Thursday, December 7, 2006

Plans for Sunday Dinner

Well, it's Thursday. The second Thursday of the month, in fact, which means I'm plotting Sunday dinner.

The second Sunday of every month, we have this potluck thing for supper at the church. A year ago or so, I realized that no one was bringing food, people brought salads and desserts. But for the carnivores in the crowd, picking were slim.

So I started bringing something from the grill every month.

The challenge of "fellowship Sunday" is this: we have a 1 1/2 hour meeting first, and then eat. So certain standbys are unrealistic. I make decent marinara sauce, for example, but doubt I can bring pasta that won't dry out or be otherwise inedible once it's been sitting out for 90 minutes. I tried ribs once---and they were decent ribs---but the wait dried them out.

Last month I took a ham. I bought some cured---but not cooked---ham, baked it at 200F overnight with some salt, pepper and brown sugar, and took it to church. I put it in a little countertop roasting oven we have, and left it plugged in at 200F for the 90 minutes. It worked.

Typically I bring a ham, or some barbecue (very easy to leave sitting at a resonable temperature for hours on end), or chickens. This weekend, it'll be pork roast. I think.

Here's the plan: I have a new grill, and I'll buy a pork loin. I'll rub salt, black pepper, garlic, and paprika into the pork---I might have to cut it in half first---and maybe coat it with crushed peppercorns. Then I'll drop it on the hot grill for a few minutes to sear it. Then I'll lower the charcoal tray, lowering the grill temperature to about 300F and put the meat in a roasting pan (maybe a little water under the meat to keep the juices from burning). I'll dump some balsamic vinegar on the roast now and then to keep it moist. Last time I tried something like this, it cooked in an hour or two.

Then, I'll modify a recipe for steak au poivre sauce I found in my wife's Cooks Best Recipes book, and try and create a brandy cream sauce with the juices from the roasting pan.

The plan right now is to slice the pork very thin after it rests 15 minutes or so, then lay the slices sort of diagonally in my countertop roasting oven, pour the sauce over it, and take it. 90 minutes at 180F shouldn't dry it out, and it'll be pleasantly warm.

It might even work.

Of course, I could just chicken out and throw three or four chooks on the grill, dump beer on them, and leave them four hours or so at low temp. That's a proven technique.

Mum thinks I should rub kosher salt into the pork, but I think it would be evil to rub kosher salt into pork, especially if I cover it in a cream sauce.

I'll have to cook it on Saturday, then make the sauce on Sunday afternoon. Or at least, make the sauce except for the brandy, which I'll pour in just before we actually leave.

Lots to think about.


Gwen said...

Oh, my goodness, I was drooling whilst reading about the pork loin with Brandy Cream sauce. Ding dong! I've got to get me some o' dat.

clumsy ox said...

It sure sounds good. Let's see if we can pull it off!