Saturday, August 13, 2011

Not Exactly Cheesecake, but oh well

I have had a pork loin frozen for a couple of months now just waiting for the right occasion to break it out and fire up the grill....well, that occasion still hasn't come so I thawed it out last night anyway.  This morning I have been in a bit of a cooking mood so I decided to figure out the perfect way to cook my piggy-back, ha ha cuz it's the backstrap. Ok, never mind.

The stupid thing is still frozen and my wife already has plans for dinner tonight so I decided to make a marinade and I'll cook it tomorrow, so I went rummaging through the pantry and fridge and this is what I came up with:

6 cloves of garlic
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 of a big onion
6 baby carrots
1/4 cup of vinegar
1 cup mandarin oranges w/juice
1/4 cup sugar

I threw all that into the blender to see what would was a tear-jerking smoothie from hell.  I was afraid to even taste it to see what else it needs so I threw it in  a saucepan and went for a boil.  Once boiling I reduced to medium heat and started browsing the pantry again, and added the following just to see what it would do:

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil ( I walked outside and picked it)
1/2 can chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Lemon juice

still too sweet but thickening up nicely

3 slices of bacon chopped into small pieces
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder

Overall it simmered for about 25-30 minutes and reduces to a nice thick gravy like consistency.  The taste was amazing once I got everything in that is listed here.  So after thinking a bit I decided it's a little to thick for a marinade but it is perfect for a glaze/sauce.  So I spooned out half into a bowl, otherwise you end up with all the big stuff in the saucepan still.  I'm saving that for a glaze and made a marinade from the rest.  I  pulled out a Shiner Bock and started adding to the half remaining in the saucepan.  I eventually ended up with the whole 12 ounces in there minus about 3 small gulps.  Let it come to a boil and the poured over my pig in a bowl I thought I had a lid for but now can't find.  Once that cools I will stick it in the fridge overnight and grill it tomorrow, or possibly crock pot since we got church.

****Cooked the pig on the grill.  The marinade gave it great flavor but I just did a poor job of cooking.  I put the pig and marinade into a foil pan and covered with foil and cooked at about 300degrees for a couple of hours, then I removed and sliced and put the slices directly onto the grill to get some smoke flavor but that dried them out too much.  I should have thrown the whole pan back on the grill uncovered to let the meat soak in some smoke while still in the marinade.  Also next time the marinade needs a stick of butter added i think.  But even dry, with the sauce to put on top it was delicious!

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