What to Eat Wednesday: Pork 'N' Beans

What to Eat Wednesday is a new Wait . . . Dad? Recipe Series . . . cause . . . you know . . . why not? There will be no rhyme or reason other than whatever tasted exceptionally good the previous week, but you may notice I'm a huge fan of quick easy cheap meals that are high in protein, minerals, and fiber, and relatively low on carbs. I say that with the full knowledge that I will be sharing a cast iron lasagna recipe very soon which meets none of the previously mentioned criteria. Since it's new, please send along feedback about either the format or the recipes themselves or share with me your meals that you want me to try. Thanks . . . 

Pork 'N' Beans:
1-1.5 lbs of Pork Loin
1 Can Black Beans
1 Small Cauliflower

Olive Oil
Scoop of Sour Cream

Okay . . . so go ahead and admit it; When you saw the title your mind instinctively went right to the farting scene in Blazing Saddles . . . right?

That's okay.

Just note that when your co-workers ask you what you had for dinner last night (because that's what co-workers do because for some reason they're interested in your life), they are likely to roll their eyes a bit, because you're in your forties and you should stop eating like you're in college.

Anyway . . . in a concerted effort to re-tool a classic, inspired by the absolute ridiculous call in the Dallas/Green Bay Game,  (and because I'm pretty sure we just had five nights of chicken) I thought it's be fun to shake things up. Lean towards a little elegance. Create a comfort food that Dez Bryant can cry into without reducing his chances in free agency.

Consider, for the moment, the other white meat.

The Meat:
Pork loin is both very tasty and remarkably forgiving, along with the fact that it's cheap and easy to cook. First, find yourself a pan that can go in the oven (a cast iron pan works perfectly). Preheat your oven to a blistering 425. (You want it to cook quickly so it stays moist)

Yeah . . . I said 'moist'.

Heat up your pan with just the tiniest bit of oil. (I actually like the smokiness of olive oil, but a professional will tell you to use canola or something wussy like that). Sprinkle the loin with salt/pepper on all sides. You can use a seasoning salt or whatever you like. Drop the loin into the pan and sear the meat on all three sides (about 5 minutes per side). Put the whole shebang in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Almost all recipes will tell you 10-15 minutes and then check with a thermometer for the internal temperature to reach around 155.

Yeah . . . I said 'reach around'.

Don't listen to those jerks. 30 minutes is just fine. You will know it's cooked, and no one's bound to die, and if you pay attention to this next bit it'll come out perfectly juicy.

Yeah . . . I said 'come' and 'juicy'.

Okay, so the next bit is crucial. Take the pan out of the oven and let it sit for at leeeeeeeeast five more minutes. The meat will continue to cook and the muscles will swell up and trap the liquid. Cut into it too soon and you will have dry meat and a very wet cutting board.

After your five minutes is up, move the meat to your cutting board and add a little liquid to the pan, put some heat under it, and scrape up all the roasted bits. Reduce the liquid by half and you've just made sauce. (Yes, you can add a little butter to it, but just because you're eating pig doesn't mean you have to eat like one.)

The Beans:
I like black beans for this, but you can use pinto, white kidney, or really whatever. Just don't get cocky with trying to slow cook for several hours. Open up the can, dump it in a pan, heat until it's hot.

The Cauliflower: 
Now, I am very so very super against trying to make some foods taste and feel like other foods. There ain't no shitake mushroom between heaven and earth that will replace a good burger. And tofu should be banned by the FDA. But . . . and this is a big but . . .

yeah I said 'big butt'. . .

Cauliflower actually does make an acceptable potato substitution in a low-carb-material world.

And I am muh muh low-carb material girl.

I first discovered it for soups and stews and have spent a large portion of my wife's patience trying to get an acceptable 'mashed cauliflower' to go where the russets usually dominate.

I finally discovered the trick.

First, boil the hell out of them. Yeah you lose some nutrients, but it's still vegetable fiber so shut your mouth. Then, add a bit of olive oil, a dash of salt, and here's the kicker . . . a scoop of sour cream. Mash it all up.

But but but, sour cream isn't a wholesome healthy food, you say.

Shush. It's not meth. A dollop won't kill you.

Yeah, it's not as good as a big steaming plate of baby reds covered in butter, chives and bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and and extra pat of butter just in case . . . but it's good. Like almost pretty good.

The Assembly: 
Drop a fat spoon of the mashed cauliflower on a plate, thinly slice the pork and lay it on the side of the mash in a scalloped pattern (chicks dig scalloped patterns). Add a fat spoonful of beans and then drizzle the pan sauce on the meat and mash.

This is a red wine meal, but a super buttery oaky chilled Californian chardonnay works too.

You think you're gonna maybe want to go with real mashed potatoes, but it would throw everything else off and you'll have to add a veggie side dish and that's too much damn work. So don't even try. You can and should use a seasoning salt of your choice for the meat, you can also add parmesan cheese to the cauliflower mash.

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 mildy hungry yoga instructors, or 3 actual people, or that one guy in between World of Warcraft Campaigns.
Cost per serving: $2.50
Calories: Unknown.
Lt. Ripley: MIA (last seen staring at her belly button)

1 comment:

  1. I'm now worried that a dollup of meth is gonna kill me