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Pork can sometimes suffer from the problem of being somewhat bland. With this recipe, it is not so thanks to the liberal usage of a variety of spices and pork that is sauteed and then cooked in onions, leeks, white wine, and tomatoes for an hour and a half—making it tender and juicy with a very full bodied and rich flavor. Rich, yes, but also somehow calming and smooth. It doesn't have the almost tiring strength of some dishes. Instead, the flavors marry themselves together in a beautiful panoply of virtues. Although it takes some time to make, the end result is—in my opinion—one of the best pork recipes I've ever had.
This recipe is adapted from Simply French by Patricia Wells. The original recipe called for juniper, something I didn't have, requiring its replacement with rosemary (thankfully it is found in abundance, growing mostly naturally, where I live). In addition, I had made greater usage of garlic in the recipe, not being able to stand the thought of throwing it away after it was all but unused. To see the original recipe, get the book! I've only made a few recipes out of it so far, but I've been deeply impressed.
- 2 lb boneless pork loin
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in slivers
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- handful of sage leaves
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 3 leeks
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup white wine
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- At least a day before serving, prepare the pork by studding it with the garlic slivers, then rubbing it with 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, half of the sage available, and the 2 sprigs of rosemary. Wrap securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- When preparing to cook, remove the roast from the refrigerator, preserve the garlic, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Set aside so as to bring it to room temperature.
- Fill a large bowl with hot salted water. Trim the leeks at the root, trim off the top green, leaving the middle white section. Cut this into 4 sections each, and place these into the hot salt water so as to soak for 10 minutes. Remove leeks, and set aside to dry thoroughly.
- In the casserole, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat, and add 3/5 of the garlic. Add the pork loin once hot and sauté on all sides until it is thoroughly browned. Remove the by now browned garlic. Add the onions and tomatoes, and the remaining 2/5 of garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, then dissolve the sugar in the wine vinegar and add it to the pork mixture
- Add the wine, stir to blend, and cook to reduce it slightly; around 5 minutes. Then proceed to add in the leek sections, pushing the, thoroughly down into the sauce. Season lightly, and then add the remaining sage and the 2 other sprigs of rosemary, keeping them intact so that the rosemary needles don't spill out. Add the butter, and cook over low heat, covered, for 1 and 1/2 hours, or until it is cooked to your satisfaction. Stir occasionally.
- To serve, place the pork loin upon a serving platter, untie if it was previously tied, allow it to rest, and then slice thinly. Arrange the leaks, onions, tomatoes, around the meat, and place the cooking sauce in a sauce boat, and then serve everything immediately.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas
Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 12, 2018:
My mouth is watering now, that looks lovely. Thankyou.