Monday, December 19, 2011

Goat Stuffed Pig and a Cook's Christmas Wish List

After receiving over a dozen emails last week asking me to recommend the best cooking gifts, I decided to make an official list that can be passed directly on to Santa. I chose my favorite things, with a wide range in price and size (to fit in a stocking or in a box), that make cooking a lot easier and much more fun. 
It wouldn't be a proper Christmas list without a cookbook. We all know no one can have too many cookbooks, so a good book is always an easy choice for putting under the tree. Wrap up my friend Libbie Summers’ fabulous new book, The Whole Hog Cookbook. The book is breathtakingly beautiful and is a real education in all things pig. Libbie is not only Paula Deen's culinary producer and senior food editor, but is also a gifted story teller and teacher in her own right.  She knows her subject well. It's no surprise since Libbie was learning to butcher hogs while other children her age were playing games. Her knowledge and realness shows on each pretty page and in every recipe. Buy it, wrap it up, and become the best gift-giver in your family.
Read on for Libbie's recipe for Goat Stuffed Pig, a goat cheese stuffed pork tenderloin with a pear gravy that practically screams Christmas dinner.
Lodge Enameled Cast-Iron Covered Casserole
Magnetic Measuring Spoons
Oxo Good Grips Meat Pounder
Goat Stuffed Pig
(with Pear Pan Gravy)
serves 4 to 6
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
Photo by Chia Chong
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 ripe pears, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped dried pears
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2 firm pears, thickly sliced (skin on)
1 1/2 cups pork stock, divided (can substitute chicken stock)
1/4 cup pear brandy (can substitute apple brandy)
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400º F.
To butterfly tenderloin, use a sharp knife and make a cut (lengthwise) down the center of the pork tenderloin to within 1/2 inch of the bottom. Open the cut meat and lay flat between two pieces of plastic wrap.
Pound the meat until it is of even thickness. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Lightly salt and pepper uncovered side of tenderloin.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together diced ripe pears, dried pears, garlic, goat cheese, parsley and pecans. Spread mixture over the top of the butterflied roast to within 1" of the edges. Roll up log side, removing plastic wrap. Tie with butcher's twine every 2 inches to secure. Salt and pepper lightly.
Place tenderloin in a shallow roasting pan along with sliced pears and 1/2 cup pork stock. Roast until internal temperature reaches 155º F (approximately 12 to 18 minutes).
Remove from oven and allow tenderloin to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before removing butcher's twine and slicing into thick slices. Serve warm with Pear Pan Gravy.
For Pear Pan Gravy: makes 2 cups
With a slotted spoon, transfer the pears in the roasting pan to a bowl and keep warm. Pour off any fat from the roasting pan, leaving the meat juices on the bottom. Put pan over medium-high heat, add apple brandy and deglaze pan allowing the alcohol to burn off and being sure to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan (approximately 1 minute) . Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan. Whisk in remaining stock, apple cider and thyme. Increase heat to high and bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Stir in cream and simmer for another 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in butter and pears. Serve warm, poured over Goat Stuffed Pig.
Recipe courtesy of Libbie Summers and The Whole Hog Cookbook, (Rizzoli 2011)
Copyright © 2011 Rebecca Lang Cooks, LLC. All rights reserved.