This is not only the tale of how I stepped into the Pintester's shoes for a day, but of how I found myself face-down in spilled pork juice product while trying to salvage the remnants of an experiment gone horribly awry. enjoy!
The Challenge: Recreate one of the pins that Sonja has already tested. Because food is kinda my thing, obviously I was going to recreate one of her Food & Drink pintests. I needed something fairly cheap, easy, and that wouldn't totally go to waste. For whatever reason, I decided on Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Pork Loin.
|Original Pin Pic from Here|
This is weird, because I don't really like pork. I enjoy bacon, as does everyone, and pulled pork with BBQ is one of my favorite things. But ham? Gross. Pig Roasts? Like watching a horror movie. Ground pork? What would you even USE ground up little pig bits FOR, anyway? (oh, right, meatballs, but still!) Pork loin? Eh... I really want to like pork loin. I do! But each time I make it or get it somewhere, it's just disappointing. Dry, bland, meh. So, why I chose this pin is anyone's guess.
In true Pintester fashion, I cheated at the directions a little bit. Discovering that a pork loin was a whopping $11--too rich for my budget-blood--I opted for this pork steak type situation instead, which was Buy 1 get TWO free at the local grocery store. Why buy MORE pork when I'm ambivalent about it? I have no idea. I was caught up in the spirit of the Pintester Movement, I guess. And stupid tricks of advertising.
And, in what I feel is probably also Pintester fashion, I totally forgot about the deadline and ended up having to do this in a hurry. So, I woke up early that morning, pulled the ingredients from the fridge, made enough noise to thoroughly piss off my downstairs neighbors who already think I'm too noisy, and rushed the process. Upon returning home from work, a friend had promised me a Girls' Night of wine and movies and I was rushing to get the pork thing done and plated and photographed before I missed the boat on a night of wine. And, if you know me, you know I'm not one to pass up on wine.
|When you're dealing with a fruit fly invasion,|
a sippy cup is the safest place for your wine.
Sonja's review of the finished recipe stated that the pork was too bland, despite the apples and cinnamon. I decided to try and rectify this in my edits. If pork with apples is too bland, what would make it not so bland? I decided stuffing some cheese in there was a good start, and that brie with apples and cinnamon would be amazing. I threw in some other additions to try to jazz it up a bit as well.
"This will be DELICIOUS!" I said, cackling to myself. I imagined the Pintester herself giving me kudos for a job well done. My delusions of grandeur know no bounds. I am a Millennial, after all.
|Pintester's original "results" From Pintester.com|
Original Pin Source
Pintester Movement Page
Ingredients Suggested in Original Pin:
- 3 pounds porkloin
- 3 red delicious apples, sliced
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup red onion, sliced
Ingredients I used
- 2 pork steaks (no idea what cut it was, sorry)
- 2 golden apples
- 4 slices of brie
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine
I took the pork meat and sliced it in half, butterfly style. Next, I used a meat mallet to pound them down to a half inch thickness.
I placed four apple slices, a few onion slices, and two brie slices in each pork flap, sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and rolled them up. To ensure they would not unravel in the slow cooker, I used toothpicks to seal them closed. I think Sonja would make a penis joke here. Here, let me try...
|I tried to make stuffed pork loin and instead made Pinhead's Penis.|
Anyway... I sprinkled them with more cinnamon and sugar, then put in the pot with the remaining ingredients. The wine was an afterthought--I knew that slow cookers relied on liquid to cook the food, and I doubted the apples would provide enough, so I threw in the wine and some water. In retrospect, something sweeter (juice, applesauce) would have been a better option. Then I set the slow cooker to low, and went to work for the day, to return 8 hours later to a pork dinner that would change my feelings forever about "the other white meat"!
But when I came home and peeked inside my 80s-era crockpot that my mom had let me borrow and I've refused to return (because it is AWESOME), I discovered that the pork had adhered itself into this pork ball thing. Assuming this meant it wasn't done, I turned the entire mass over, put the crock on high and waited one more hour.
This time when I attempted to remove the pork from the slow cooker, it fell apart. The cooker was filled with what looked like soup, and the smell was not very appetizing. I hoped it tasted better than it looked.
|Toothpicks and pork--the meat that bites back.|
And this is where I fell square on my face and hard onto my right leg. While transporting the pork mess to my dining room to photograph, apparently some of the soup-juice-runoff had fallen off the plate and my tread-bare sandals slipped out from under me and I fell face-first into my floor. I pulled myself up, amid some colorful language, and photographed my sad creation.
So, despite my best efforts, this pin-test was a fail on multiple fronts. I think I need to give up on pork loin and accept that some pins simply cannot be saved, despite your best intentions.
Overall, it actually was a fun challenge and I'm glad I participated, despite the large bruise slowly growing on my keecap. I hope to do another one in the future, though this time I might try a baked good instead, and I (probably) won't make the mistake of rushing it again!