Day 18 – Pork

26 Jul

MMMMM, baby back ribs.  Chef Peter made a great spice rub on these and I chowed.  I can’t believe I’m such a meat eater these days.   The spice rub:  lots of paprika as a good foundation, black pepper, cayenne, white pepper, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme and ?. I forgot the last ingredient 😦  At any rate, I think this was the best thing I ate all day. And, I loved that I got to play with Chef’s really sharp knives and remove the ribs from the loin.  That was my first time playing with a large cut of pork from which I made 12 cutlets. I now have a fascination with wanting to butcher livestock. I’m like a little kid in a candy shop, but the fascination is now around large cuts of meat.

No one wants to have an “off day” in the kitchen.  But, it happens.  Bobby and I crushed the first dish – our sauce was excellent. Here it is – pork loin cutlet with sauce charcutiere:

But, our second dish…wow, we imploded.  I started it. I added the remainder of our reduction from the first dish to our finishing sauce for the first dish, so we had no reduction to use as the basis for the second dish.  The second dish had a “sweet and sour sauce”, so the flavor profiles were really different. That meant we had to doctor some new veal stock and reduce it to try to get a good reduction again. Then, we each ruined our respective gastrique and crystalized fresh ginger and orange zest.  So, there were 2 more “do overs”. Then, while we were re-doing those items, our potatoes overcooked (which is ridiculous that I let them go that far since I’m the one who always likes things a little undercooked).  Then, we couldn’t find a thermometer that read the same temperature on the same piece of meat so it was hard to gauge when the pork was done. Why did this thermometer read 90 degrees F when the pork was likely at least 125?  Were we in some sort of willy wonka vortex? At least we didn’t get sucked into a ceiling mounted exhaust fan. Actually it wasn’t nearly that bad.  We did manage some nice grill marks.

And we did save the dish in the end because we improvised and it actually tasted quite nice; it just wasn’t the perfect sweet and sour sauce (but, I ask you, did the French really invent sweet and sour sauce? hmmmm, I’m suspect.)   So, my take-away lesson was that I need to be comfortable with improvising very quickly when something goes wrong because s*it is going to go wrong in a commercial kitchen.  Seems like a simple lesson, but I don’t like to get things “wrong.” Sigh.

But, tomorrow is another day – lamb day!  I’m psyched. Maybe some sleep will help.

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One Response to “Day 18 – Pork”

  1. Jocelyn July 26, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    Everything looks yummy, especially the ribs!! – no one would know you had a problem.

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