Joe guest blog, it was a fair and square trade, much like our beer trading every other month or so. I would write, cook, and blog a recipe involving beer, and he would produce a great beer entry for me. It was such an exciting task--having an end goal is often helpful for me. J and I, in the car, started throwing ideas out, and after much deliberation we came up with doing a play on Steak au Poivre with a beer reduction. And then some.
I wanted to use Mexican flavors, and thus, a Mexican beer. Instead of going basic, I decided to use Mexico's answer to craft beer, the newly released (in the last year or so) Cucapa. They have a great honey-infused beer, and while it's not always my favorite to drink (in the label, anyway) I knew it would pair beautifully with pork, heavy spicing, and other such niceties. Given that it was still a bit on the chilly side--after all, spring has only JUST sprung, I paired it with plantain "frites" and a celery root and parsnip mash with arugula and scallion. I reduced down a bottle of the Cucapa about 2/3, and added it to the pan drippings after cooking the pork tenderloin "steaks." In a word? Unbelievable. At the last minute, I decided to mix up a dip for the frites...greek yogurt, the beer, some hot sauce, salt and pepper. And that was even more incredible. Perfect beer notes, paired with that creamy BITE that greek yogurt has? Oh my...
I did double fry the plantain frites, I can't lie to you. But other than that, this dish is rather healthy and would impress the pants off of anyone that happened to drop by for dinner.
And seriously? Freaking fantastically insanely good.
So as to not overwhelm this particular entry, let me know in the comments if you want the recipes for the plantains and the celery root mash, and I'll add them!
Pork au Poivre with Cucapa Beer Reduction
1 pkg pork tenderloin (there are 2 pieces) trimmed and cut into 3 inch "steaks"
2 bottles Cucapa Honey (or Mexican style beer that you particularly enjoy)
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or cayenne)
2 tsp pasilla chili pepper (or ancho, or whatever you have)
2 TBSP whole cumin seeds
2 TBSP whole coriander seeds
3 TBSP multi-colored peppercorns
2 TBSP kosher salt
2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350
Place 1 bottle of beer in sauce pan and reduce by about 2/3. Should be over medium-high heat. Stir as foam starts to get too overwhelming. When reduced, turn heat off. Reserve.
Pour spices onto plate.
Take pork "steaks" and season each side with salt and pepper.
Crust one side of each piece by placing down on plate of spices--crust heavily with spice mixture.
Flip pork, sear another 2-3 minutes.
Place skillet in hot oven for approximately 12 minutes--until an instant read thermometer reads 140 degrees.
Remove pork from skillet, place on board or plate to rest at least 10 minutes.
Return skillet to heat (medium) and add reduced beer to pork drippings. Deglaze pan, scraping up all bits on bottom of pan.
Allow to reduce until sauce seems dark in color and thick enough to pour over meat.
Plate pork and pour sauce over.
Use 1/4 C other bottle of beer for greek yogurt sauce, and/or drink with dinner!