15 September 2010

Sunday meal for 9.5: lemony pork

We are finally eight again! As much as I miss my friends, I do not miss the hefty amount of work that goes into cooking for so many. I'd finally gotten used to eight when the number was suddenly raised. Also, my dad is away for a couple of days, so dinner is ONLY for seven tonight. I'm excited.

Anyway, I cooked dinner on Sunday for 10, although one guest hadn't tried pork before and didn't want to start then. The potatoes I have made twice before, and I think this was the best batch yet.

Based on this recipe for lemon picatta pork, served along with Nigella's Hasselback potatoes (which were mentioned last time).
I sliced the potatoes in a wooden spoon, as recommended, and covered them in oil, salt and pepper. I believe there were a little over 2kg worth of potatoes. They went in the oven at 180 degrees C, and sat there for forty minutes (while I had fun with my friends) before I started on the pork.
16 pork steaks, sliced lengthways into three strips each. Dredged in flour before being put on the stove on a high heat (with oil) for 10 minutes. At this point they were almost entirely cooked through, with some slightly pink still. Pork was put to one side; 2 finely chopped onions and 2 minced garlic cloves went in the pan with some more oil. The recipe suggests to season the shallot so I added garlic pepper and ginger. When soft, I added a cup of lemon juice, half a bottle of white wine, and roughly a litre of chicken stock. Once it began simmering, on a medium heat, I put the pork back in and let it cook for about half an hour.
On tasting, the sauce was too sour and lemony for me, so I added about half a cup of cream. This made the sauce tangy rather than sour.
At the 1 hour mark for the potatoes, I put the temperature down to 150 degrees C - there were other factors to serving up (we were using the table for an intricate card game - I won!) and I was worried that the potatoes would burn if left at 180. As it turned out, they would probably have been fine, but still.

Also served with spinach, carrots, and some leftover broccoli/cauliflower bits, which were boiled in salted water for about 10 minutes.

Overall the potatoes spent about an hour and a half in the oven, although smaller or fewer potatoes or a full-size working oven should cut that time. My boyfriend prefers them crispy, too, so that is another factor which ups cooking time. There were about 3-5 per person, including the non-pork-eating friend, which is enough for a normal serving but not enough considering how delicious they are! The pork was moist, for pork, probably due to the flour-dredge - which is something I shall have to start doing more often.