Posts Tagged ‘pork roll’

Sometimes a fun, if not a great, notion

March 8, 2015

Blame it on the weather induced cabin fever.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Dinner is served: Pork Roll Wellington, roasted potatoes, salad.

Or maybe it is a hyper awareness of all things pork roll. One friend is working on putting together his second festival honoring that local indigenous product and another has just released a book on the subject.

Whatever the cause, “inspiration” struck earlier this week and I just had to act on it: Pork Roll Wellington!

Right out of the oven!

Right out of the oven!

Don’t laugh (yet).

What if we dressed up this Jersey favorite pork product with some chicken liver pâté and mushroom duxelles and then wrapped the package in some puff pastry? Would it be edible? Tasty? Worth the effort?

2015-03-08 15.47.01OK. Laugh if you want, but it wasn’t that bad. And it wasn’t that difficult.

I adapted this recipe for Beef Wellington.  Instead of the beef tenderloin, I used one of those cute little 1 pound “chubs” of Cases’ Pork Roll. I made the chicken liver pâté last night from the recipe linked to from the Beef Wellington page (click here). The duxelles I made earlier today so they could cool down.

As per the recipe, I mixed the mushrooms and some of the pâté together. After rolling out a sheet of puff pastry, I spread the mixture over the pastry. Having removed the pork roll from its traditional canvas casing, I then set it on the “dressed” pastry dough and rolled it up. The seam and the ends were sealed with some beaten egg and pressed together. Placing the package seam side down on a baking sheet, I set it back in the refrigerator to cook later.

Have you ever seen a "naked" pork roll?

Have you ever seen a “naked” pork roll?

Since the pork roll comes “ready to eat” you only have to bake the dish long enough to heat it through and brown the dough nicely. I put mine in a 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then lowered the temp to 400 for another 15 or so.

Admittedly I didn’t know how this would come out but it tasted pretty good. I might try adding an “inner wrap” of phyllo dough (in place of the crepes in the original) to act as a vapor barrier and reduce the sogginess of the underside of the pastry crust. My wellington stuck a little to the aluminum foil I lined the baking sheet with. A bit of oil, Pam, or maybe using a silpat should remedy that.

Give it a try. It’s a fun way to dress up an old standby.

A little slice of pig heaven.

A little slice of pig heaven.

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It’s always time for pork roll

September 2, 2012

The Trenton area was put into a state of high alert earlier this summer. Venerated local company Case’s Pork Roll had a fire at its Washington Street facility.  Production was halted for several weeks while the clean-up and repairs were made.

Pork roll, if you don’t know, is regional specialty made from ground pork shoulder, seasoned, stuffed into a casing, cured and smoked. It’s a staple at cookouts all summer long.

Along with Taylor Provisions, Case’s is the last company actually making the product in Trenton. And both have their loyal folowers (think Chevy/Ford or Coke/Pepsi).

Anyway, pork roll (also known as Taylor Ham in some parts of the state) is versatile favorite.

A nice slice grilled and added to a grilled beef patty along with some melted provolone cheese and a thick slice of perfectly ripe jersey tomato satisfies like no other burger.

A couple of slices of pork roll, notched so they won’t “cup”, and fried off in a skillet or on the griddle makes a great breakfast meat to go with eggs and some homefried potatoes.

Perhaps the apex of the pork roll food pyramid is the pork roll egg and cheese sandwich.

Long before the egg mcmuffin and its legion of fast food imitators, this simple treat was standard fare at coffee shops, diners, food trucks and luncheonettes throughout the area.

Pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich

  • two, 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick slices of pork roll
  • two eggs
  • two slices sharp provolone cheese
  • one kaiser/hard roll
  • butter or oil for cooking the eggs
  • salt and pepper

In a small skillet or a griddle over medium high heat, cook* the pork roll slices until just starting to brown (about 2 or 3 minutes). Turn slices over.  If there is room, cook the eggs just until the yolks are no longer runny while the pork roll is finishing. If there isn’t room, just finish the meat and set aside but keep it warm while cooking the eggs.

Slice the roll open and lightly toast.

Lightly butter the roll if desired, layer the eggs, cheese and pork roll onto the bottom of the bun. Top, press down. Enjoy.

(serves 1)

Simple and comforting, the pork roll egg and cheese joins the pepper and egg and the salame and egg in the trinity of anytime sandwiches. They’re great for breakfast, lunch or a light dinner. They are a favorite for a late night snack.  Done well, they will comfort a hangover and cure homesickness in New Jersey expatriates.