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Balsamic pork with sweet potatos

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Misu, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.


    1 pork loin - can be pork tenderloin or regular pork loin (tenderloin costs more but the meat is much softer)

    4-5 medium sized garlic cloves, minced (not whole garlics, just cloves)

    several sprigs fresh rosemary, washed and dried

    several sprigs thyme, washed and dried

    3-4 medium sized sweet potatos, peeled and cut into chunks - try to make the chunks no larger than 2 1/2 inches square

    Balsamic vinegar

    Extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper (I use pepper meddly, for pep, but you can use black pepper, or white pepper if you like it more robust)


    1. Preheat oven to 400 F

    2. place pork loin in baking dish big enough to hold it and all the potato chunks and their juices.

    3. cut little pockets into the pork loin, and stuff a little bit of garlic into each cut. Stuff the garlic into the pork loin as you cut into it - otherwise, you lose the cuts, and you don't want to make more cuts than you need to, or the meat will dry. For a loin thats about 1 foot long, I usually do about 4 cuts on top and 4 on bottom. Rub the remaining garlic into both sides of the meat.

    4. Place sweet potato chunks all around the pork loin - arange it so that you can mix the potatos well and comfortable around the pork loin. You need to constantly work with them as you season the meat, since the seasonings go on the potatos as well.

    Note - the following steps must be done to both the top and bottom of the pork loin for proper seasoning.

    5. Season the pork loin with salt and pepper, to taste. Season the sweet potato chunks to taste.

    6. Drizzle the pork loin liberally with the olive oil, making sure you get all the meat covered with the oil. Do the same with the potatos.

    7. Take the rosemary sprigs, peel off the rosemary leaves by pulling on the sprigs in the opposite direction of the leaf growth, and season the pork loin and potato chunks. I usually use about 5 or 6 sprigs of rosemary for a loin that's about 1 foot long.

    8. Repeat #7, only this time with the thyme.

    9. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar, liberally, onto the seasoned pork loin and the potatos. Mix the potatos around well, to ensure even coverage. Rub the pork loin with the balsamic vinegar to ensure proper coverage.

    10. Find the side of the pork loin that has the most fat and place that side up - the side of the meat that has less fat should be the side the meat is laying on. The fat on top of the meat will melt as meat cooks, making a nice crust on top of the pork loin - looks gorgeous and tastes awesome, and it protects the meat from burning.

    Place in preheated oven and cook for about 40 minutes, depending on your oven. I use a conventional oven, so it takes a good 40 minutes in the center rack. You can try to cook this at 500 degrees for about 20 minutes, but regular pork loin doesn't cook as well at this high temperature. Low and slow seems to do this meat justice.

    I highly suggest cutting into the meat to ensure that it's fully cooked. But don't over cook it. This dish, tho extremely easy to prepare, can easily be ruined by over cooking - pork loin dries up if overcooked.

    Serve with your choice of sides. The sweet potatos taste GREAT baked in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with rosemary and thyme.

  2. martissimo

    martissimo Veteran Member

    please dont take this as a knock on your recipe because it isn't meant that way (in fact it sounds delightfull!)

    but may i suggest that instead of cutting the meat while hot to check doneness that perhaps a simple 2 or 3 dollar meat thermometer might be preferable? No chance of any of those precious juices running out from cutting into the meat that hasn't rested for a few minutes.

    it's a tool that i firmly believe most home cooks underrate, so basic an item and simply invaluable unless you have those magic fingers that can detect doneness by pushing on meat and can tell how done it is by the feel of it's firmness ;)
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I honestly do not see that as a knock, Martissimo, if anything, and speaking solely for me, if I were to post a recipe, I'd LOVE for people to give me pointers or other ways of doing it. :)
  4. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    Oh this forum might have been a bad idea after all. I think I'm going to be putting on some weight here. LOL

    Misu this sounds absolutely delicious!!! I can't wait to try it :)
  5. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    *sharpening chef's knife and eyeing martissimo*


    I am currently looking for the exact model that the guy on "good eats" uses, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Plus, I don't have a thermometer, so I don't know what the temp needs to be to be cooked inside.

    So if you have a thermometer and know what the temp should be for pork, then by all means use it! ;)

    Violet - it's very good. Especially if you like sweet potatos - I was truly surprised at how good it came out. It's now the primary reason I buy sweet potatos :)
  6. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

  7. martissimo

    martissimo Veteran Member

    ah cool an Alton fan, that guy is certainly fun to watch, he is just so creative (and at times quite kooky) ;)

    yes that particular model he uses is quite impossible to find it seems, assuming you are reffering to the Polder. There are plenty of really nice alternatives that are easily available with similar features though.

    As to the temperature of cooking pork, that is a topic worthy of its own thread for debate! The USDA recommends 160 degrees but anyone that cooks it to that temperature is likely to reieve a plate full of dried out shoe leather. Trichonosis is killed at 137, and the last reported case of it was eons ago if i'm not mistaken. Peronally i cook mine to 140 internal and let it rest after cooking till it hits about 145 or so, and i sometimes wonder if i wouldnt be happier with even just a bit less.
  8. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    The Polder is out of stock in every place I looked. The one listed in the above post is close in function.

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