Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patty's Celebrated at Home: Marinated Roast Pork Loin with Carmelized Cabbage in Cream and Fried Potatoes with Onion

The History of the Holiday from history.com

St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over a thousand years.

On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

Around here, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Sure, everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but with us, it's a little more personal. My husband's maternal grandfather, his namesake, Michael McCarthy, marched with his fellow police officers in the 1954 New York City St. Patrick's Day parade.

My husband's paternal grandmother was also of Irish heritage. She gave me this lovely shamrock cup and saucer before she passed away. Isn't it pretty?

So we've established that my husband is Irish. As for me, well...my maiden name can be found on that ever popular brand of Irish liqueur that is excellent over ice or in your coffee. So yeah, kiss me, I'm Irish.

Before we get started with the cooking, I'll let you in on another little tradition. In our house, it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without a green beer. My husband poured me this beautiful beverage as I started caramelizing the cabbage.

When my husband and I were "studying" at THE Purdue University (I have claimed "THE" as my personal trophy since we beat out THE Ohio State University for the Big Ten Championship on Sunday) we celebrated many a happy St. Patrick's Day at Harry's Chocolate Shop in the fish bowl. If any of my fellow Boilers are reading, you know exactly where I was sitting. I'm not sure that Harry's has any Irish affiliations, but the green beer sure does flow freely.You might guess that it's not a candy store. We even purchased cute Harry's t-shirts back in the day, boasting, "I peed green on 3-17" Ah, college.

Okay, I'll wrap up the trip down memory lane and get cookin'. It's 10 am and I need to get that pork into the marinade. You'll need garlic to stuff into the pork loin, and white wine, lemon juice (not pictured), olive oil, onions, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper for the marinade.

I chop the onions and combine the other ingredients for the marinade.

Here's the pork roast. When I went in search of my pork loin, I checked 3 stores. The store with the best deal actually had the most appealing product. Score! I was also thrilled to purchase pork from my native Indiana with this Indiana Kitchen pork loin. In order to get the $1.69/lb. deal, you had to get the BIG pork loin. Smaller portions retailed for $2.99/lb. so look for pork recipes in my upcoming meal plans.

That's a lotta pork!

No way is my family of four consuming 10 pounds of pork loin in a sitting...or in even a week of eating leftovers. I cut off about 2 lbs. for dinner and cut slits all over the roast. Stuff slices of garlic into each of the slits. You can either submerse the roast into the bowl of marinade or put it in a large resealable bag. Refrigerate and marinate for at least 8 hours. You could easily do this the night before.

As for the rest of the pork: I cut it into 1 1/2 lb. portions and bagged it for the freezer.

Here is our roast pork loin. My husband put in into the oven while I was at dance class with the girls. For a 2-3 lb. roast, cook at 325 degrees for an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 45 minutes. When the meat thermometer read 155 degrees, I removed the roast and let it rest for 15 minutes. The final temp will reach 160 degrees.

I sliced the roast on a platter and poured the cooking juices over the top.

While the pork roasted, I started my cabbage. Chop a head of cabbage.

Then, melt about half a stick of butter in a skillet that can be covered. I'll go ahead and tell you that this cabbage is NOT prepared in a heart healthy manner. Sorry. Hey, it is a holiday.

Stir the cabbage with the butter to combine. Salt and pepper liberally. Then cover and cook over medium low heat for as long as it takes to caramelize your cabbage. Patience, Grasshopper.

I like mine a deep golden brown. This does take some time. Stir it occasionally throughout the process. Perfect.

Since St. Patrick's Day involved the Irish people induldging during the season of Lent, I go ahead and take this sinful caramelized cabbage a step further. Pour in the cream, baby! Oh, but then turn off the heat and cover.

Now for the potatoes. Butter again. I used another half a stick.

I baked 5 potatoes last night and then stuck them into the fridge for safe keeping. Slice em' up.

While you're at it, slice an onion too. Then throw it into that butter and listen to it sizzle. Cook and stir a couple of minutes.

Then add the sliced potatoes and give em' a good dose of salt and pepper. Fry those potatoes and onions until browned and a little crispy.

With all components of our St. Patrick's feast prepared, dish it up and enjoy!

But wait...there's MORE! You've gotta have dessert. Green dessert.

I took a can of undrained, crushed pineapple and emptied it into a bowl.

Ideally, I would add a box of instant pistachio pudding. However, after 4 stores and no luck locating the coveted pistachio pudding (2 were sold out, 2 didn't even carry the stuff) I decided to head home and improvise. I added a box of vanilla pudding and half a box of lime jello. Hey, it had to be green!

Stir it up.

Add in a tub of whipped topping.

Stir it up.

Now for some mini marshmallows.

Dish it up and sprinkle with a little green sugar. Mmmm. Fluffy sweetness!

*Healthy Tip: this dessert can be made relatively low in fat and calories if you use sugar free pudding and fat free whipped topping, but what's the fun in that?


Roast Pork Loin

3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 1/2 cups white wine
3 T lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 t. thyme
1 T salt
1/2 t pepper

Make slits in the roast and insert garlic slices. Combine the other ingredients in a bowl or resealable bag. Add the roast and marinate overnight or at least 8 hours. Bake at 325 degrees until the roast temp reaches 155 degrees at center. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.


Donna-FFW said...

This is such the ULTIMATE dinner. It looks seriously wonderful and delicious. You worked so hard and I bet it was worth every bite!

Katie@ThisCrazyLife said...

Oh my God, I was just reading this week's meal plan and saw that on Friday you are making Cajun Seafood Garlic bread! Um, myu mouth is watering and wishing I could pick up the phone and call Gordy's. Oh, the agony!!! I hope yours turns out so I can steal the recipe!

Lori Lynn said...

That cabbage with cream sounds great to me.

Your cup and saucer are simply darling, what a nice memory of your hubby's grandmother. So sweet.


Susanna said...

Krista: We raise pigs for Indiana Kitchen....so I was thrilled to read that you got one of their pork loins. Sometimes at the store, my kids will say "That might be one of our pigs" when they see the Indiana Kitchen label on pork. That would sound weird to non-farm people probably :-)

Anyway, their bacon is awesome awesome. I know you were the Pork Queen, so you know good bacon!

Have a great day. Thanks for this recipe. Sounds fab!

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