Pork with Pear Chutney

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

On Tuesdays, I am teaching a friend (who is also named Courtney) to cook. We just had our second session. At our first session we made a quiche with broccoli, sharp cheddar, and ham as well as a salad with mixed baby greens, black pepper goat cheese, strawberries, walnuts, hearts of palm, and a homemade herb cane vinegar dressing. It was a pretty quick meal. We did use a pre-made pie crust- which helped it come together without too much fuss.

Tonight we made a more time consuming meal. We started prep work just after 5 and didn’t eat until 8. There was downtime in there but it was quite the project.

We made a pork loin, pear chutney, potato hash, and dill lemon zucchini.

I am going to go through the process step by step and hopefully with close enough amounts (there was some eyeballing) to replicate.

The first thing we did was rub the pork loin in a smoky onion mustard and an applewood seasoning rub. We put a pretty decent coating of both on it to make sure the whole thing was covered. It went into a gallon zip top bag and into the fridge to sit for a while.

Next was time for chopping! Part of why I picked this set of foods for this lesson is that other Courtney is still learning kitchen knife skills and a lot of chopping is good practice. And we did have a lot of chopping to do.

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For the chutney we finely diced –

4 pears – peeled and cored (we used two types but any pear should be ok)

1 red onion

2 Jalapenos- seeds removed

1 Anaheim pepper- seeds removed

About 10-12 cloves of pickled (NOT raw) garlic

Into the work bowl along with chopped ingredients went :

Around 3/4 cup tarragon vinegar (some of this went in first and was stirred on to pears as they were chopped to prevent browning)

Roughly 3/4 tsp mustard powder

A good sprinkling of sea salt

1/2 cup honey

Once all those ingredients were stirred up nicely the chutney went into a pan over medium high heat. Into the pan, we added two dried tabasco peppers.

Once the chutney reached a simmer, we put the lid on and reduced the heat to low. After 10 mins or so we fished the dried tabasco peppers out.

The chutney would cook with the lid on until the pear pieces were fairly soft and then without the lid for a short while to cook off the excess liquid. While it cooked we played a board game.

Once the chutney was done, it went into to two jars and into the fridge.

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In the meantime while the chutney was cooking-

We chopped up the 8 or 9 small potatoes we would use later into small chunks. We used a mix of red, yellow and purple potatoes.

We also chopped two zucchini into small pieces as well.

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After the chutney went into the fridge, we put the pork loin on a baking sheet (covered in foil for easy cleaning) and slid it into a 350 degree oven. And we played a card game.

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Once the pork had been cooking around 20 mins or so, we started the veggies.

For the potatoes, we heated some olive oil and a small piece of butter over high heat and added the potatoes, some sweet and smokey rub, and some onion powder. Then we reduced the heat to medium and cooked with frequent stirring until the potatoes were cooked through with some golden crusty bits on the edges.

The zucchini’s frying pan was prepped with olive oil, a small piece of butter, and two lemons worth of zest. The zucchini went in along with a good sprinkling of sea salt and dried dill. Once the zucchini were very close to done we turned the pan up to high and added the juice of the two lemons. We let it cook over high (with frequent stirring) until most of the liquid from the lemon juice was gone and the remainder had reduced down quite a bit.

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Midway through the veggie cooking we tested the pork with a meat thermometer. It measured 160 degrees- higher than the actual required safety point. We pulled it out and wrapped the foil up around the pork to keep it hot while we finished the potatoes and zucchini.

All the food was a hit, but especially the zucchini (which were largely improvised, I happened to have the lemon on hand and I just went with it) and the pear chutney which was inspired by a recipe from my mom for a pear chow chow she had made.

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