Do you like playing games? Do you enjoy cooking? Do you like to occasionally have more than just soda pop and potato chips as snacks for game night? In this Monday blog series, game industry personalities will be sharing some of their favorite recipes for game night munchies. Welcome to Gaming Gastronomy! This week our delectable dinner comes from Jeremy Holmes of Blue Peg, Pink Peg.
Jeremy Holmes (Facebook, Twitter, Web, YouTube) is the Green Peg of the Blue Peg, Pink Peg Boardgames Podcast. In addition to being an avid gamer, his day job as a sustainable transportation and urban advocate has gotten him involved in local foods movements, his neighborhood natural foods co-op, farmers markets, and more. His facility with growing and preparing his own food does not always equal his ambition, but, much like losing at a well-designed game, its always an opportunity to learn. He is often joined in the kitchen by his daughter, Penelope.
I host a regular Thursday night game night, and since I am always asking folks to come to me, I feel like the least I can do is provide dinner. A common offering is pork loin roast – pretty easy to prepare in either the oven or crockpot, feeds a lot of people, can be prepared with a number of sauces/marinades, and depending on how you cook it can easily become pulled pork barbecue. My favorite preparation is an easy Balsamic and Brown Sugar Pork Loin with Roasted Apples. I served this dish with a romaine salad and floury rolls.
(This recipe is for a 5lb pork roast, which generally feeds the 4 adults and 2 children who attend Thursday game nights, with plenty left over.
- 5 lb pork roast
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic (or to taste)
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 3 to 4 apples (Granny smith or another tart apple is best, I used Red Delicious for this preparation as that’s what I had on hand), cored and sliced.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Season the pork loin with salt and pepper on all sides, to taste. When the oil is hot, place the loin in the pan and brown on all sides.
- Meanwhile, whisk balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic together in small bowl until well combined. You might experiment with different ratios of sugar to vinegar depending on your personal tastes; more sugar/less vinegar will result in a sweeter glaze that will caramelize on the loin while roasting.
- When browned, move the pork loin to a baking pan. Pour brown sugar mixture over pork loin. Turn to coat.
- Place the loin in the oven for 45 minutes.* You may want to turn occasionally or use a baster to redistribute the balsamic mixture over the loin.
- Remove the loin from the oven. Reduce heat to 350.
- Arrange apples around the roast. Use a baster to apply balsamic mixture to apples.
- Return to oven for 30 minutes.*
- Remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes, and serve.
* Cooking times may vary depending on the size of your roast. These times were perfect for a 5lb roast. Cook until a meat thermometer reads the internal temperature as 145 to 160 degrees.
In addition, you can prepare this in a crock pot. Follow all steps, but rather than roasting place in a crock pot on low for 6 to 8 hours. Place the apples in the pot the last hour of cooking, or roast them separately.
In the coming weeks, check back here on Mondays for more delectable recipes from personalities around the game industry.