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Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin


Two weekends ago, I went to an amazing restaurant and ordered the spice crusted pork loin.  The spice and texture on the meat was amazing. It was so juicy! I set out to recreate this dish and I was surprised how quickly it came together. I was able to create the whole dish in about 30 minutes. I am not sure if I used the exact spices they used at the restaurant, but the blend I put together compliments the meat well. I set out the tenderloin to defrost in the refrigerator the night before. I normally brine pork before roasting in the oven, but the meat in the restaurant did not seem to be brined.

Try this recipe for a flavorful, juicy tenderloin that comes together quickly.

Spice Crusted Pork Loin

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Ingredients:

2 small pork loins  (about 2 – 2 1/2 pounds)

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tbsp garlic cloves

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and pat dry two pork loins. Trim of excess fat and remove the silver skin.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper to taste. I normally use 1/2 tsp of each. Set aside.
  4. In an eight-inch cast iron skillet or saute pan toast the whole spices for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Combine the spices with olive oil and stir to combine.
  6. Coat the pork loin on all sides with the spice mixture.  I put the spices and olive oil in a loaf pan and rolled the loins in the spices, pressing them down gently.
  7. In a large, oven-proof saute pan on medium-high heat place the pork loins turning to brown on all sides. Mine took about two minutes on each side. Some spices with come off the loin during cooking and that is alright.  You will still have enough left to create a great crust.
  8. Place the pan into the heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
  9. Cover the finished pork loin and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

This meal will combine well with the curried Brussels sprouts of the creamy, cheesy cauliflower.

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New Year, Low-Carb Lamb Chili


New Year

Remains of New Year's Eve Revelry.

Happy New Year! After recovering from my out-to-late night and eating this delicious and bacon-loaded recovery breakfast, I thought about making some long cooking dish. I wanted to be able to sit at home, under a blanket reading a good book and not have to worry about fussing over dinner. I came up with the idea of chili.  And not just any chili, but one using the one of my favorite meats: lamb.  I love how lamb’s unctuousness can turn any ordinary dish into a lips-smacking, and finger-licking affair.  For this dish, I also added the marrow bones while it was cooking and reducing in enhance the flavor.

Low-Carb Lamb Chili

lamb chili

Lamb Chili with Marrow Bone

Ingredients:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

2 lbs lamb stew meat, which usually come from lamb neck or lamb shoulder,cut into 2 inch pieces with (my lamb came with marrow bones)

1 lb hot Italian pork sausage removed from the casing

1 lb ground pork, cubed pork shoulder, or cubed pork butt

1 large sweet onion diced

2 poblano peppers seeded and diced

2 red, orange, and/or yellow peppers diced

2 cloves garlic diced

1 28-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes no salt added

1 cup chicken stock

2 tbs Worcester sauce (optional)

peppers

Image via wikipedia

1 tbs anchovy paste (optional)

2 tbs chipotle chili powder

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbs smoked paprika

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1 tbs dutch process cocoa powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 tsp kosher salt or sea salt

1 bay leaf

Directions:

  1. In a 6-quart dutch oven over medium-heat, heat oil until it is shimmering.
  2. Add the cubed lamb to the pot and brown on all sides.  Add this in three – four batches so the lamb does not steam.
    fond

    Fond image via wikipedia

    Brown bits (fond or suc in France) will start to build at the bottom of the pot – fear not. They are the essence of pure flavor.  Do not let this burn – reduce the heat if it becomes dark brown.

  3. After the lamb has finished cooking, remove to a bowl.
  4. Add the sausage and pork to the pot to brown over medium-heat in three batches and remove to a waiting bowl.
  5. After the meat has been browned and removed to a bowl, add the peppers, onion, and red pepper flakes.  Saute until they are soft, scrapping the bottom of the pot to remove the delicious brown bits. The liquid from these veggies will help deglaze the pot.
  6. Add the garlic and saute for one minute.
  7. Add the anchovy paste and tomato paste. Saute for about one minute to begin to caramelize the tomato paste.
  8. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock.
  9. Reduce heat to low and add the meat back to the pot and stir to combine with other ingredients.
  10. Open the can of whole tomatoes, reserve the liquid, and open the tomatoes with your fingers to remove as many seeds as possible because they are bitter. Then crush the tomatoes with your hands directly into the pot.  Add the remaining liquid.
  11. Add the diced tomatoes and liquid.
  12. Add the herbs, spices, pepper,  cocoa powder, Worcester sauce, bay leaf, and one tsp of kosher or sea salt. Reserve the rest of the salt for after the chili reduces because the salt content in the stock and tomatoes will vary.
  13. Stir together the ingredients and cover.  The chili should be at a low simmer for one hour.
  14. Taste the chili and adjust the seasoning to taste. Do not add salt yet.
  15. Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes – one hour to thicken the chili.
  16. After the chili has come to the desired thickness, taste and adjust the salt levels. If you included the marrow bone, remove the marrow and stir into the chili. Remove the bones and the bay leaf.

You can garnish this with some smoked gouda, sour cream, or cilantro. This recipe will pair especially well with my coconut flour cheesy biscuits. You could also put this over Your Light Side’s caulitots or Paleo Gurl’s Kitchen’s twice baked cauli-tots.

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