PORK AND PUMPKIN BRAISE (PROVENCE)
Well, here we go again! You'll recall that when our Halloween pal Jack O'Lantern went to his end after the 31st, I decided to try a series of savory dishes using pumpkin meat as a winter squash, rather than merely consigning him to the compost heap. Even though Jack was only an average-size feller, I got a good four pounds of firm, tart-sweet punkin flesh out of his carcass, and I find that it's keeping quite well in a covered bowl in the fridge.
First night, I fashioned a Med Rim-style lamb and pumpkin stew with one pound of it. Then I used another pound to make a high-calorie but tasty French gratin of pumpkin puree baked with egg, bacon and spices. Tonight I invented a sort of faux-Provencale dish, leaving just one pound for something else interesting over the weekend.
Here's tonight's entree:
I sauteed 1/2 onion (cut into large squares) and 1 fat garlic clove (sliced paper thin) in a little olive oil in a cast-iron skillet, then added 10 ounces of boneless pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes, tossing them with the onions and garlic until they just turned white. Pour in 1/2 cup white wine with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime; salt and pepper to taste, and bring to the boil. Add 1 pound pumpkin meat, cut into 1-inch cubes. Flame with 3 tablespoons Cognac, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until the pork is cooked and the pumpkin crisp-tender. Remove lid, stir in the finely minced peel of one lemon and one lime (the fruits used for the juice above) and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley. Raise heat to reduce the liquid, if any, and serve with bulghur or couscous.
Went great with Bonny Doon's Ca del Solo Big House White, a dry, Italian- style white. I think a Belgian Wit or equivalent (like Celis White from Texas) would be an outstanding beer match.