This once a week deal is really not working so well I know. This blogging thing isn’t as easy as it looks!
Well this week though busy has been great so far. I am so happy to have our farmers market back. I knew I missed it but I didn’t know how much. Now up here the market starts in the beginning of June but we don’t start seeing any real produce until towards the end of the month. So this Saturday I headed on over (its across the street, how cool is that!). I lucked out with some great finds. I came home with a lunch of locally produced aged goat cheese, with freshly baked croissants. In addition, I was able to score some fresh butter lettuce and radishes and the biggest score of the day was a fresh ham steak from a local farm who raise their livestock from birth with no hormones/antibiotics, fed on food from the farm! It is really amazing. We had the cheese with the croissants and saved the produce and fresh ham for Sunday dinner.
Saturday night we decided to go to Jazz Fest in Burlington and we had an awesome dinner at Luenigs and enjoyed great music from Trio Gusto with Mike Martin. They were fantastic and we really enjoyed ourselves. So much so that I will follow up with another post all about it!
So on to Sunday Dinner!
With everything being so fresh I didn’t want to cover up any of that flavor so I kept it really simple. I started with a short brine on the pork. A combo of brown sugar, kosher salt, cloves, coriander, and black pepper corns and water. Once the brine cooled I soaked the pork for about 2 hours. It was only about 2 pounds so it didn’t need much. Once out of the brine I mixed up a rub consisting of toasted coriander seeds, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper mixed with a drop of liquid smoke and a drizzle of (fresh from the farmers market) cold pressed sunflower oil. By the way this stuff is like liquid gold. It has a nice nutty taste and is light and really full of flavor. You could of course use olive oil and no one would be the wiser! I ground all this up together in a mortar and pastel until a nice paste formed. I slathered that all over the ham steak and let that sit for about an hour as I got the rest of dinner prepped and ready to go.
First, I pre-heated the oven to 450 and placed my grill pan in the oven to heat up. I don’t have an outside grill so I use this set up whenever I want the same effect. Then I began work on the salad. The butter lettuce was picked that morning so as you can imagine it was a little dirty; I gave it a good washing and let it dry while I cleaned and sliced the radishes nice a thin and sliced some vidalia onions very thin as well. I threw it all in a bowl and that is where it sat waiting its dressing. Again I went real simple here. The dressing was nothing more than 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 butter milk, 1-2 T. fresh dill, salt and pepper, and of course a drizzle of the Sunflower oil. It made a great light and tangy ,perfect for the salad. I held off tossing together until ready to serve. Then I began a light BBQ sauce to serve with the pork.
My mother used to make this sauce when I was a kid. In fact I had never even had store bought until I was grown and out of the house. I still prefer mom’s!
This is not an exact recipe but more like a method and a taste as you go kind of sauce. But here ya go, just don’t tell mom I gave out her secret!
Melt about 1-2T. butter in a sauce pan then add about 2-4 cloves garlic minced, 1-2 T. onion minced and saute until fragrant (NOT BURNT!) to this add about 1/4 cup brown sugar and let it get all carmally. To this add a few gluggs of beer, any kind really, whatever you like to drink. You could sub out hard cider or just stock if you don’t want the alcohol. Let this bubble away and add some tomato paste, I add a good squirt from the tube I would say about 2 tsp. Stir in and then add about 1/2 bottle of catchup and 1/4 cup red wine vinegar. This is usually where my mother stops, I however like things with a bit of a kick and I added 1 tsp. of cayenne and a couple good dashes of hot sauce. And don’t forget the salt and pepper! That’s it; it’s real simple and lends itself to experimentation. Really its hard to screw it up!
Ok Lets put this meal together!
Now that the “grill” is hot I gently laid the ham steak in the pan and closed the door. Cook on this side for about 10 minutes. I got some nice grill marks and accumulated some nice juices in the pan which I used to baste the steak as I turned it over and cooked for another 5 minutes or so. I took the pork out of the oven and let it rest while I took some corn on the cob I had handy and just placed them on the grill pan and put them in the oven.
By the time the ham steak had rested, the corn was done and I tossed the dressing with the salad. Serve with the sauce on the side and dinner was done!