Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pan Seared Pork and Peaches

The autumnal equinox was yesterday...but you wouldn't have known it in Minneapolis. Temperatures soared into the upper 90's with dew points in the upper 70's. Thankfully, we've got a big storm front coming through on Sunday night that will return us to more fall-like temperatures.

The autumnal equinox also marks the waning days for stone fruit. We've enjoyed an abundance of peaches, nectarines and plums this season. But they will soon be disappearing from our grocery stores, so grab them while you can.

I came across this recipe from the New York Times several weeks back. It is a delightful marriage of pork and peaches...and it is really easy to make. All it requires is a cast iron pan or griddle and a good ventilation system. If you don't have a good vent hood, just take your cast iron outside and plop it on a hot grill.

Francis Mallmann developed this recipe and he calls it the "uncertain edge of burnt". The pork will develop a deep, burnished crust and the peaches will turn a deep, dark brown. And you will find that it tastes so good that you will have to force yourself to stop eating....several times, most likely.

2 pounds boneless pork butt, butterflied and trimmed
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher Salt
Fresh ground pepper
6 fresh peaches, skin on, cut in half and pitted
4 tablespoons butter, diced


  1. Put the pork on a work surface and, using a meat mallet, pound to an even thickness of approximately 3/4 of an inch. 
  2. Combine the garlic, rosemary and 6 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl, mixing to make a rough paste. Season the pork aggressively on both sides with salt and pepper, then spread half the garlic mixture over one side and half on the other side.
  3. Place a large cast-iron pan or two-burner griddle over the heat and allow it to get hot. If using a stove or gas grill, then lower the heat to medium after your pan is hot.
  4. Brush the pan or griddle with the remaining olive oil, allow it to heat until it shimmers and is almost smoking, then place meat on the hot surface and cook, without touching, until it forms a good crust, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. While the meat cooks, surround it with the peaches, cut side down, and dot the fruit with the butter. (If you’re using two cast-iron skillets, place the peaches in their own oiled pan.) Let them cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until they are soft and slightly charred. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
  6. When the meat is well browned on the first side, use tongs to turn it over, and cook in the remaining butter for another 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the meat to a carving board and allow it to rest below a tent of foil for approximately 5 minutes. Slice the meat and serve with the peaches.

Wine pairing: Seared pork and peaches would be begging for a Merlot to hang around with. If it's going to be a special dinner, I'd grab a Rombauer Merlot. At Total Wine, that would set you back $39.99. If you are bargain shopping, Columbia Crest Grand Estate Merlot is a phenomenal choice for just $6.97.

Me and Goldie, 1956

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