Roast Loin of Pork with a Pinot Noir Plum Sauce

Serves 6

This is a wonderfully simple recipe. What I like most about it, is that it can be served hot or room temperature. So if you are expecting guests and prefer to spend as little time as possible preparing at the last moment, this is a great option.

The Pinot Noir Plum Sauce can be made several days ahead and the pork can be cooked the day before or earlier the same day.

Cooking the pork is a two step process. Since pork loin is relatively lean, I prefer to brine the loin overnight before cooking. This helps keep it moist and also gives it additional flavor.

You will notice in the recipe, when I list bay leaves, I list it by “inches”. Since the size of bay leaves you will purchase in the market varies so much in size, I find this is a more accurate way of measuring.

Step 1: Brining the pork loin:

  • 2# boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed of all fat
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 oz Kosher salt
  • 1 t whole black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 inches bay leaves

Combine water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme. Stir to dissolve. Place the pork loin in the brine and refrigerate overnight.

Step 2: Cooking the pork loin:

Then next day, remove from the brine, pat dry and season the outside with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat with just enough cooking oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the pork loin in the pan and “sear” each side until it turns lightly golden brown (approximately1- 2 minutes per side). Once you turn it to it’s last side, immediately place the pan with the pork loin into the pre-heated oven to roast. Cook it for approximately 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.

If serving warm, let rest for 5-10 minutes, on a plate covered with foil. When you roast a cut of meat like this, the juices are forced to the center of the meat. By letting it rest, the juices can then re-distribute themselves more evenly. This will allow the pork to remain moister when it is sliced.

If you plan to serve it room temperature, then let it rest uncovered for at least 30 minutes before slicing. If you are serving it the next day, let it rest uncovered until it is just slightly warm to the touch, then wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Slice the next day.

Pinot Noir Plum Sauce

Serves 6

  • 1 teaspoon butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup  hoisin sauce
  • 1each  shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 quart  chick broth or vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup  Pinot Noir
  • 11 each mint leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 pounds plums (dark, red plums are best), pits removed

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook the shallots and garlic in the butter until they just start to brown. Add the Pinot Noir and reduce the volume to ½.  Next, add the vegetable or chicken broth (I prefer vegetable broth for this recipe), plums and sugar. Simmer until the plums are just cooked through. Add the mint, hoisin and coriander and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain. This will remove the skins (which give the sauce excellent color and taste) as well as the shallots, garlic, plum pits and mint. Make sure you push all the plum meat and juices through the strainer, as this is the body of the sauce. At this point, you can allow the sauce to cool and then place it in a blender and blend until very smooth.

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