Monday, October 17, 2016

Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets, Roast Vegetables, Braised Red Cabbage and Baked Apple

     Oktoberfest Cuisine!
     Oktoberfest is a celebration where tons of German beer and food are consumed.  Of all the autumn celebrations worldwide, Oktoberfest is probably the best event for people that need to put on a comfortable layer of fat for winter.  If a person does not gain a few pounds during Oktoberfest, then they did not celebrate enough!
     Oktoberfest was originally a harvest celebration.  In the old days, the fall harvest had to be done at a fast pace, before the first frost set in.  People worked around the clock and many passed out from sheer exhaustion.  When the harvest was finished, everybody was hungry and dead tired.  Good strong beer made during the harvest helped ease the pain and it put everybody in a celebratory mood.  Simple hearty peasant food was served up with the beer.  The workers indulged for a couple of weeks, till they regained strength or ran out of beer, whichever came first.
     Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets taste nice with braised red cabbage.  A baked spiced apple adds a nice touch to a plate of food that has an Oktoberfest theme.
     Braised Red Cabbage:
     This recipe yields 2 to 3 hearty portions.  
     Black Forest Bacon is an American product.  The bacon slab is coated with German winter spices during the curing process.  
     Step 1:  Heat a braising pan or a wide sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 2 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 strip American style Black Forest Bacon that is coarsely chopped.
     Gently sauté till some of the fat renders the bacon just begins to turn a light golden color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion.
     Add 1/4 cup of finely chopped celery.
     Gently sauté till the onions start to turn clear in color.
     Step 3:  Raise the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
     Add 9 cups of thin sliced red cabbage.  (About 1/2 of a medium size red cabbage head.)
     Sauté and stir the cabbage till it starts to wilt.
     Step 4:  Add 1 peeled cored Gala Apple that is diced.
     Continue to sauté and stir, till the cabbage wilts.
     Step 5:  Add 1 cup of French Rosé Wine (or a full bodied Blush Wine).
     Add 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
     Add 2 tablespoons of sugar.
     Add enough water to barely cover the cabbage with liquid.
     Step 6:  Add 2 pinches of cinnamon.
     Add 1 pinch of allspice.
     Add 3 spice cloves.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1 pinch of ground sage.
     Add 1 small pinch of ground celery seed.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Step 7:  Stir the ingredients.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.
     Step 8:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Cover the pan with a loose fitting lid.
     Place the covered pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Stir the cabbage once every 10 to 15 minutes.
     Braise until the cabbage becomes tender.
     *While the cabbage is braising, the roasted rosemary pork, vegetables and the baked apple can also be cooked in the oven.
     Step 9:  Remove the pot from the oven.
     Place the pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till no excess liquid remains.
     Keep the braised red cabbage warm over very low heat.
     Roasted Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets and Vegetables: 
     This recipe yields 1 hearty portion.
     Step 1:  Place 1 celery heart that is cut in half in a roasting pan.
     Cut a 5" long piece of whole carrot in half lengthwise.  Place the carrot halves in the roasting pan.
     Add 2 large peeled russet potato quarters.
     Brush the vegetables with melted unsalted butter.
     Step 2:  Select 5 or 6 trimmed pork loin cutlets that are about 1/4" thick.  The total weight should be about 8 to 10 ounces.
     Place the pork loin cutlets in the roasting pan.
     Add 2 ounces of dry white wine to the pan.
     Add 1/4 cup of water.
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves over the pork and vegetables.
     Step 3:  Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Roast till the pork is fully cooked and light brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  *The thin pork cutlets will finish cooking first!
     Remove the pork cutlets from the pan and place them on a platter.
     Keep the pork warm on a stove top.
     Step 5:  Return the pan with the hard vegetables to the oven.
     Continue roasting till the vegetables are fully cooked and caramelized brown highlights appear.
     Keep the roast vegetables warm on a stove top.
     Baked Apple:
     This recipe yields 1 portion.
     The apple can be baked at the same time as the pork and vegetables.
     Step 1:  Core a medium size apple.  (Gala Apples are nice for baking.)
     Cut the bottom of the apple so it sits flat.
     Peel the apple around the center and leave the skin on the top and bottom of the apple.
     Step 2:  Brush the apple with melted unsalted butter.
     Season the apple with 1 pinch of cinnamon.
     Step 3:  Place the apple on a small roasting pan.
     Bake the apple in a 325ºF oven till it becomes tender, but not mushy.
     Keep the baked apple warm on the stove top.

     Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets, Roast Vegetables, Braised Red Cabbage and Baked Apple: 
     This recipe yields 1 hearty entrée.
     Step 1:  Return the Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets, Roast Vegetables and Baked Apple to the oven for a minute or two to reheat them before serving.
     Step 2:  Place a generous portion of the Braised Red Cabbage on the front half of a plate as a bed for the pork loin cutlets.  (About 1 1/2 cups.)
     Overlap the Rosemary Pork Loin Cutlets across the cabbage.
     Step 3:  Place the baked apple on the plate.
     Arrange the roasted vegetables on the plate.
     Pour any jus that remains in the roasting pan over the pork cutlets.
     Step 4:  Garnish the plate with a parsley sprig.
     Garnish the baked apple with a tall rosemary sprig.
     Awesome German Oktoberfest food!

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