Quick food that's insanely delicious: Pork loin and white bean stew, cheddar and pepper biscuits, and a splendid salad
A magical economy of time and money: Pork loin stew with white beans, fennel, and shallots
This recipe makes pork loin the star of the show — and that also makes it beautifully economical. Plus it’s quick, with only about 5-6 steps before you walk away and pour that glass of wine.
Pork and white bean stew
- 1 pork loin cut into 3-inch steaks and seasoned well with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides.
- 5 whole peeled shallots cut into 1/3’s
- 1 whole head fennel trimmed, and the bulb end removed and the whole bulb cut into slivers
- 5 cloves garlic smashed and chopped
- 3 cans excellent quality white beans
- 1 cup low sodium chicken stock-up to 2 cups if you want a more soupy dish
- 1 bunch fresh thyme tied with kitchen string
- 1 handful flat leaf parsley
In your EuroCAST square sauté pan (or any of our deeper sauté pans):
- Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat
- Sauté shallots and fennel until shallots are slightly browned and translucent. This will be mouth-wateringly fragrant. Give the air a sniff and be ready to swoon.
- Remove shallots and fennel to a bowl with the oil (which is now infused with amazing flavor)
- In the same sauté pan, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the pork, on medium-high heat suitable for browning
- Brown pork on all sides, including the tops and bottoms, about 2 minutes on each side. You want a hard sear to create and lock in flavor.
- After browning, remove the pork and wipe out the skillet. (This is where our cookware shines. It keeps you moving with fewer pans and less cleaning.)
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and gently sauté the garlic, about 2 minutes
- Turn down the heat to medium-low
- Add the pork back to the pan, and add the beans, thyme and vegetables
- Immediately add 1 cup of the stock
- Let all this simmer very gently until the pork is slightly pink (it’ll finish cooking in the resting time), or cooked through if that’s your preference
Taste the soup and the beans for seasoning.
Garnish with flat leaf parsley and black pepper.
About the white beans: You want to use all the contents of the can. The liquid is a gorgeous thing you can use to thicken stews. It's even been used by top chefs (who call this liquid aquafaba) as a replacement for egg whites and to create fancy foams. It's what helps make this stew so sensual.
Depending on how soupy your result is, you can ladle into bowls, or use a rimmed plate.
To accompany the stew, bring over the extra biscuits (see my biscuit recipe below) to sop up all that gorgeous, aromatic broth.
Chickory and Egg Salad
This salad is way more about composition than it is about formality.
At the time I’m writing this Recipe of the Week, romaine lettuce is having a tough time at the store thanks to the threat of a bug (the CDC is keeping an eye out for our health). So ...
Let’s eat chicory!
Chicory, also called endive, is so crunchy and wonderfully flavorful, you won’t need much of a dressing to enjoy them. And I think they’re beautiful.
- 4 spears endive separated
- 1 large head radicchio separated
- Toss with some pitted green olives.
- 4 or more hard boiled or jammy eggs (that's a link to our Recipe of the Week featuring lamb with mint sauce, jammy eggs, and orzo salad -- but don't get distracted, people)
- 1 coarsely chopped handful of flat leaf parsley. That’s sometimes merchandised as Italian parsley. (Please do not use curly parsley. Don’t even get me started on that.)
- About a dozen anchovy filets. Some people are a bit afraid of anchovies. Don’t be. They are Harry Potter-like in their magic. Maybe more so.
- Some little goat cheese chunks on top, please.
For the dressing
- 3 T Blak•Label’s Lemony Olive Oil (or 3 T best quality olive oil and a squeeze of 1/4 lemon)
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Crushed red pepper flakes
I confess to you: I am eating this salad as I write this. It is so good.
You may ask: What is Blak•Label? Stay tuned. Yes, this is a tease.
White cheddar and black pepper biscuits
You can either make these as loose, joyous drop biscuits that wind up looking like miniature Everests, all mounded and craggy and pepper-flecked — or you can make these like I did here, taking out your day’s concerns with a zen-like relationship to dough and roller.
Why did I choose the path of zen? Is it because I spent the day at the pediatrician trying to figure out why my daughter was weepy and tired and a big pain in the teenager?
Turns out she has mono — the storied Kissing Disease.
So, I rolled out these biscuits because it restored some order to my universe, and let me focus on the simple things.
But if you’re feeling like mounded, craggy, pepper-flecked Everests, have at it, my friend.
And as for my daughter, she’ll be fine, though stir-crazy.
I may be making a lot of biscuits with rollers.
Keeps this recipe close by because it’s a goodie.
This recipe calls for white cheddar cheese. You can use whatever cheese you’d like. I like the whip-sharp bite of extra sharp cheddar. I also like the color white over the color yellow. (I guess if I’m imagining the drop-biscuit version as little Mt. Everests, I can avoid wondering why the snow is yellow. #sorrynotsorry)
- Preheat your oven to 400F. For biscuits I position the rack in the third position, but your oven may vary.
- Rapidly cut into small cubes 10 tablespoons of very cold, unsalted butter, until they are pea-sized.
Add the butter to the bowl of a food processor along with:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 T baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 -1 T finely cracked black pepper
- 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
Pulse this until well-incorporated and floury pea-sized pebbles form. Don’t over-process.
Now, with the blade running, add in a stream:
- 3/4 cup whole milk, plus 1-2 tablespoons if needed for moisture and texture.
The dough should remain a little wet.
Now comes the alchemy.
- Mound the biscuits into 8 equal portions on your EuroCAST griddle
- Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt
- Bake until golden brown, depending on your oven approximately 15 minutes.
Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, you’re good.
Eat them. I like a hot pepper jelly with them when I’m eating them by themselves.
And, of course, serve them with the pork and white bean stew.