Home for the Holidays 2003

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The Chef
Floyd Cardoz of Tabla

Serves 8 to 10.

6 pounds boneless pork loin with some fat

1 dried chili pepper, with seeds
1 pasilla pepper, with seeds
1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
3 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 1/2-inch piece of ginger
1 whole fresh green chili pepper, roasted over an open flame and peeled (leave seeds in pepper)
2 cups chopped cilantro leaves, washed very well and chopped
8 cloves garlic
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Goan Basmati Pilaf:
3 cups basmati rice, picked over, washed well, and soaked in lukewarm water for 15 minutes
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cinnamon stick, broken into 3 or 4 pieces
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 medium-size onions, finely minced
3 plum tomatoes, cored and diced
Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions
Grind the dried chili and pasilla peppers, peppercorns, cloves, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon stick in a spice or coffee grinder until fine. Place the ginger, green chili, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, rum, salt, and sugar in a blender, and purée. Add the ground spices, and pulse quickly. Rub the mixture all over the pork loin, and allow to marinate for at least 12 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the pork from refrigerator 2 hours before cooking.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the spice-rubbed pork loin on a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 130 to 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Allow to rest for 20 minutes (temperature will rise another 10 degrees). Slice, and serve with Goan basmati pilaf (instructions below).

Drain the rice in a colander. Bring 5 cups water to a boil, add the bouillon cube, and allow it to dissolve.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stewpot. When it starts to shimmer, add the cinnamon and cloves, and heat them until they become fragrant. Add the bay leaves and onion, and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Add the drained rice, and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add the boiling bouillon and the tomatoes, and season with salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally and gently, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, let stand for 15 to 20 minutes, then stir gently with a roasting fork.

Recommended Wines
Alsatian Riesling, such as Loosen, Dr. L; Syrah, such as Shafer Relentless; or Zinfandel, such as Robert Biale Vineyards Monte Rosso.

Best With
Potato dumplings with coriander chutney, samosas, spiced banana chips; Goan roast pork with basmati pilaf and a chopped salad of cucumber, lettuce, onions, peppers, and tomatoes; Goan shrimp curry; Beet salad with toasted bacalao; Roasted cauliflower with garlic and ginger; Goat curry; Roasted stuffed halibut or fluke; Traditional British fruitcake soaked in rum; Binci, a 7-layer coconut-milk cake.