Peter Aitken's Recipe Collection

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cooking recipes kitchen food 12


Pork and fennel burgers

2 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt) with fat, cut into chunks. Don't skimp on the fat, it is essentail!
1 fennel bulb, coarsly diced.
2 large garlic cloves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Grind the meat. Process the fennel in a food processor until finely chopped. Peel the garlic and put thru a press. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand. Form into 6 patties and cook on a grill or in a fry pan until just cooked thru - a touch of pink in the center is perfectly safe. Serve on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.


Posole (Mexican pork and hominy stew)

The authentic version uses a whole pig's head but this one is pretty darned good.

5-6 fresh poblano peppers
1.5 lb pork shoulder in 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp, more or less, red pepper flakes
2-16 ounce cans hominy, drained


Sliced radishes
Chopped onion
Chopped cilantro
Baked tortilla strips

Roast the peppers over charcoal or a gas flame until charred, then let sweat in a paper bag for 15 min. Remove skin and seeds and chop coarsely. You should have a cup or so.

In a Dutch oven, brown the pork in a little vegeable oil or lard, doing it in 2 batches if necessary. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add water to just cover and simmer for 30 min. Add hominy and peppers and simmer, covered, for another 90 min. Add water as needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Salt to taste. Serve in soup bowls with garnishes.

Pork chops with rosemary/mustard/cream sauce

This is one of my best inventions. It goes very well with marbled mashed potatoes.

4 1-1/2 inch thick loin pork chops
6 TB Morton's kosher salt or 4 TB table salt
3 TB dark brown sugar
3 TB chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and black pepper
1/2c dry vermouth
1/2c heavy cream
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 400f.

Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in 1 quart of water and soak the chops in this mixture, in the fridge, for 1 hour. Drain, rinse, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with S&P and rub rosemary on both sides. Set aside.

Heat 1 TB vegetable oil over medium high heat in a heavy ovenproof skillet that is large enough to hold the chops in one layer. When the oil is hot enough add the chops and cook without moving until nicely browned,. 2-3 minutes. Turn the chops and place the skillet in the oven for about 10 minutes until just cooked thru. If in doubt make a slit with a small knife - you want a bare hint of pink in the thickest part of the meat. Remove chops to a warmed platter and cover while making the sauce.

Put the skillet over medium heat and add the butter and, when it's melted, the mustard. When bubbling add the vermouth and cook, stirring, until the vermouth is mostly evaporated. Add the cream and cook until slightly thickened. Add S&P to taste if needed. Put the chops on individual serving plates, pour the sauce over, and serve.

Roasted mock wild boar with Grand Veneur sauce

This recipe is from my mother. It marinates a fresh ham in a way that results in a flavor similar to wild boar. It is delicious, and makes a wonderful centerpiece to a holiday meal.

1 whole fresh ham, 10 to 14 pounds

For the rub:
2 TB ground black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1 TB Accent (this is MSG and may be omitted)
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp powdered bay leaf, or 1 crumbled bay leaf
1 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
3 cloves garlic, mashed
4 TB salt
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated orange rind

2 medium onions
1 large carrot
2 stalks celery with leaves
1/2c olive oil
1-1/2c dry red wine
1c red wine vinegar
1/3c cognac

Remove the rind from the ham, leaving just a band of rind around the shank (your butcher may be able to do this for you). Poke ham with a paring knife to make small slits all over the surface. Combine the rub ingredients and rub them over the surface of the ham.  Place ham in a non-reactive (glass, ceramic, stainless steel) container just large enough to hold it. Chop the onions, carrot, and celery. sauté briefly in the olive oil. Add wine and vinegar, heat just to the boil and remove from heat. Let cool completely then add cognac and pour over ham. Cover ham and refrigerate for 8 to 14 days, turning the ham twice every day.

To roast, remove ham from marinade but do not dry it or attempt to scrape off bits of marinade that are sticking to it. Place the ham fatty side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast at 300 degrees for 4 and a half to 5 hours. A meat thermometer should read 175. If the meat seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with brown paper. When done, remove meat to serving platter and let rest, uncovered, in the turned-off oven while you make the Grand Veneur sauce:

Reserved marinade from the meat
2c dry red wine
2c beef gravy (canned if necessary)
1c beef stock
1 TB currant jelly
salt to taste
1 tsp black pepper
1 TB finely chopped scallions
2 TB finely chopped parsley

Strain the marinade and discard the solids. Combine marinade liquid with gravy and wine and simmer until reduced in volume by about half, until the sauce is slightly thicker than you want it to be. Sauce can be prepared to this point ahead of time. Bring stock to the boil. Remove excess fat from the roasting pan and pour in the boiling stock. Use a wooden spoon to loosen all the brown goodies that are stuck to the pan, then pour the stock into the sauce. Add the jelly and salt to taste. Add scallions, pepper, and parsley and simmer briefly. 

Pork loin with garlic and rosemary

Brining and not overcooking result in a tender, juicy roast.

1 3-4lb boneless pork loin
1/2c sugar
1/2c kosher salt
6 c cold water
1/3c fresh rosemary leaves
4 large garlic cloves
1/2 TB salt
1 tsp black pepper
1.5c dry white wine
1/2c low-salt beef, chicken, or other stock

Make sure to get a loin with a nice layer of fat on one side. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water and place in a large plastic bag with the pork for 4 hours (refrigerated). Remove pork, and rinse; discard brining liquid. Coarsely mince garlic and rosemary. Put in a mortar with the salt and pepper and mash into a coarse paste. Position the pork with the fat on top and make a horizontal slit along its length, leaving about 1/2" uncut at the other side, so you can open it like a book. Spread the garlic/rosemary paste along the slit, then close the slit and tie the loin with kitchen string at 1-2 inch intervals. Place on rack in baking pan with fat side up. Place in 450f oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325f and pour 1/4c wine over the roast. Continue cooking for an addition 45 minutes, pouring another 1/4c wine over the roast every 15 minutes. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast and continue cooking until it registers 145f (yes, that's 100% safe with pork). Remove from oven and put pork on a warm platter, tented with foil. Place the roasting pan on a stovetop burner, add the remaining wine and stock, and boil, scraping up the "brown bits," until reduced to about 3/4c. If desired, de-fat the sauce. Slice the pork about 1" thick and spoon a little sauce on each slice.





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