This past weekend was supposed to be one of epic spring cleaning. And we did spend most of it (except for a delightful brunch cooked by friends) hard at work. But everything takes way longer to accomplish than you’d think, so at least a couple more of these are in our future. My philosophy is that if you have to work on the weekend you should at least eat well. I don’t have any pictures of the meal we made on Saturday, but it was delicious (and quick in the sense that most of it was unattended). Here’s the idea: rub a pork tenderloin in garlic, fresh thyme, olive oil, hot pimenton, salt, and pepper. Put it in the sous vide machine for about 2-2.5 hours. Go away for 2 hours. When you come back toss a marrow bone (that you’ve soaked in water overnight to leech the blood) in a pan. When it renders throw in a peeled fresh tomato, some chopped spinach and onion, and a can of drained garbanzo beans in that order as things cook down. Add some (lots of) garlic and when the pan is dry de-glaze with some Oloroso sherry. Finish with good olive oil. Sear the tenderloin in a cast iron pan, slice and serve over the chick peas with a nice salad (ours had blanched asparagus, radishes, butter lettuce and scallions). I would say the total attended time for this meal was about 45 minutes for something I think could be served for a nice dinner party. And it was about the juiciest pork I’ve ever made. Plus, the pimenton added a wonderful smoky flavor that you don’t usually get from sous vide meat.
The next night we were pretty full from the huge brunch we’d had earlier and needed a quick dinner since we didn’t get hungry until late (and I was doing some serious closet re-org). I sauteed some salmon in butter with sage. As a side I decided on potatoes and vegetables, but I didn’t want to make multiple dishes. I decided to start with a marrow bone again. (I had purchased three from the market and then realized they weren’t really big enough to roast as a starter Fergus Henderson style so I needed something to do with them. In both cases I used them where I’d normally use a slice of chopped bacon to start a dish). I blanched some fresh peas and asparagus until crisp-tender and set aside. I quartered some small red potatoes and cooked them until they were almost done.
I added the potatoes to a pan in which I was rendering the marrow bone with a little bit of olive oil and cooked them until they were crisp and the pan was pretty dry.
Back in went the green vegetables (for about 45 seconds) along with a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt pepper, and chopped basil. It made for a delicious and springy (but with rich marrow-y undertones) side – think the flavor of mushy peas and roasted potatoes but fresher. And even though it was one dish, I say it counts as a meat and three vege ;).