By the standards of only a few decades ago, I am woefully unfit for marriage. I do not know how to cook a pot roast, or a pork roast, crown roast, standing rib roast, prime rib, slab of ribs, leg of lamb, brisket, beef tenderloin, or, really, most portions of meat larger than a single serving. Not long ago, I would have been laughed out of the kitchen, shooed away by potential mothers-in-law, and shunted off to spinsterdom with my steak knives still unused. Thank goodness I fell in love with a vegetarian.
But nonetheless, there comes a time in every young woman’s life when she must learn how to handle large pieces of meat. I am ready to rest on my laurels where roasted chicken is concerned, and I am confident that I can tackle a turkey—a twenty-pounder, even—but at the advanced age of twenty-seven, I can no longer ignore my ignorance when it comes to big, disembodied pieces of pork, lamb, and beef. Any self-respecting cook needs a good, solid repertoire, and the slow realization that mine is a little dainty suddenly looms very large. No amount of meatballs will do. Larb is for lightweights, and sausage is for sissies. I should be able to cook something substantial, hefty, even hulking, something calling for a carving set and a cutting board strong as a fortress and fitted with a moat cheap designer sunglasses
A girl has got to start somewhere, so I stepped up to the butcher counter and bought a pork tenderloin. This was the stuff to make a wife of me: big, beautiful, and rosy, with a racing stripe of snowy fat running down its side. In fact, it was so impressive that just buying it, I decided, was progress enough for one day. So, with a contented sigh, I brought my large piece of meat back home and, handling it like the lightweight sissy I am, cut it instead into many small pieces. My date with Big Meat could wait. Before barbequed ribs, smoked butt, or Châteaubriand, this girl has found a handy stepping-stone, a stewy one with peppers and onions Teeth whitening
Cooked pork may not be the prettiest of meats, but it makes up in flavor what it lacks in beauty, especially when garlic, rosemary, and anchovies are involved. Sliced into slender strips, tenderloin is tailor-made for this dish, lean but not the slightest bit tough. Given a fast sear and a few minutes’ soak in a sauce both sweet and sour, it cooks quickly to delicate and toothsome. Between the resinous aroma of rosemary and vinegar’s complex tang, the sweet onions and the winy peppers, this is a plate that feels sturdier and far more substantial than the sum of its parts, no steak knives or carving sets necessary. For now, Big Meat can wait. Tomorrow, my vegetarian comes to town Office Interior Design