I love braising meats. How many times have I said that in past couple of weeks? Probably somewhere around 2,368 times... but that is beside the point because braising meats is just an awesome way to experience meat. When something is slow cooked, it just takes in all this flavor.
That, and I like to sit on any nondescript day with a book in my hand while the smell of braising meat wafts into the room. People come into the house and they exclaim, "Wow, what smells so good?!" or "What's cooking today." It makes me feel like I have accomplished something carnal and inspiring--or it just serves as proof that someone lives in the house.... someone who likes to eat.
Have a painted a picture vivid enough to get you in the mood? Good, because it's all about foreplay. This is a great, fairly simple recipe. It's a little rustic, too. The only hard part is having the patience to make sure that the meat is tender and fully braised, which means you need time.
Start by placing your carrots, onions, and garlic in the food processor
Process them until they are bits.
Grab your pork loin--you want about 1-1 1/2 pounds
And cut it into nice meaty chunks
Take your hunky pork chunks and place them into a dutch oven with hot olive oil and brown it on all sides
Once browned, add your white wine
And let it cook and reduce by about half
Then you'll add to it a pint of tomatoes, your veggie bits from the processor, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.
Bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer it, covered, for 1 hour.
After the hour, remove the lid and cook about 20 minutes.
It will be a tender spicy-ish dish that will find you going back for seconds!
This is perfect served over polenta!
Time: 2 hours | Serves 4 | Difficulty: Medium
You Will Need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pork tenderloin, 1-1 1/2 pounds, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic
1 can of tomatoes, with juice (I can my own, so I used a pint which is equivalent to 1 3/4 cups w/ liquid)
1 carrot, peeled
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 palmful of salt
pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse garlic, carrot, and onion about 20 times or until it's in uniform "bits" (see picture). Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
Add your pork and turn to brown on all sides.
When the pork is browned, add the white wine and let it cook on the medium high heat until it is reduced by about half.
Once reduced, add the tomatoes, chopped veggies, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a boil.
Once boiling, give it a good stir and reduce the heat to a medium low to simmer the meat/sauce. Cover and allow it to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
After the hour, taste for seasonings, and adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Take the lid off and continue cooking about 20 minutes.*
Serve over polenta! And enjoy with good company!
*If you aren't quite ready to serve at this point, don't worry, you can keep it warm on the stove by covering and reducing the heat to low! You can leave it like that for just about as long as you might need.