SWEET POTATO BISCUITS WITH PEPPERED PORK LOIN
Sweet Potato Biscuits:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra if needed
2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced, plus extra melted to brush biscuits
3/4 cup mashed sweet potato, cold
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup golden raisins
Pepper Pork Loin:
2 tablespoon sorghum or molasses
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
One 4-pound pork loin
Apple Mustard Butter:
1 pound peeled and cored apples, cut into 1/2-inch chunks, or 12 ounces unsweetened applesauce
4 ounces light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
2 bunches arugula
1 pint grape tomatoes or baby heirlooms
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces shaved Parmesan
Total Time: 4 hr 10 min
Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 3 hr 10 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
For the sweet potato biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir together the sweet potato and buttermilk in a separate bowl until smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the sweet potato mixture. Add the raisins and combine until it just comes together. Be very careful to not over mix.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it comes together. If the dough is too sticky, work in up to 1/4 cup additional flour. Shape into a disk and pat to an even 1- to 1 1/2-inch thickness. With a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather together scraps, and repeat to cut out more biscuits.
Butter a baking sheet and place each biscuit 1/2 inch apart. Brush with melted butter and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
For the peppered pork loin:
In a small bowl, stir together the sorghum, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper and oil. Trim the pork loin of any excess fat, and transfer to a shallow roasting pan (or my favorite, a cast-iron skillet). Rub the pork loin with sorghum and spice mixture, coating evenly. Roast until the internal temperature is 140 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
For the apple mustard butter: Place the apple chunks in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over low heat. Cook, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard. (Or if using applesauce, place in a heavy bottomed pot with the sugar and spices and cook until it is thick, 30 minutes or so.)
For the salad:
Toss the arugula, tomatoes and sunflowers seeds in a large bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with the shaved cheese.
Split the sweet potato biscuits and spread the apple mustard butter on both sides. Thinly slice the pork loin and place on each of the bottom biscuits. Top with the other biscuit halves and serve with salad on the side.
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