My Nepenthe by Romney Steele, includes recipes from the Big Sur restaurant like Marinated Fresh Monterey Sardines; Rosemary Lamb Brochettes with Mint Pesto; Wine Poached Quince with Rosemary; and Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin Roast with Wine Poached Quince.
Serves 6 to 8
This is a nod to my grandmother's crown pork roast with apricots, a long-ago family favorite served for special occasions. In the absence of quince, you can poach plums or apples, or serve the pork simply with just the potatoes and vegetables.
Have your butcher butterfly the pork loin. You can stuff it and roll it up to a day ahead. This is also a great next-day dish, the pork wrapped in foil and slowly reheated or served cold, slices of it stuffed in a baguette with wedges of quince as a tasty sandwich.
Coarsely chop 5 of the sage leaves. Combine with the rosemary, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the 1/3 cup oil to make a paste.
Open up the pork loin on a clean surface (or, if preparing ahead, leave on the butcher paper and wrap the paper back around it after it is stuffed and tied). Rub the herb paste all over the top and season with black pepper. Roll up the loin, starting with the end that has the least exterior fat (you want the fat end to be on the outside). Tie in 5 or 6 places, using butcher's twine, and tuck a whole sage leaf under each band. Place the loin in a baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the Wine Poached Quince. This can also be done up to several days ahead, and brought to room temperature or warmed to serve.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the pork, remove it from the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Surround the pork with the potatoes, onion, and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and season liberally with salt, pepper, and chopped thyme.
Roast for 1 hour or longer, occasionally basting with the drippings, until the juices run clear when the center of the pork is pricked with a skewer or the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees F for medium, or depending on how well cooked you like it. The temperature will rise 10 degrees or so as it sits, so adjust accordingly. Transfer to a serving platter, leaving the vegetables in the pan. Cover the pork loosely with foil and allow it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Give the vegetables a good stir. (If there is an excess of juices, pour off into a small saucepot, skimming the fat, and boil for 3 to 5 minutes to reduce, saving for service.) Return the vegetables to the oven and cook until the potatoes are golden, about 10 minutes.
Thinly slice the pork roast. Serve with the pan juices, poached quince, and vegetables.
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This page created April 2010
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