So… have you had a lot of experience with Irish food? Yeah, me either.
When discussing what we are in the mood for, the common food options between my friends and I has varied from Chinese to Italian. But, I can honestly say that in almost twenty-five years of eating food, no one around me has ever requested Irish.
This got me thinking. On March 17th ever year, everyone gets to be Irish. What exactly does that mean other than red hair, green pants and wishing on shamrocks? So I did a little research on Irish food and decided to attempt some of my own.
The truth is, nothing I really found out surprised me. What surprised me was how sophisticated I could make the simple and common Irish ingredients. I used some of the most basic Irish staples (cabbage, pork and beer) and turn them into something completely delicious and unexpected.
A black and tan is a mix of a dark beer and a light beer and a total Irish tradition. It also makes a delicious pork marinade and glaze. And, if you don’t like it just drink the rest of the six-pack and I bet you will be singing a different tune. Or just out of tune.
You will need…
For the Pork
1 12-ounce bottle pale ale (preferably Bass)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds pork tenderloin
For the Glaze
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bottle stout beer (preferably Guinness)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the Slaw
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 medium bell peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
Start 2-6 hours early by combining the ale, five-spice powder, cayenne and salt and black pepper to taste in a large resealable plastic bag. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for the slaw. Add the pork to the bag and mix well and refrigerate.
Close to dinnertime, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon each stout and brown sugar and cook 4 minutes.
Add all but 2 tablespoons of the remaining stout, the honey, the remaining 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar and the ginger.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 15 to 20 minutes.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons stout and the cornstarch in a bowl; slowly stir into the glaze and boil 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pork from the marinade and transfer to a baking dish. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees F, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the slaw: Whisk the soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk in the reserved 1/4 cup marinade.
Add the cabbage, bell peppers, carrots and onion and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve, at least 30 minutes.
Slice the pork and serve with the slaw. Drizzle both the pork and slaw with the glaze.
I know it will be hard to resist the urge, but try not to guzzle the glaze. I know it’s delicious, but that’s what the left over beer is for.
Love and Beer Floats
P.S. I prepared the pork slightly different because I was unable to find a tenderloin. However, I think that the preparation described in the above recipe will work better with the glaze. In other words: Do as the recipe says, not as my pictures do.