Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Pork Roast

Hi everyone! It is getting so close to Christmas!  And Happy Hanukah to everyone that celebrates!  Today I want to show you a really yummy recipe for a holiday dinner.  It is pork, so it obviously isn’t for Hanukah.  But it would make a fabulous Christmas dinner.  I practiced it on my family last night.  They loved it. 

Christmas dinner needs to be kind of a production, right?  People usually make turkeys, prime rib, tamales, etc.  I like to think this pork recipe is perfect for the holidays.  It is a show stopper, but it really isn’t much of a production.  But people will think it was;)

This recipe that I am going to show you is for a pork roast.  I used a boneless pork tenderloin.  I roasted it and covered it in a sauce of port wine, Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach spread and various dried fruits.  Even if you think you don’t like dried fruit, you still need to try this recipe.  I always thought I didn’t like dried fruit that much, but I love this.  I used golden raisins, dried apricots and prunes.  You can use any combination of dried fruit you want.  Dried figs would be amazing in this recipe.  Let’s get to it.

Like I said, I used a boneless pork loin.  Mine was a little bit more than 2 pounds.  This would easily feed 6.

I started by browning my pork loin on all sides.  I used a cast iron skillet.  I also used a smidge of oil, and I sprinkled the loin with salt and pepper.  This takes tongs and patience.  Plus, there is a strong chance you will have to clean your floor after.  This will splatter.

Once the loin was browned, I placed it on a roasting rack.  A roasting rack isn’t totally necessary.  If you have one, use it.  If you don’t, don’t sweat it. 

I put this in an oven that had been set, and pre-heated, to 325.  It is going to cook naked right now.  No aromatics in the pan, no sauce, nothing yet. 

As for the sauce….

Like I said, I used port wine, Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread, Dijon mustard, garlic, shallots, chicken stock, rosemary, golden raisins, dried apricots and prunes.

Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine.  It is pretty sweet.  People like to drink it as a dessert wine.  I don’t.  But I hear people do.

As for chicken stock, I used a concentrated stock with some water.  You can use that combo, or you can use regular stock.

As for the fruit, I’m going to be honest….I thought I was buying figs, but somehow prunes ended up in my cart.  The fact that I can’t read aside, the prunes worked fine.  They turned out great, actually.  I chopped up the prunes and apricots to make them closer in size to the raisins.

It feels nice to tell the truth.

In a small pot, I brought the wine, stock and water to a simmer.  I added the dried fruit to this pot and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  This will make the port a bit syrupy, and it also plumps the fruit back up.  Win/win.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot….

I let the shallot and garlic sweat out a bit in some olive oil.  I am not trying to brown the veggies, just get them sweaty.  This will take, maybe, 5 minutes over medium heat,

Then I added the mustard.

Annnnd, then I added the peach spread.  My peach spread is super thick and syrupy.  It gives the sauce a great consistency that you can’t find with anything else.  That being said, I won’t cry if you use some other peach jam.  I will pout though.

Once this is blended, and heated through, I pour the pot of port and fruit into the peach/mustard mixture. 

I let this sauce boil and reduce for about 5 more minutes.  It will smell amazing!

Right before I am ready to pour this sauce over the pork, I add some chopped rosemary. 

FYI-Please don’t think more is better with rosemary.  If you add too much, it will taste like soap, or perfume, or lotion.  You get the picture.

When the pork had about 20 minutes left to cook, I took it out of the oven and poured the sauce all over it.  I popped it back in the oven and let it finish cooking.  The sauce will reduce even more, and it will get nice and thick and sticky.

Oh yeeeeaaaah.  This is so good.  Pork is great with sweet flavors and this sauce is perfectly sweet and savory.  The spices in the peach spread make it extra Christmasy too.  The spread has cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.  I can’t reveal too much more;)

I served my pork roast with couscous that had toasted sliced almonds and goat cheese added.  The sauce gets all in the couscous and it is super yummy.  I poured the sauce over my whole plate.  I love sauce, in case you haven’t noticed.

I hope you try this recipe for your Christmas dinner!  Check my website to find out where you can buy Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach spread.  See you on ThursdayJ

Peach and Port Pork Roast

2 to 3 pound boneless pork loin

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

¾ cup port wine

¾ cup chicken stock

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup dried apricots, chopped

½ cup dried prunes, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, minced

¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 jar Gourmet Rooster County Fair Peach Spread

1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a skillet, brown pork loin in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on all sides.  Sprinkle loin with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Place browned pork loin on a roasting rack.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.  Take loin out of oven, cover with sauce and bake loin an additional 20 minutes, or until pork is cooked through.  Let pork rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

For sauce:

In a small pot, bring port and chicken stock to a simmer.  Add chopped dried fruit and simmer until liquid is slightly reduced and fruit is plumped, about 10 minutes.

In a medium sized pot, sauté shallot and garlic in remaining olive oil.  Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper.  Sauté over medium heat until veggies are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add mustard and peach spread to shallot mixture, heat through.  Stir in port mixture and simmer over medium heat, until thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes.  Stir in rosemary.

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