VTV: Pork Roast and Kasha Varnishkes

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I’ve been wanting to participate in the Vindicate the Vegetable food blogging event since darn near the beginning, but have always been a day late and a dollar short due to bad planning. So when I found out out this week’s veggie is onions/leeks/shallots, I knew I’d have to step it up as these are among my favorites. Weird, considering how much I hated onions as a kid. Now? I just can’t get enough, and am convinced that they improve just about everything.

I made this dish during Passover (and no, I’m not Jewish – and I know pork isn’t kosher), because I was craving Kasha Varnishkes (yes, even us shiksas crave Jewish food from time to time), so let’s just call this one “Jewish inspired”. Either way, it’s overflowing with onions, and was pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself.

Pork Roast and Kasha Varnishkes

Pork Loin Roast with Onion-Mushroom Gravy
recipe courtesy Recipezaar

1 (5 lb) bone in pork roast
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. thyme
3 garlic cloves, sliced

For gravy:
1 c. water
1 c. beef broth
2 medium onions, sliced
1 1/4 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 c. flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. parsley

For roast: Cut slits into the top of roast. Insert garlic slices into slits. Combine olive oil and spices – rub over roast. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 2 hours and 15 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let roast stand 15 minutes before carving.

For gravy: Pour drippings and loose brown bits from the roast pan into a measuring cup. Skim the fat off the top, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Add water and broth to drippings, set aside. Saute onions and mushrooms in oil and butter until tender. Stir in flour until well blended. Gradually stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in parsley and pepper.

Kasha Varnishkes (Bowtie Egg Noodles with Buckwheat Groats)
recipe courtesy Fonds de Cuisine @ Global Gourmet

3 tbsp. schmaltz (chicken fat) or butter
1 medium onion, diced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup kasha, medium
1 each large egg, beaten
2 c. chicken stock or water
2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
8 oz. bow tie noodles, cooked and drained
1 tbsp. schmaltz (chicken fat) or butter, to dress pasta

In a heavy pot, cook the onion in the chicken fat until lightly browned, then add the garlic. Add the kasha and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat on full. The kasha should get very hot. Add the beaten egg, all at once, and start stirring like crazy. You want to coat all the grains of the kasha, and not see scrambled egg. The kasha will puff up a little. Keep stirring until it becomes dry and separate.

Add the liquid, which will boil up furiously. Bring the liquid to a full boil and cover. Lower the heat as far as it will go. In five minutes or so, the liquid will be on its way to being absorbed. Stir with a fork. When the liquid is all absorbed, fluff it with a fork, recover and turn off the fire. Leave it on the burner for 15 minutes longer. Stir in the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper. It needs a lot of both to bring out the rich nutty flavor of kasha.

Boil the noodles and drain them. Add chicken fat or butter to dress them, then combine half of the cooked kasha and toss. Add the second half of the kasha, and toss again. Can be served as is, but is improved by a little mushroom gravy over the top.

3 thoughts on “VTV: Pork Roast and Kasha Varnishkes

  1. Joelen

    This looks so comforting and the Kasha Varnishkes intrigues me! I’ve never had or tried cooking with Kasha so I’m going to try finding it near me. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pingback: Onions / Shallots / Leeks Round up « Vindicate the Vegetable!

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