SECRETO WITH RED CABBAGE

SECRETO MEANS SECRET IN SPANISH.  THIS "SECRET" CUT OF PORK IS TUCKED DISCRETELY BETWEEN THE SHOULDER AND BACK MUSCLES OF THE PIG.  THESE FILLETS, SURROUNDED BY A THIN LAYER OF FAT, WEIGH ABOUT A POUND EACH.  THEY ARE LESS TENDER THAN TENDERLOINS BUT WITH A WONDERFUL FLAVOR AND A TEXTURE RESEMBLING BAVETTE.  THEY LEND THEMSELVES TO PAN-COOKING, WHICH IS HOW I COOKED THEM, IN A CAST IRON SKILLET WITH NOTHING BUT SALT AND PEPPER.  THAT CALLED FOR A RICHER ACCOMPANIMENT.  I OPTED FOR RED CABBAGE BRAISED WITH PANCETTA, RED ONION AND RED WINE.  CARROTS AND RUTABAGAS, BOILED THEN SAUTÉED IN THE PORK DRIPPINGS AND BUTTER FILLED OUT THE PLATE AS YOU CAN SEE.  

 2 PORK SECRETOS OR PORK TENDERLOINS
  lb PANCETTA
 1 RED ONION
 4 THYME SPRIGS
 1 tbsp CARAWAY SEEDS
 8 SMALL RUTABAGAS OR TURNIPS
 8 MEDIUM CARROTS
 FRESH TARRAGON

1

BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. TRIM AND PEEL RUTABAGAS AND CARROTS. BOIL TILL TENDER. DUMP IN A SINKFULL OF COLD WATER TO COOL. SET ASIDE.

CUT THE PANCETTA INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES. TOSS IN A DUTCH OVEN WITH A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND COOK ON A LOW FLAME TILL BROWN BUT STILL PLIANT.

MEANWHILE, TRIM AND PEEL RED ONION. CUT CROSSWISE, THEN SLICE ONION INTO 1/4-INCH HALF MOONS. ADD TO THE PANCETTA, COVER AND SWEAT FOR A FEW MINUTES TILL TRANSLUCENT.

CUT THE CABBAGE LENGTHWISE IN QUARTERS. TRIM OUT THE HARD CORE. SLICE CABBAGE INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES. ADD TO THE POT AND COVER.

ADD THE CARAWAY SEEDS TO A SMALL FRYING PAN AND TOAST OVER A MEDIUM FLAME, SHAKING THE PAN TILL YOU SMELL THEIR SCENT. ADD TO THE CABBAGE.

SALT AND PEPPER THE CABBAGE AND COOK FOR TEN MINUTES. TURN OVER A FEW TIMES DURING THE COOKING.

ADD THE RED WINE AND THE THYME LEAVES. COVER AND COOK ON THE TOP OF THE STOVE OR IN A 350º OVEN FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CABBAGE IS TENDER BUT STILL A BIT CRUNCHY.

HEAT A CAST IRON PAN OVER A HIGH FLAME FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES. DRY THE SECRETOS WELL WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER AND PLACE IN THE PAN. COOK ABOUT 5 MINUTES A SIDE AS YOU WOULD A STEAK. REMOVE TO A WARM SERVING PLATE.

MELT 4 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN THE PAN AND ADD THE VEGETABLES. SAUTÉ FOR A FEW MINUTES TILL THEY ARE LIGHTLY BROWNED. TOSS WITH CHOPPED TARRAGON.

SLICE THE SECRETOS AND SERVE WITH CABBAGE AND VEGETABLES.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 2 PORK SECRETOS OR PORK TENDERLOINS
  lb PANCETTA
 1 RED ONION
 4 THYME SPRIGS
 1 tbsp CARAWAY SEEDS
 8 SMALL RUTABAGAS OR TURNIPS
 8 MEDIUM CARROTS
 FRESH TARRAGON

Directions

1

BRING A LARGE POT OF WATER TO A BOIL. SALT GENEROUSLY. TRIM AND PEEL RUTABAGAS AND CARROTS. BOIL TILL TENDER. DUMP IN A SINKFULL OF COLD WATER TO COOL. SET ASIDE.

CUT THE PANCETTA INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES. TOSS IN A DUTCH OVEN WITH A SPLASH OF OLIVE OIL AND COOK ON A LOW FLAME TILL BROWN BUT STILL PLIANT.

MEANWHILE, TRIM AND PEEL RED ONION. CUT CROSSWISE, THEN SLICE ONION INTO 1/4-INCH HALF MOONS. ADD TO THE PANCETTA, COVER AND SWEAT FOR A FEW MINUTES TILL TRANSLUCENT.

CUT THE CABBAGE LENGTHWISE IN QUARTERS. TRIM OUT THE HARD CORE. SLICE CABBAGE INTO 1/2-INCH PIECES. ADD TO THE POT AND COVER.

ADD THE CARAWAY SEEDS TO A SMALL FRYING PAN AND TOAST OVER A MEDIUM FLAME, SHAKING THE PAN TILL YOU SMELL THEIR SCENT. ADD TO THE CABBAGE.

SALT AND PEPPER THE CABBAGE AND COOK FOR TEN MINUTES. TURN OVER A FEW TIMES DURING THE COOKING.

ADD THE RED WINE AND THE THYME LEAVES. COVER AND COOK ON THE TOP OF THE STOVE OR IN A 350º OVEN FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES OR UNTIL THE CABBAGE IS TENDER BUT STILL A BIT CRUNCHY.

HEAT A CAST IRON PAN OVER A HIGH FLAME FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES. DRY THE SECRETOS WELL WITH PAPER TOWELS. SALT AND PEPPER AND PLACE IN THE PAN. COOK ABOUT 5 MINUTES A SIDE AS YOU WOULD A STEAK. REMOVE TO A WARM SERVING PLATE.

MELT 4 TBSPS OF BUTTER IN THE PAN AND ADD THE VEGETABLES. SAUTÉ FOR A FEW MINUTES TILL THEY ARE LIGHTLY BROWNED. TOSS WITH CHOPPED TARRAGON.

SLICE THE SECRETOS AND SERVE WITH CABBAGE AND VEGETABLES.

SERVES 4

SECRETO WITH RED CABBAGE
Share
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *