Southern Style Pork Rouladen
Okay, kiddos, it's fall. This is a "comfort" recipe that draws from German and Southern US traditions, German by way of its inspiration, and Southern by the tweaking to reflect the influences that style brings to the table today.
- 4 lbs. Pork Loin, (see directions to fabricate)
- Let's get this right: there IS a difference between just a regular loin and a tenderloin, they are different cuts. If you don't have a chunk this big, try to think of this as 8 oz. per serving;
- A jar of Chow Chow (southern cabbage relish)
- some good Dijon mustard;
- eight good-sized pickled okra;
- Three BIG sweet potatoes;
- stick of unsalted butter (4 oz.);
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice;
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon;
- Fresh black pepper and salt to taste.
- Wwhite mirepoix (see directions)
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 3 c. rich beef stock
Pardon the redundancy, my recipes tend to be written in a way that I can onderstand. They're pretty darn funny, too.
4 lbs. Pork Loin, sliced like this:
Lay the pork loin on a cutting board and start carving it down its length like a jelly roll, about 3/8" thick. Your average chunk of loin at that weight is going to be about 8" long. Let's get this right: there IS a difference between just a regular loin and a tenderloin, they are different cuts. If you don't have a chunk this big, try to think of this as 8 oz. per serving. Now when you have this thing all laid out there, it's going to become a fairly expansive piece of meat. I like to use a stiff boning knife (STOP your sniggering) for this, the blade is narrow and easy to turn as you get to the end.
Take that dealy-o and slice it about every 4" so you wind up with about eight 4" X 8" rectangular pieces of loin. Put these between two sheets of wrap and smack them with a meat mallet like you wish you could your ex lover. Cooking can be so cathartic, no? Or am I going psycho? Anyway, flatten it out, and you wind up with about a foot by six inch rectangle.
Now you'll need a jar of Chow Chow (southern cabbage relish), some good Dijon mustard, and eight good-sized pickled okra. Spread each rectangle liberally with the Dijon, then the Chow Chow and 2Tb of finely cubed onion (so you need a half of a yellow onion or so here). Put an okra at one of the narrow ends. Roll this whole deal up and then tie it with kitchen string.
Now go get a big, heavy saucepan, a three quart or so, and take three BIG sweet potoatoes that you have peeled and quartered. Cover them with COLD water, and start them boiling on high, reduce to a simmer until they are tender when poked with a fork. I say half an hour or so. To this add a stick of unsalted butter (4 oz.), a half teaspoon of ground allspice, and half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Now throw in fresh black pepper, and salt to taste. Mash this, but not too finely, the texture is nice when not over smooshed.
Now you will have to put on your famous multi-tasking hat here a bit. So if you are a person who can manage to carry on a phone conversation while driving, you're in like Flint here. If not, go away, and despair. Quit driving ON THE PHONE!
WHILE the aforementioned spuds are boiling and simmering, now you are faced with a white mirepoix. Meer-eh-pwah, for your edification and entertainment, via snobby Franch pronunciations. Accent the first syllable and you will seem genuinely froggy and all your friends will admire you. Basically this is the schtuff: One large yellow onion, chopped. One parsnip, about half of the onion's size, peeled and chopped (these things look like albino carrots) and the same amount of celery as the parsnip.
Heat a frying pan, the kind that is non-stick and has a handle on the front with straight sides about 4" deep. Get the thing up to reasonably HOT (it needs to be HOT, HEAT cooks food!), and add a couple of Tb. of olive oil. Just regular old olive oil, you will not need something that competes with the gold standard here. Now put in the roulades you made and sear them off, let them become lightly toasted all the way around. Take them out and hold warm. Add more oil. Do not clean out the pan. There's flavor in that thing. Throw down the mirepoix and LEAVE THIS TO COOK a bit, don't fuss with it a lot, so the sugars can caramelize, and this stuff browns up a bit. Now add half a can of tomato paste, and let that toast a bit. After this, pour in either a good pork stock, or if you don't have that, a good beef stock, about three cups. YAHHH! Slide those bad boy roulades back in there, reduce the heat to a simmer, add S&P to taste and cover. Simmer until the mirepoix and rouladen are tender, about 45 min to an hour.
Remove the roulades and hold them on a plate, covered, in a warm oven. They should be about butter tender by now.
Skim off the fat from the top of the jus here, throw that away, and put the rest in a food mill or a heatsafe bender. VENT the darn blender! Hot stuff blows up if you don't. Pictor is not responsible for napalm attacks! Add about a tsp. of Herbes du Provence. Whizz it up to make a gravy, then add 2 or so oz. of cold butter bits to emulsify this whole concoction. Return it to the pan for a bit. Put the roulades back in. Heat through. Serve. Be congratulated. I like to put down the mash, place the rouladen on top, and nap with the gravy. I also like to make fried sweet potato strings for a garnish. I usually serve this with cooked greens as a side.
Oh yes, DO take the strings off for your guests! No one likes flossing WITH the food.