Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pork Sirloin with a Thai flair

I became a fan of Thai food in the 80's. A restaurant called The Star of Siam opened across the street from my office building and I went there for lunch or ordered in almost every day. Guess what- lunch at the time was $4.95, how could I go wrong? I just loved the flavors they offered. And I never got tired of their menu. Now this was before I got into cooking, so you can imagine that when I started experimenting in the kitchen I had to learn a few Thai dishes. Here's one I came up with tonight that I can't say is by any means authentic, but the Thai flavors are there: Red curry, peanuts, chilis and lots of veggies. I braised this dish on the stovetop, and I'm pretty sure Thai cooking does not involve braising. But it is so delish I have to share. Any ingredients that you are not familiar with are most likely available in the International aisle of your local grocery store.

Braised Pork Sirloin with Coconut Milk and Thai Spices
This recipe was inspired by Kathy Griffin, a favorite internet cooking buddy who made me remember how yummy cooking pork with coconut milk is

2 pounds pork sirloin
salt and pepper for seasoning pork
2 T canola oil
1 onion diced
1 T red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen)
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth (I had this left over in my fridge- I think you can sub 1 cup of water instead of opening a new can or box of broth)
1 T fish sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay Sauce
1 T chili garlic sauce
Juice of 1 lime
3 T chopped dry roasted peanuts for garnish
2 T cilantro leaves for garnish

Jasmine rice
4 oz mushrooms
6 oz string beans
1 red pepper sliced

Ready to cook? Let's make the cooking sauce/liquid first. I used my blender. Put your red curry paste, garlic, coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, brown sugar, Thai Kitchen Peanut Satay Sauce, peanut butter and chili garlic sauce in a blender. This is an easy blend and you'll be done in less than a minute. Look at that beautiful color.

Set the sauce aside and let's tend to the pork. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the sirloin.

Heat canola oil in a skillet and brown pork on all sides. As tedious as this sounds, this is an important step because you want to seal all the juices inside the pork. So sear the top, bottom, sides and ends.

Remove pork from skillet and place in large soup pot. Add the chopped onions. Why would you add onions to a Thai dish? Truth be told, my mom added onions to all braised dishes. And it didn't hurt this dish one bit and added some lovely flavor. After the long cooking time they almost evaporated.

Now, get that delicious braising liquid out of the blender and add it to your soup pot.

Bring liquid to a boil, lower temp to simmer and braise (covered) on stove top for 2-1/4 hours. If you have the time, turn the roast every half hour or so. I usually babysit my braised roasts, but I don't think it's necessary.

While roast is cooking make your rice and prep you veggies.

 After 2-1/4 hours of cooking your roast add the vegetables. Cook for an additional 15 minutes and add the fresh squeezed lime juice. Your dinner is ready. When plating, add some chopped peanuts and cilantro for a garnish and enjoy! It's a feast you will make again and again. I have quite a bit of sauce/gravy left over and I'm thinking I'm either going to spoon feed it or intravenously inject it to myself, or make a soup. I think the soup idea is the best option.

Dig in, this a dish you will enjoy!

No comments: