I don’t cook much meat. At least not big pieces of meat. The meat is almost always chopped up into small pieces and added to an indian curry or else ground up and made into meatballs. The only real exception to this is duck breast. You will almost never find a roast in my oven and even a whole chicken hasn’t found its way onto my table in years. Which is why it is saying something that I actually bought and cooked pork chops yesterday.
I wanted to try out another Mozza dish (my new cookbook), and while I am always always tempted by the pasta dishes in Italian cookbooks, and indeed the ricotta gnocci with mushrooms almost won last night, I felt like it was time to try a piece of meat. Maybe the Siberian weather is helping convince me. At -15 degrees celcius of over a week now, you body has to compensate in some way. Maybe that’s why the brined pork chops with roasted fennel and olives sounded appealing.
The happy part of the rest of this story is that the fennel, as super weird as the recipe was (1 cup of olive oil! 2 cups of sambuca! 20 cloves of garlic!), was smooth and silky and very good. The pork chop…I wanted to spit it out. Thankfully I also had a salad and some lentils, so there was plenty of good stuff to eat, but oh….not sure I want to even attempt those pork chops again. They were brined for about an hour and a half, which was 30 minutes longer than called for (my big error?) , and then rubbed in a pounded fennel seed spice mix – and that was the problem – should never have put salt in the mix. Taking a first bite…the meat was way too salty and too tough. I followed directions almost to the letter, but was really really disappointed.
Not ready to give up on Mozza, just need to stay away from the meat for awhile. Pasta and veggies…here I come.