could eat chicken every day. There is another white meat that often gets overlooked for its versatility, pork. With the many different cuts, there’s so many ways you can prepare your hog.

With that in mind, I reached into my bag of recipes and found a couple of pork recipes. The first, Pork Fricassee, features one of the more popular cuts from a pig, pork chops. The second one, Seasoned Pork Tenderloin and Citrus Pecan Chutney, uses the Filet Mignon of pork, the pork tenderloin. Gather up everything you need, and Let’s head to the kitchen.

Chicken Fricassee was a dish that my grandmother cooked often. Here is a take on that dish. Pork is used in three different forms; pork chops, bacon (belly) and tasso (pork shoulder). It’s the best triple pork dish around.

Pork Fricassee

6 (8-ounce) boneless pork chops

Creole seasoning

2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 3/4 cup canola oil, divided

1/2 pound bacon, diced

1/2 pound tasso

2 onions, chopped

1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

2 quarts chicken stock

Hot cooked rice

Season pork with Creole seasoning and lightly dust with 1/2 cup flour.

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat; add chops in an even layer, and cook until browned, turning once. (Be careful to not overcrowd the pan.) Remove browned chops, and set aside.

Add remaining 1 1/2 cup oil and 1 1/2 flour to pot. Cook, whisking and scanning browned bits from bottom of pot, until a brown roux forms. Add bacon, and stir briefly; add tasso, onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Stir in stock, and add reserved pork chops in an even layer.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until pork is tender and gravy is thickened, about 1 hour. Serve in a shallow bowl with rice.

Pork tenderloin is one of the quickest cooking parts of the pig. Since there’s not a lot of fat on this cut, you need a marinade or sauce to bring some flavor into it. Here the chutney serves that purpose. You can either serve it on top of the tenderloin or on the side.

Seasoned Pork Tenderloin and Citrus Pecan Chutney

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon Creole seasoning

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest, divided

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup sugar

1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Rub pork with 2 tablespoons oil and Creole seasoning. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, 1 teaspoon zest and juice, sugar, cinnamon, apricot, pineapple and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick with a slotted spoon, and discard. Stir in orange marmalade, pecans and remaining 1/2 teaspoon orange zest.

In a large skillet, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook pork tenderloin 6 minutes per side or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 145℉. Remove from heat; cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Slice, and serve with chutney.

In the past, pork was cooked to a well done temperature, which often leads to dried out meat. These days, it’s ok to cook pork to a minimum internal temperature of 145℉. This medium-rare temperature gives you the juiciness needed for the finished product to be tender while being cooked to a safe temperature. Cooking your pork less than what it used to be will, in my opinion, add to your enjoyment. Happy Eating!

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page