Pork on the bar-b with Risotto

  • Recipe(s): Blackened barbecued pork fillets (page 181) & Apple and walnut risotto with gorgonzola (page 136)
  • Prep: Easy & Moderate
  • Taste: Good & Good

Tonight (June 3rd, 2014) we decided to prepare two recipes from Jamie Oliver’s, “Cook with Jamie” book. We choose to cook a risotto, as they have always been good and we have had a few duds lately, and also a barbecued dish, which is the only one in the book, to take advantage of the beautiful weather Vancouver has been bathing in for the last few days. We were very happy with the results….

The prep for the risotto was, well, prep for risotto. There is nothing that can be done to speed up the process anymore than I have already done. As with most of the recipes in the book, there is nothing technically difficult but it is time consuming. Because of this I rated the prep as moderate. The prep for the pork was easy. The marinade uses simple ingredients and requires little chopping. I prepared the pork last night and let it marinate (in a freezer bag) in the fridge overnight. This helped tonight as we didn’t have to fully prep both recipes!

Both of the dishes are very simple to cook as well. As with the prep for the risotto, cooking it takes time but it is not difficult. Making sure you do not add too much stock is the only thing you really need to worry about. You definitely need to make sure you pay attention to the pork as it can overcook quickly on the barbecue if you get side-tracked. It probably wasn’t the best idea to make risotto (in the kitchen) and pork (on the barbecue outside) on the same night. I definitely got a workout running back and forth between the two areas throughout the process!

Now, to the taste…..

If you read my previous posting on Gnocchi with gorgonzola dolce, you will remember that both my partner and I are not huge fans of gorgonzola cheese. Another one of the reasons we made this recipe was to finish up the cheese we had in the fridge from the previous recipe. Being conscious of the fact that it has a strong taste, I put in less than the recommended amount of gorgonzola and……I was very happy to have done so. The risotto was very tasty. The gorgonzola didn’t overpower the other flavours in the dish and, in my opinion, actually worked well with the sweetness of the apple. The three cheese that were included added a nice amount of salt, however it could have done with more. We also could have done with more walnuts. It was nice to have some crunchy texture in the risotto as well from the walnuts and apple.

I would rate this pretty high on the flavour to effort scale and would make it again with the tweaks mentioned above.

We were also very please with the pork. I really like the combination of orange and clove in the marinade. The orange added a nice sweet, yet acidic flavour to the marinade, which worked really well with the ketchup, that can sometimes be overly sweet. The cumin added a southwest flavour and the fennel another layer of sweetness. I honestly would never have thought of putting together a marinade like this. It’s something we will have to try again in the future! The only problem I had was that I didn’t have enough marinade to fully coat the pork loins as they were cooking. I was able to smother them but wasn’t able to build up a nice coating, similar to the picture from the book. When I make this again I will make sure to increase the amount of marinade so that I have enough.

The pork rates high on the flavour to effort scale and we would make it again.

All in all, it was a good evening and redemption for the book. As I mentioned we have had a few duds lately and it was nice to get back into some recipes we would make again. We hope to be making a few more soon!

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