Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Everywhere life is coming back…daffodils, tulip and dogwood buds and a good friend’s newborn baby. The cycle of life and its return is present all around us. The trials and tribulations of surviving winter’s assault…both nature’s wrath and internal emotions that might have gone wry. A calm is replaces the anxiousness caused by another cold, grey day as the sun warms the earth and personally, heats up desire.
My argues is not of the kind seen on the National Geographic channel, but rather the want for green, chlorophyll rich foods stimulated by this shift in the earth’s axis that brings us all out ready to play. But, I wait knowing it is weeks away for desire to catch up with reality. So, while this is the season of renewal for me, foodwise, it is the season to fast. Not an absolute 30-day food free period rather the foods I am eating simple fare – salad greens, miso soup and the last of my pickles.
The irony of these exciting first sunny days leaves me saddened by the still barrenness of my market. So, it until nature starts to trickle in it is plates of comfort foods – thanks Mom.
Pork Loin braised with Potato, Sauerkraut and Caraway – yields 6 servings
1/4-pound bacon - diced
3 pounds pork loin chops (approx. 1-inch thick)
2-large onions – thinly sliced
2-teaspoons whole caraway seeds
1-pound Yukon gold potatoes – cut into 1-inch chunks
1-quart sauerkraut – drained
1-heaping tablespoon grainy mustard
2-tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves (fresh if possible)
1-cup white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat a 6 or 8-quart casserole pot over a medium heat, and add the diced bacon. Cook the bacon until it releases it’s fat, and crisps. With a slotted spoon remove the bacon, and hold to the side.
Sear the pork in the pot. Remove the pork to from the pan, and reserve alongside the bacon.
To the pot add the onions and caraway seeds. Cook the onions until they are completely softened, and just starting to color. Then mix the potatoes, sauerkraut, grainy mustard, thyme leaves, bay leaves and wine. Reduce the heat to a low. Cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
Then return the bacon and pork loin to pot, and continue cooking, covered, 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.