Saturday, February 22, 2014

How Not to Make Roasted Pork Loin with Grapes and Rosemary Cream Sauce

Well, you can’t win them all. This perfectly fine looking pork roast was the victim of a few easy-to-make mistakes, and hopefully by watching this you’ll avoid such mishaps in the future. In exchange, you’ll have to promise not to make fun of me.

The first, and most obvious error was way too much freshly minced rosemary. I always tell people to be super-careful about adding this resinous herb. I wasn’t paying attention, and just added what I had chopped without thinking, and it was pretty much all over at that point.

Adding cream helped nothing, and only made the herbaceous reduction more caloric and offensive. I probably could have added some lemon, mustard, horseradish, or other heavy-hitting condiment, but by that time nothing was going to unrosemary this train wreck.

On the bright side, the grapes were really good, and even after 30 minutes in the oven, had a juicy, still-firm texture. Their warm sweetness went very well with the meat. So, I hope you watch, critique, and maybe adapt this potentially amazing recipe into something worthwhile. Enjoy!

45 comments:

Trevor Cole said...

Thank you for this. I think we've all experienced kitchen fails and it's heartening to see it can happen to the best of them.

AmandaW said...

"Offensive" is such a strong word and I love when it's applied to trivial things. Not that the ruined sauce was trivial... Glad you posted the Rosemary with Pork Loin and Grapes, still an enjoyable video!

bdwilcox said...

You WERE NOT the Harry Caray of your rosemary.

ItasF said...

I have made the Rosemary Mistake too! It was traumatic (shed a tear here) I didn't use it for a couple of years, now use sparingly

Mark Anderson said...

"You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough." William Blake

Rob D said...

Hey Chef John 1 out of 900 isn't that bad !!!!!! If you only knew my percentage of failures before I found food wishes !!!!!
Your honesty only makes me love this site even more !

Grams Pam said...

Aww, Chef John, sorry for the fail, but grateful for your willingness to post it anyway. It's inspiring.

My biggest fail was on a sailboat. We went through the Soo Locks for the first time, into Lake Superior. I had planned an amazing seafood pasta dinner for when we docked.

I accidentally added SWEETENED condensed milk. Completely inedible.

Ron Hogue said...

Chef John

By placing your students ahead of your ego and self by displaying a failure in order to teach, you have taken a very large step toward the league of Chef/Teachers that is lead by the great Julia Child.

Andie Frykowski said...

Can you show us the right way to do it pls?!

Matt said...

Thanks for this, you give me hope!

I have always wanted to ask someone who knows their stuff about what I need to buy for my kitchen. Specifically, what should I be looking for when it comes to pots and pans and all that?

Is there a resource you might suggest I check out?

Dan and Hilary said...

I put salt instead of sugar in coffee once, it couldn't have been any worse than that. In fairness, the salt was in a small bowl, with a freakishly small plastic spoon in it at a brunch table. Com'on could have happened to anyone.

Shake it off Chef John, shake it off...

Aaron said...

You cook better drunk.

Daniel Bottoms said...

Hey John, thanks for sharing this! I've totally made the Rosemary foley a few times too! I love that herb and my wife does not! Frankly, we could discuss if that was too much or REALLY too much, but hehe my bon gout is sometimes coo-coo!

I wonder if adding something like apple sauce, instead of cream (or in addition to) and maybe Dijon mustard to the sauce would have saved it. Clearly would have changed the dish, but was noodling on what i would have done!

Last question, if you then saw the sauce was ruined early on, what about just starting over and cheating? Like quickly fry some bacon in a fresh pan, then onions/shallots, etc. clearly would have been emergency-more-power-Scotty efforts to save a sauce, but curious what you might have done in a restaurant situation?

Best,
Daniel

Chris said...

Does anyone know how to subscribe to this blog so you receive all posts via email.? I've looked but really can't find this! Thanks

Ed Adams said...

Thanks for posting this despite the failure. The technique was solid and still gave me some ideas.

mike gunn said...

Well, the lighting in the video was nice.

Aidann said...

I giggled a little, but not completely at your expense, Chef John. I too have had a big rosemary fail. I made a Rosemary scented meatloaf. The meaty texture was there, but you couldn't taste it...just the rosemary... It was horrible. Later on I re-made it with alot less Rosemary and it was beautiful. Suprisingly it's still my all-time favorite herb. Thanks for posting this, it's a great video!...I feel better. :D

Matt said...

My wife once mistook cilantro for parsley way too late in the prep for a big family dinner. The resulting lasagna was "different", noticeable but not overpowering.

Monica said...

Nothing is worse than humming bird food rather than tonic in a Gin and tonic. Lesson there was quit using empty tonic bottle to store the nectar .

I would have made a separate sauce. Such a yummy lookingpork!

Clinton Navrkal said...

Nothing that a lot of Tabasco would not cure. Live Learn and eat..

JMP said...

Dear Chef John,

In recipes calling for grapes, I have taken the habit of cutting the grapes in two. I need fewer grapes and the flavorful juices of the grape add another dimention to the dish.

Too bad about the excess of rosemary. We all have such mishaps. My most recent one was to put way too much wasabi paste inside a batch of sushi rolls I had prepared for diner without testing the potency of the stuff (it was from a new tube of a new brand I was trying.) The sushis were picture perfect but absolutely inedible.
Best regards

Jean-Michel Paris

ghanima said...

Thanks for sharing this, Chef John! I always laugh at your videos, but never as much as I did at this one.

My biggest Food Fail happened the time I made chili and seasoned the stew before the liquid in the pot had reduced. There was enough salt in the final dish to make it almost completely inedible.

Tommy Peter said...

Oh chef, I remember getting shouted by the head chef in the culinary school for making these mistakes in the school, oh boy, he used to throw the whole pan in the thrash and shouting, we standing there like fools.........we learn from there, as always enjoy.........:)

Phong Hong said...

Chef John, thank you for sharing your cooking misadventures with us. It is comforting to know that you have your kitchen disasters too. I once put too much basil into a stew and threw the whole thing out.

Kevin McHugh said...

Hi Chef John

I always appreciate your wonderful recipes, and honesty. I'm a little confused however, and if this were a class, I'd be raising my hand for some deep thoughts ;-):

1) Is there a rule of thumb on amounts of herbs? Should you have tasted earlier on, or is there a "correct" amount of rosemary (per person)?

2) in earlier videos by you and on the advice of other chefs, sometimes water IS enough to deglaze. Why in this case was it not enough, and how can you tell before de-glazing?

I think for both these questions, I'm trying to get you to explain your philosophy on how to eye-ball something, and when it's necessary to actual measure out or decide fixed ingredients in advance...

Thank you so much for your help!

Gerry Graham said...

Thanks for sharing your mishap. I like how you aren't too proud to show a mistake. That helps people like me gain confidence. Because I have been the dork of my pork!

Jim said...

Hope you realise how benificial this was. Showing what works only tells half the story in my opinion...Learning what DOESN'T work is also very important. Thank you!

Sean said...

The meat looks awesome though.

I don't think anyone is able to top my food fail: I was responsible for making turkey on Thanksgiving. We had run out of butter, and instead of, oh, getting some, I decided to baste the turkey with sesame oil. Why? I have no idea. The result destroyed my innocence.

Sandra Schultz said...

I STILL think you're better than that f***in Chef Ramsay!

Chloe said...

This is where pets and farm animals come in handy. You can usually still feed the kitchen disasters out that way!
Chef John, you are fantastic! We all love you! And such mistakes should be told. We all have the proper warning now, so that hopefully we won't repeat the mistake! and really since you cook all the time and push your skills to the next level I would assume you have more than your share of such. In fact you probably should make a section of them so we can all laugh with you and heed the warnings! Call it something like "Don't try this at home!" And let us add our own as well. It would make this site a little extra fun. We all have "those" stories. My sister once decided to stuff cloves of garlic under the skin of a Thanksgiving turkey. She put 5 large bulbs worth of garlic cloves under that skin. The turkey looked like it had hives! It was inedible! Your disaster wasn't nearly that bad! My sister btw has remained a notoriously bad cook! lol

Chloe said...

I would have tried this with the light red seedless grapes and deglazed with Beringer White Zin. and I probably would have taken my potato masher and squished the grapes a bit, not all of them just squish them 5 or 6 times. I think grapes are fantastic when they've been stewed long in a dish and have burst actually. The texture is lost, yes, but the dimension to the flavor of the sauce is fantastic! Much of which would come out of the skin, which wouldn't happen in this case. For home cooking, nothing too fancy mind you I often stew the red grapes with balsamic vinegar and lay Italian sausages on top. Very simple, very easy, and very pungent yet my whole family LOVES it and are excited when they see me make it. Grapes definitely a very cool addition to many dishes, they go especially well with pork I think. But I think the grape breaking open is key for flavor potential.

philogaia said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who finds rosemary overpowering. I use very sparingly. I watch Jamie Oliver and while I like a lot of his recipes I'm always puzzled at the amazing hunks of rosemary he puts in so many things. I'm pretty sure I would find those amounts inedible. But it looks cool on a stylish TV show, I suppose.

PhillyBear said...

you're the best, Chef John. Thanks for sharing this. Re: the Pork with Grapes thing; I have a recipe for pork sausages with green grapes. Sear the sausages in a little oil, add the grapes and some butter, roast until done. splash of balsamic at the end. served over polenta or potatoes...awesome!

Cees Kist said...

Good to see you used Some Rosemary as garnish on top on the final shot. I Guess iT is there to warn people. And NO I don't know why my spellchecker started adding all those capitels.
I Guess iT is the iPad way.

blogagog said...

This is the reason I've given up entirely on rosemary. If something calls for rosemary, I use thyme. It's hard (not impossible) to put too much in, and to my dilapidated taste buds they taste the same.

Also, and you probably don't want to hear this from one of your avid fans, but if you have a bad or bland sauce, you can always fix it with Wyler's chicken powder. You can fix anything with it.

Leela Gupta said...

Speaking of embarrassing mistakes, I often like to mix a mashed banana with some Greek yogurt and sprinkle the whole thing with cinnamon and it's quite yummy. Then, one time I accidentally added cayenne pepper instead of cinnamon. That was an unpleasant surprise!

But, thanks for showing a good method to cook the pork.

Scott said...

Y'know, you might be onto something here. I know of no other cooking blog that instructs with "how not to".

It might be a nice change of pace from time to time, e.g. "Top ten mistakes that people make".

And no "self flagellation" required. :-)

Thanks.

personGHC said...

Was a fun video to watch:) though rosemary is never really the herb i like, somehow I would lose appetite and get a headache if the rosemary smell surrounds me -_-

Janie Dee said...

Posting this is why Your The Man! It happens. Being big enough to admit it is Awesome! God Bless You and Yours

Skyjackie737 said...

I am going to attempt to make this with less rosemary and chicken stock. wish me luck!

Skyjackie737 said...

It was actually quite tasty. The only fail I had was the grapes were a little bitter.

Mike said...

I am such an appreciative fan of your cooking, instructions, and sense of humor. How wonderful of you to share one of those times when things didn't work out. Been there and done that, but this gives me the confidence and "license" to keep trying. I love the adventure of cooking. Nice to know we all have our moments!

sutoro naruto said...

great your cooking.. hehehe

Lazybuttons said...

Not to be a masochist, but a bit of self-flagilation (from time to time) is a cornerstone of continued learning. Glad you could bring yourself to share this educational defeat :)

V. Anton Spraul said...

I saw "Pork Recipe Fail" and thought this would be a true fail that would make me feel better about my many kitchen mishaps (the latest of which involves Chef John's onion ring recipe, which didn't work for me). Instead I see that, for Chef John, failing with a pork loin means the sauce is bland. Yeesh. Mister, I have truly failed with a pork loin: a pork loin that went from the oven to the trash, and not only was the pork loin ruined but also our meat thermometer. :-)