Gooseneck Revisited

Better Late than Never Goose Gravy

I wasn’t going to share this with you before successfully executing it twice, but after slamming it right out of the polo field on Christmas, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most wealthy-tasting sauces you’ve ever experienced. Mr. S noted the absence of fruit from the goose gravy recipe after the introductory post. When Mr. S gives you a note, you would be well advised to read heavily into it. So I began digging, and found an encouraging recipe on epicurious for Roast Goose with Oranges and Madeira. My only knowledge of this Portuguese wine is that everyone’s out of it at Christmas. So, I substituted a Cabernet Sauvignon in the first round, which yielded a wincingly acidic and tart sauce. For the big day, I used a Port, and the resulting sauce was so enchanting that I doubt I’ll ever try with the elusive Madeira. I won’t include goose preparation in this entry, as I stuck to these directions. I don’t know how goose neck wound up being the most magical ingredient ever, but I do not suggest attempting this with any other gullet. I’ve altered the epicurean recipe slightly, since I stuffed my goose with pork stuffing instead of shallots and oranges. Otherwise, this would be embarrassingly redundant.

1 goose neck
3 shallots, sliced into thin rings
1 1/2 C + 1/3 C + 2 tbsp Port
1 small orange, peeled and sectioned
4 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 C freshly-squeezed orange juice (do it!)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper

In a medium pan, heat the butter over medium-high until frothing subsides, then throw in the neck. You want to cook it for 5 minutes, and turn it once halfway through; otherwise, don’t touch. Ding! Leave the neck in the pan and throw in the shallots, saute for a few minutes until they’re tender. Add 1 1/2 C Port and the orange sections, and boil it down to 1/3 what you started with. Then add the chicken stock and orange juice and boil it for about 45 minutes to end up with 2 C of stock. Pour it through a strainer into a medium bowl, wrap it up, and stick it in the fridge until a few minutes before your goose is cooked.

Pour the stock into a medium saucepan about 5 minutes before you’re ready to take the bird out of the oven and set it over low heat. Once you relocate the goose, put the roasting pan (fat poured off) on a burner set to low heat, and pour in 1/3 C Port. Stir it over the entire pan and scrape up any sticky bits, then add the contents of the roasting pan to the stock. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp of Port, then pour that into the saucepan and give it a good whip. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in 2 tbsp honey. Taste and adjust accordingly, then simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency; I gave mine 5 minutes.

A word to the wise: this sauce is extremely mauve, which is a lovely color given the right background. When selecting your tableware, try to stick with whites or eggshells; a bolder colored plate could result in a presentation misinterpreted as a dare.

We’re having pork for dinner. Yes, again.

Cuban Roast Pork Loin

In mental preparation for Billy the Kid’s introduction to trick-or-treating tomorrow, Team Peña will sit out this particular date night and pack it in early after a big hot supper. It’s a great season for loin, and this is an easy way to pull of an unconscionably succulent piece of meat. As opposed to Pork Tenderloin with Guava Chutney, this recipe uses the intact, unsplit tenderloin and roasts rather than broils it. The resulting presentation is more handsome than dainty, but surprisingly light due to the not-too-sweet citrus marinade.

1 whole pork tenderloin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1/4 C fresh lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Combine the garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork to form a paste. Go ahead and rub that all over your loin. Put the seasoned meat in a gallon ziplock bag and pour in the lime and orange juices. Seal it up and stick it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Set your oven to 325. Put a medium roasting pan over two burners on your stove and turn both to medium. Heat the butter and the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the pan until the foaming subsides, then brown the pork on all sides (this takes about 8 minutes in total). Turn off the stove, pour the marinade into the pan, and cover it up with aluminum foil. Roast the loin for 45 minutes until cooked all the way through (always 160 degrees for pork), then let it stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch rounds.

I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone to inspect their garlic at the store before checking out. In my hustle to complete today’s grocery trip quickly and spare my favorite market from a certain grabby-hands, I selected what appeared to be a perfectly healthy bunch from the bin. Back at the kitchen, I broke off the first clove and my eyes immediately teared up from the physical smack of Satan’s breath mint. I  consider myself fortunate to have lived this long without encountering bad garlic, and after one more hour airing out the house, this lesson should hold me indefinitely.

My childhood tasted like cranberries.

Congregational Coffee Hour Bread

Each bite reminds me how much I love being an adult. When I make this on a chilly Sunday morning, I am truly grateful that I don’t have to stand in an icy church hall every week and make clean small talk while my itchy tights slowly ride down beyond inconspicuous salvation.

3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 C butter
1 C sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs
2/3 C freshly squeezed orange juice
2/3 C whole milk
2/3 C chopped walnuts
3 C cranberries

Cream the butter and sugar until they’re fluffy. Stir in the eggs, lemon zest and orange juice. Once these are well combined, sift in the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Stir the flour into the mixture with one hand while pouring the milk in with the other, in a steady stream. Using either a hand-held or stand mixer, beat the dough at high speed for three minutes. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries. Pour the dough into 2 greased and floured standard loaf pans and bake separately at 350 for 40 minutes.

For maximum parochial presentation, chill the finished loaves for an hour after they’ve cooled, cut into 1/4″ slices, then cut those slices down the middles and fan out on floral stonewear. For Sunday morning heathens, butter a slice while it’s warm and turn on Stephy.

%d bloggers like this: