This recipe (from Barefoot in Paris) is the last of the pork recipes! It took me forever to make it because I couldn’t find these elusive little buggers anywhere.
They are green peppercorns, imported from Malaysia (and apparently, from the looks of the can, also imported from sometime before the Cold War), and packed in brine. I finally found a dusty can of them at Whole Foods, on the bottom shelf near the olives and capers. I know I’ve searched that section before, so I don’t know how I missed them, or maybe they’re new there. I searched the web for substitutes for green peppercorns, and some people suggested capers. Um, no. I’m glad I finally found them, because even though they *look* like capers, so does rabbit waste, so looks aren’t everything. And they don’t taste very much like capers, either. They smell peppery, but they didn’t make the sauce/gravy overly spicy.
Anyway, I made the pork, and it took forEVER. I know Ina says that you can serve pink pork, but no. Not in my house. It may dry out, but I’m not serving up trichinosis trifle on Saturday night. If I had it to do over again, I would’ve untied the pork loin instead of keeping it all tied up in its neat little bundle. I think the center took so long to cook because of the tying. In the meantime, I said a lot of things I didn’t mean: about cooking, about myself, about pigs, and probably even about Ina. I’m not a nice person when I’m hungry. But eventually it cooked, and I served it with this cabbage. Even if it was slightly dry because of my paranoid over-cooking, the sauce more than made up for it, and the meal didn’t suffer. When all was said and done, it might have been one of our very favorite meals, and we made all the obnoxious oooh-ing and aaaahh-ing and mmmmm-ing noises as we ate.
Now, a word about “clean eating.” This phrase seems to be all the rage among my friends, and I think it means different things to different people. For the most part, it seems to mean cooking with real ingredients, and limiting processed food. In essence, that’s what this project is all about. Now, of course, the baking projects have refined flour and sugar, and that probably doesn’t fit into most people’s definitely of clean eating. But everything else is the very definition of clean eating, with ingredients that our great-grandmothers would recognize as food. The one thing that I think newcomers to clean eating are going to realize right away is that with a little planning and organization, it’s not too hard, especially if you like cooking. But you might be surprised at just how many dishes you can dirty for one meal. It’s impressive! But worth it, in my opinion. If you can cook large batches of something and freeze part of it, that will save on time, effort, and prep dishes.