Herbed Pork Kabobs

38 Comments

When I started my blog, my main goal was to be inspirational to those who are new at cooking, or fearful about cooking. This wasn’t a new thing for me – I’ve always promoted cooking at home. For one thing, it will always be less expensive, and also the healthier alternative to eating out.

So on my blog, there are no really difficult recipes. In fact, my recipes are often more like guidelines to preparing food. Because home cooking isn’t rocket science. Cooking is very much about common sense, and it’s easy to taper any recipe to your own tastes.

But I happen to love kitchen ware and kitchen gadgets. I’m obsessed with them. Fortunately you can prepare good food without owning all of this “stuff.” I just happen to collect it. It’s like a disease. I finally bought a deep fryer last year, and still haven’t used it.

Finally, after begging for a long while, my family honored my Christmas wish for a sous vide machine a couple of years ago. I studied them for so long, and was sure that I wanted one and would indeed use one often. And I was right.

So I have mixed feelings when I post recipes for which I’ve used my sous vide, because it is a high dollar machine, and not typically in novice cooks’ kitchens. But I wish they were. These machines do magic work.

My briskets and flank steaks will never be tough or chewy. Chicken breasts? Always moist and tender. And then there’s pork loin. Fabulous.

So here’s another recipe that includes a sous vide step. I apologize if you don’t own one. But, I encourage you to look into one. I own the “demi,” which is a smaller version, and much less expensive than the commercial-sized machine. And it still holds a lot of meat.

With a sous vide, meat gets cooked in water of a specific temperature, for a specific amount of time, in vacuum bags. You have a choice to marinate the meat first, then sous vide. (Notice sous vide is a noun and a verb!) Or, sous vide first, then marinate. The last step requires browning the meat, to color it and add some flavor. Otherwise the meat looks like it was just boiled.

For today’s kabobs, I used a fresh herb mixture for the pork’s marinade, which you can alter to taste.

pork7

Herbed Pork Kabobs

Pork loin, not tenderloin
Olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic
Parsley
Oregano
Thyme
Rosemary
Bay leaves
Salt
Pepper

Sous vide the vaccum-sealed chunk of pork loin for 6 hours at 140 degrees Farenheit. I used half of a pork loin, and it was cut into two pieces. But not for any important reason other than the size the the bags I had available after I’d cut up the huge pork loin.

Immediately refrigerate the pork until it’s fully chilled.
pork
The next day, remove the pork from the bags, trim any fat, and wipe off any excess liquid.
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Then chop up the pork into kabob pieces that are uniform in size.

Make the marinade in a large bowl by simply adding enough olive oil to the bowl as needed to cover the pork pieces. Mince garlic and add to the oil.
pork6
Then chop up all of the fresh herbs you’re using and add them to the marinade. Add a little salt, and pepper to taste.


Stir well, then add the pork. Stir well to make sure the pork pieces are completely covered with the marinade.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 2 days.

On the day you’re serving the pork kabobs, get the bowl from the refrigerator to let the meat lose its chill at room temperature.

Skewer the pork pieces.
herby9
Heat an outside grill, if that’s what you’re using. I used my electric grill. Only a little browning of the pork is necessary, so it wasn’t worth doing the charcoal process. Alternatively, you could use a grill on your stove.

For browning purposes, the grill must be on high.

Place the skewers on the grill, and rotate them until they pork is browned on all sides.

If the pork is still cool in the middle, you will need a warm oven or a warming drawer to heat them properly. This will not counteract the lovely work of the sous vide. But it’s easier to make sure that the pork is at room temperature before browning. Some people are just pickier when it’s pork. It’s your personal choice.


Just about any green vegetable can be paired with this lovely garlic and herb flavored pork. I happened to use fresh zucchini from the garden.

note: Just a tip – unless you’re planning on marinating pork for just a couple of hours, no acid, like vinegar or lemon juice, should be included. It will break down the meat too much.

38 thoughts on “Herbed Pork Kabobs

  1. I love that you decided to go ahead and share your recipes for sous-vide, as I just got one not too long ago. Agree with you, it performs magic on pork loin, which is a cut until now I did not even buy because it gets so dry and is so tricky to cook with good results.

    I like the fact that you cooked it, refrigerated and finished the dish the following day – perfect option for an easy dinner.

    Yesterday I made chicken breasts with a Mexican style sauce… WOW!

    still have to check your method for the beef, my beloved husband is not too wild about beef in the sous-vide, I need to be very persuasive and use a real fantastic recipe! ;-)

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    • Stefan at StefanGourmet.com was a real help to me at the beginning. I cook brisket and flank steak at 135 degrees for 48 hours, and it comes out like filet mignon. I wouldn’t bother using the sous vide for any cuts like filet, though.

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  2. Lovely! You know I’ve been hesitant at buying the sous vide machine for a long time because of the price tag. Now I may have to finally bite the bullet… I like the idea of forcing flavors into food… Lovely post my dear friend!

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  3. I don’t have the machine (and don’t foresee getting one in the near future) but I totally enjoyed reading the process. Looks delicious!

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  4. Great post, Mimi. I hope it will help some more people decide to get their own sous-vide. There is now a small device available for $169 with which you can turn any pot or other container (a beer cooler would be excellent because of the insulation) into a sous-vide. So both space and $ constraints should be less of an issue.
    As for the recipe, I’ve never marinated meat after cooking it sous-vide. Interesting idea. So far I’ve always included the herbs already before vacuum sealing so marinating and cooking sous-vide happens simultaneously.

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  5. Lovely Mimi. Stefan really is the Sous Vide Master and I envy his fantastic dishes. Particularly when he creates a reduction from the juices remaining in the bag after cooking. The long cooking times require a deal of organisation that I fear I may not posses.
    Delicious looking meat.
    Best,
    Conor

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  6. I really enjoy that you have shared recipes using the sous-vide method on your blog! I remember a post a month or so ago was the first time I had even heard of such a thing. Even if I don’t go out and buy the gadget, you’ve increased my culinary knowledge by just reading about it! Oh, your pork chops look wonderfully moist and flavorful.

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    • It’s hard to describe pork, chicken, and other cuts of meat that tend to be dry, after they’ve been sous vided. But it’s like eating filet mignon. Tender, but not fleshy, like what you get with really rare meat. It’s pretty incredible!!!

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  7. I am much like Conor and have trouble planning ahead. But, if I ever get more organized, I’ll know where to look for sous vide instruction! Your kabobs look delicious.

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    • There’s really no planning. The machine just sits there for 48 hours and does all of the work. Then you toss the meat in the fridge and brown it the next day, or brown it immediately and serve immediately. There are a few food safety rules to follow, but that’s it!

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  8. This is something I have always wanted to do. I don’t have lots of room in our small apartments here in Hong Kong but boy this would be the way to go. I bet your kabobs were so delicious and tender. Take Care, BAM

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