This recipe is really prep for a larger recipe that I will be making for dinner tonight (Burnt Brown Sugar & Orange Confit Pork Loin). I am filing both of these recipes under “fancy pants”. I like to make at least one adventurous, more elaborate meal each week. This happens to be one that the hubby LOVES and so it has found itself onto our regular rotation. Really this part of the recipe, the Orange Confit, is the most labor intensive part of the whole thing. And luckily you don’t have to make it every time, as it makes tons more than you need & it lasts for several weeks in the fridge. I am giving the Confit it’s own post, as it really stands on it’s own. Even if you don’t eat pork, it is great to cook with other meats. Especially the oil that it is stored in. It makes great oil to cook in or to use for salad dressings, using it will be useful for you vegetarians as well.
This recipe is adapted from one I found in “The Week”. It takes a bit of time, but it is not difficult from a skills perspective.
- 6 oranges
- 4-6 bay leaves, depending on size
- palm full of whole peppercorns (about 20)
- About 2 1/4 cups of olive oil
- 3/4 white wine (anything that isn’t too sweet, like a dessert wine)
- 1 tsp salt
Cut oranges in half & juice. You don’t need the juice for the recipe, so you can set it aside. I like to start this recipe in the morning & the 6 oranges make a perfect sized cup of OJ for breakfast. Place oranges, cut side up, in a large saucepan. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, wine & 3 tbsp of oil. Add enough water to fully cover the oranges. The oranges will float, so just make sure that there is enough water to submerge them when you press them down; we’ll deal with their submersion later.
Bring it to a rapid boil & then turn down to a full simmer. Once the liquid is no longer boiling, you want to make sure the oranges are submerged. I use a shallow soup bowl & just but it right on top, inside the pan. You could use a small plate, as long as it sits on top of the oranges to ensure that they are completely submerged. From this point, you will simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the orange skin is tender. Remove from heat & let cool in the liquid (this will take several hours, but it is important to help get the oranges sufficiently tender). At this point you have discovered one of the best parts of this recipe. YOUR HOUSE WILL SMELL AMAZING! And it will last for hours!
Once the oranges are completely cooled, remove them from the liquid & cut into about 1 inch strips. Using a paring knife, remove the fruit & discard; you will be left with just the skin & a bit of the pith (white part). The end product will be just the orange skin with no white pith remaining. In order to do this, use a sharp paring knife to remove the pith. The best way I have found to do this is to hold the knife as close to parallel to the cutting board as possible. The last tiny bit can be removed by scraping the knife lightly across the skin.
Place all of the prepared skins in an air tight container (I use mason jars). You don’t want to pack them down, just to place them loosely in the jar (use more than one jar if needed). Pour olive oil over the skins until fully covered, making sure all air pockets are filled. Refrigerate until needed. THE OIL IS AMAZING!!!!
Prep Time: 1 hour (when you add in the pith removing after cooking)
Make ahead: You can make this as far ahead as you want, it keeps for several weeks in the fridge
Cooking time: 30 mins