March Madness: Day Three
Day three of March Madness has found me with a worsening cold, fever, chills and a very nasty cough. What fun.
Back when I decided to accept the madness and laid out my plans for the first week, I had put today aside as a day to que. I didn't have anything scheduled with my clients and the weather promised to be in the mid 50's.
I had purchased a rack of pork a little while back so that was going to hit the smoker today. As every barbecuer will tell you, it doesn't make sense to fire up the cooker for only one piece of meat. You fill that sucker up! But you know what they say about the best laid plans.
Ever since I got interested in bbq, I've been intrigued by two items; Brunswick Stew and Kentucky Burgoo. Looking over a couple of recipes I found in the incredible Smoke and Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, I found that I'd need some leftover pork; check - that would come from the rack of pork, chicken, lamb shanks, beef shanks and bacon. I purchased all the required meats and Brunswick Stew and Kentucky Burgoo were both slotted into the menu for this week. All that meat was going to be be barbecued today.
So what's happened? This damn cold has sapped all my strength. I just didn't have the energy to babysit a cooker all day.
But the Madness called and like a drunk looking for a drink I responded. Dinner tonight was an herb/nut encrusted rack of pork with oven roasted root vegetables and mushrooms. I took 6 cloves of garlic, a bunch of parsley, almonds and sun dried tomatoes. I minced them all fine and mixed them with some of the oil in which the tomatoes were packed, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a little more olive oil and mashed it into a thick paste.
I scattered some carrots, potatoes and mushrooms in the bottom of the roaster pan and tossed them with olive oil. I placed the rack of pork on top and spread the herb/nut paste all over the meat. I roasted the meat for about 3 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.
When the meat was done, I removed it to a cutting board and tented it with tinfoil. I let it rest as I made a gravy out of the pan drippings adding marsala wine and mustard as it thickened. Now that was tasty. I've never used mustard in gravy before but it added a very interesting dimension to the sauce.
I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures, but damn this was a great meal. I've never had such tender and flavorful pork. I'm definitely making this again.
The picture of the rack of pork comes to us from The Daily Pork.