Saturday, June 30, 2012

Caramel and Balsamic Pork

Well, as promised, here's the results of the Pork... If you remember, at the end of the Caramel Recipe I mentioned that I thought it would be good made into a marinade for pork.  Well, the pork roast I had in the freezer was *not* boneless, so I hacked all the meat off in 'mostly' even thickness pieces, and cooked the bone for the neighbor's sweet dog.

I was informed by a friend of mine who cooks as well that the salted caramel was actually burnt. I didn't really care, I thought it was pretty good. I liked the dark earthy flavor, but maybe that's an acquired taste, but I determined not to let that stop me - in fact I thought it might make the flavor better...

So I scooped the caramel into a glass mixing bowl, and added a few shakes of balsamic vinegar (cheap stuff, not special) to it until the mix was the right balance of sweet and sour. In making this recipe you'll have to judge this for yourself. Then I dropped the pieces of pork in there, tossed them around and coated the meat, then since I have a seal-a-meal (courtesy of the same friend) I put it all in a bag, and vacuum sealed those puppies right up, stuck it in the fridge to marinate overnight. You can do the same in a plastic tub (like a recycled butter tub) or you can use a recycled bread bag (without any holes!!) or a zipper bag. Heck, you could even use one of those oven roasting bags, but I wouldn't cook in it, might be fine...maybe try it once and see how it comes out, but be careful.

Next day, I went to cook it and I was out of propane, with no back up (dang!) and the store was closed. Well, I went to use my microwave, but it's not working....and we didn't know why. (Later we thought we had figured out that my outlet decided on a permanent vacation, but it turned out to just be a fuse - we figured this out when the fridge wasn't working either!)  We DID however have a heavy duty extension cord, so it got plugged in, and the pork went in the microwave for 30 mins on power 7. For those who don't know, you can set most microwaves to only cook at percentage powers so it isn't too hot or too this case, it's 70% of full blast... cooks the meat more thorough without making it dry. I'd imagine it was about the same as cooking it at 350 degrees for 40 mins or so.

Well, I'll tell you - it was good instinct on my part it seems. The marinated pork, mashed potatoes, and some corn (I know, I know, two starches...but we were green beaned out and that's all we had) turned out AMAZING! Everyone in the house loved it, even my 1 and 1/2 year old grandson who just got here. I don't think I've ever seen a kid that size shove pork in so fast. And I usually have part of a pork roast left over which gets made into pulled pork sandwiches, but not this time!

So, all in all a successful experiment. The only drawback is that now I'm out of the salted caramel, and have to make some more.... :P

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