Monday, October 28, 2013

Catalan braised pork loin with dried fruit

Moist slow cooking brings out the best in pork loin, making it fit for the most festive occasions. The sauce, enhanced with dried fruit and cinnamon, is classically Catalan. The dish is best made ahead; cool the pork in the sauce and reheat it. The recipe serves six with 177 calories each and takes about an hour and a half to prepare.
3 lb. boneless pork loin
Sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 cup peeled white pearl onions
1/4 cup brandy
2 cups full-bodied red wine
1 cup stock (beef or chicken)
3/4 cup pitted dried cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots cut bite size
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick
2 six inch rosemary sprigs
1) Preheat oven to 325 F.
2) Rub the pork loin generously with the salt, pepper and garlic.
3) Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a 5 to 6 quart ovenproof casserole over high heat until it is almost smoking. Add the pork and cook until it is richly browned on all sides, about 6-7 minutes. Add the remaining oil while the pork browns, if the casserole looks too dry. Transfer the pork to a bowl after browning. Add the chopped onions, chopped carrots and pearl onions to the casserole and brown well (6-7 minutes). Add the brandy and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Add the wine, stock, cherries, apricots, bay leaf, cinnamon and rosemary and bring to a boil. Stir and scrape the bottom of the casserole to dislodge the brown bits. Season the broth with salt to taste.
4) Return the pork to the casserole and cover tightly. Bake the pork, turning once, until it is very tender and a meat thermometer in the center reads 150 F. It should cook around 55 minutes.
5) Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. It should rest at least 10 minutes before carving. Remove the bay leaf, cinnamon and rosemary from the casserole and discard.
6) Transfer the casserole to the stove top and cook the sauce over high heat until it is slightly syrupy (3-5 minutes).
7) Carve the pork into 1/2 inch slices and arrange on a serving plate. Pour the sauce over the pork and serve with Barcelona Celler Tinto.

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