Monday, November 22, 2010

Pom Dinner Party - Pork Wellington over Pomegranate Sweet Potato Grits!

Are you following along, I am covering my 7 course POM DINNER PARTY in detail.  7 courses plus drinks and bread, 7 different sauces used to make the meal.  Everything from a sweet Pom Grenadine (used to make the Drinks), a thick heavy honey like Pom Molasses (used to make the Bread), a savory Pom Garlic Infused Sauce (used to make an Olive Tapenade Straw and a Creole Shrimp and Artichoke Soup), a Pom/Balsamic Reduction (used to flavor an Insalata Caprese Salad), a Persian Pomegranate Sharbat Sauce (used frozen as a Sorbet), Straight Pom Wonderful Juice (used for a Court Bouillon Fish Course) ... well, the rest have yet to be posted (but will later today and tomorrow... multiple posts each day so come back often).

Today, we cover the "main" course... The MEAT course!  And what could be better than to have an amazing Pork Wellington, flavored with a SPICY HOT Pomegranate Chipotle Sauce!  Whoo Whoo, I love this sauce.  Just a little tangy sweet, but makes full use of the full flavor and tongue exciting flavor of Chipotle peppers in an adobe sauce.

I like to make a thick paste that I can use in various ways to make a BBQ sauce, a thick coating glaze sauce, a mop sauce or a finishing sauce.  So, I reduce quite a bit

Here's what I did to make the sauce...

2 cups Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice
1/2 medium Onion minced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, chopped
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt

  1. In a saucepan, heat the oil and saut√© the onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the Chiles and stir constantly for about a minute.
  3. Add the Pom Juice and continue to stir and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the vinegar to deglaze the pan, and finally, add the sugar and salt and bring everything to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook till you get the desired consistency.  Like I said, I wanted a thick paste that I would use for a variety of uses.
  6. Pulse in a food processor to get an even thick paste.

I also made a Pomegranate Molasses that I used to glaze Sweet Potatoes for this plating.

I went into great detail on how to make this sauce in an earlier post when I made Anadama Bread Rolls using the sweet, thick, dark, honey like  Pomegranate Molasses.  You can see that post by clicking HERE.

OK, armed with these two sauces, I am ready to work on the stars of the evening...

First, A wonderful spicy Sweet Potato Grits recipe, adapted from bobby Flay's Mesa grill Cookbook...

1 large Sweet Potato
1/4 cup Pom Molasses

2 TBS Canola Oil
1/2 Shallot, finely diced
4 cloves Garlic, smashed and minced
2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 cup whole Milk
2 tsp pureed Chipotle Chile in Adobe Sauce
   (yes, from the can, into the mini chopper to puree)

pinch Kosher Salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking Grits
2 TBS Butter
3 TBS Honey
6 TBS Olive Oil
Fresh ground Black Pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Roast the sweet potato in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife (about 45 to 60 minutes)
  • Peel the sweet potato, add the Pom Molasses and puree the flesh in a food processor (or mini chopper)
  • Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • Add the stock, milk, chipotle puree and salt... bring to a boil.
  • Slowly whisk in the grits.  Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the sweet potato puree, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter  and honey to taste.  Cover and keep warm.


And now, the star of the show is the Pork Wellington.  By far, this is the dish that all my guests enjoyed the best.  Fork tender pork, moist and delicious

1 - 3 pound Pork Loin 
1/2 gallon water for brining
1/2 cup of kosher Salt for brining
1/2 cup of Honey for brining
1/2 pound of Spinach 
1/2 cup finely chopped Pecans
10 cloves of Garlic (minced)
1/4 cup Pom Chipotle paste
1/4 cup Peanut Sauce
2 TBS Chinese 5 Spice
1 Egg for an egg wash

First, Brine your meat. Brining is that little secret that chefs never tell you. It makes pork more succulent and flavorful. Modern pork producers have evolved the pig into a very lean product. If you have ever over cooked a pork chop to the hockey puck stage, you know that there is not much margin for error between cooked and dried out. Brining will increase that margin drastically, while at the same time add flavor.Brining is VERY easy.

Take 1 cup of the water, and get it boiling. Add the honey and salt and stir till dissolved. Add the cold water and remove from heat. Place the pork in a non reactive container, and add the water. If need be, add more water til the pork is completely covered. Place the whole container in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but no more than 12. Rinse the pork twice before proceeding to the next step. Pat dry with paper towels.

Next, get your hands dirty. You are adding a wet rub to the pork. The key word... it's a RUB, not a drizzle. Mix the peanut sauce and the Pom Chipotle Paste. And rub all over the loin. Next, apply the 5 spice to the loin. Again, rub well, till it is all mixed in with the wet rub.

Next, we combine the pecans and garlic... Mix well to form a paste. Spread this all over the loin. Keep caking it on as it falls off. Again... USE YOUR HANDS, get dirty. Set this aside, and let it absorb into the meat.

And now it's time to assemble... While the paste is marinating into the wet rub and the wet rub is spicing the pork, lay out your puffed pastry. roll it out until it is wide enough and long enough to roll around the pork loin. Lay out the raw but washed spinach, and then lay the pork loin on top of the spinach. Push the spinach all up under the loin as much as you can. When you roll up the pastry, you do not want any of the spinach on the top (which will be the bottom when you cook).

Roll the pastry up over the loin and seal as best you can. Everything nice and tight, with a double layer of the pastry on the bottom (actually the top, til you turn it over... make sense???) so that it can soak up the juices and still retain it's shape and integrity.

Take your egg wash and help keep everything sealed up by painting the egg over the seal. And now, it is time to flip it over, so the smooth side with all the spinach is now on top, and the side with the edges is on the bottom.

Add another layer of egg wash . Take a knife and put a few holes in the pastry to allow steam to escape. If you don't, your pastry will split.

I bake this on a sheet of parchment paper at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Actually, I used an instant read meat thermometer, inserted into the niddle to measure the internal temp/ It was 140 degrees... perfect.

And if you need a little help in learning to open a Pomegranate to get at the good stuff...

Here's how to open one... VERY neatly (So neatly, I did it over a white towel... No Mess)



  1. You've sure been creative in putting this meal together and I've enjoyed reading about the creations. I've been wanting to make my first wellington, but have waiting for beef tenderloin to go on sale. Don't know why I hadn't thought about pork as I have it in the freezer.

  2. WOW that looks amazing! I love pork and I love all things wellington - it may just be time for the two to unite.

    I'm so impressed with all the uses of Pom!

  3. I have never even heard of pork wellington - great idea!

    And you had me at that pom chipotle sauce! :D

  4. You caught my attention with the sweet potato grits. I really, really love grits. And then you made pork gosh. Sure wish you lived next door 'cause I'd be right over.

    Happy Thanksgiving Dave.

  5. Crispy crust on that beef...errr...pork wellington. And grits? I could do them any day of the week. The flavors seem like a combination of my preferences and Alexis'.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful.