Pork-tacular!

20 Jan

Time for another recipe from Ina Garten! This one is from her cookbook, Cook like a Pro (2018).

Have to admit, every recipe I make from her books makes me fill accomplished!

My husband’s staff customarily gift him with restaurant gift certificates at holiday time – but with the pandemic underway this past year, they came up with a wonderful alternative – three boxes filled to the brim with everything from briskets to chickens, pork butt to pot roast and of course, ribs!  (They even gave him a box of assorted wood chips for smoking meats!)

I saw this recipe as a novel way to use the pork. While the accompanying sauce sounded delicious to me – I had to get my husband on board; he is not a fan of radishes. Full disclosure, I told him, the radishes are grated into the sauce. Happy to report he loved the sandwich/sauce combo. Be willing to try something new!

This recipe sounds complicated. It is not – provided you have the right tools, like a Microplane zester and a citrus press – and the ingredients as listed. I’m always asked if it’s okay to leave out a particular ingredient (note, I used a regular yellow pepper from my grocery store’s produce section). I’m never sure how to answer that. Maybe. Maybe not. Assume that each ingredient is included for a reason and that without one or two or more, your finished dish may not be as good as it could be!

Pork Souvlaki with radish tzatziki

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trimmed, ¾ -inch diced

1 red onion, cut in ½ -inch wedges through the root end

1 large Holland yellow pepper, seeded and cut in ½-inch strips

Grated zest of 1 lemon

⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons) plus extra

Good olive oil

3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane zester

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh oregano leaves

2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 warmed pita breads, for serving

Radish Tzatziki (recipe follows)

Julienned fresh mint leaves for serving

Combine the pork, red onion, bell pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, ⅓ cup olive oil, garlic, oregano, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper in a large (1-gallon) plastic storage bag. Press out the air, seal, and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Preheat one very large (14-inch) or two medium (10-inch) dry cast-iron skillets (I needed two) over high heat for 3 minutes. Add the pork and vegetables, including the marinade, spread out, and cook without stirring for 3 minutes. Continue to cook over high heat for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked through but still slightly pink in the middle. Don’t overcook the pork or it will be dry!

Place 1 warmed pita on each plate. Spoon the pork and vegetables on one half of the pita and place 2 rounded tablespoons of Radish Tzatziki on the other half. Sprinkle with mint, lemon juice, and salt and serve hot.

Radish Tzatziki:

6 medium radishes, scrubbed and trimmed

2 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane zester

1¼ cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt (10 ounces)

1 tablespoon good olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallons)

2½ tablespoons julienned fresh mint leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grate the radishes on a box grater. Place the radishes in a paper towel and squeeze out the liquid. In a medium bowl, combine the radishes, garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, scallions, mint, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 12 hours.

Note: I cut large pitas in half and “stuffed” them with the pork and vegetables and topped with the tzatziki sauce.

Messy and unbelievably tasty!

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