Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuscan Pork Loin
There's a lot of laughter in my kitchen right now. Bob and I have spent the last 30 minutes trying to get a picture of the black mushroom soup that I planned to share with you today. It's not happening folks. I could go into detail, but it's best - trust me - that we move on to the next course. Tuscan pork loin is a homely dish, but with a little lipstick this pig can delight your guests as well. It's really delicious; for best flavor it should sit tightly wrapped in its herb coating for at least 8 hours before roasting. Dried herbs work well here and dry vermouth can be used to make the sauce. If Julia Child could use vermouth as a stand-in for white wine, so can we. The good news is the vermouth keeps pretty much forever, so you can always have "white wine" at the ready. The roast needs no special handling, though to assure even cooking it's best to tie it into a cylinder. Once it's in the oven you're done. Enjoy!
Tuscan Pork Loin
1 center cut boneless pok loin (2-1/2 to 3 pounds)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
! teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon crushed dried sage
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
2 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
1 tablespoon coarse garlic salt
2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
1 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon instant-blend flour (i.e. Wondra)
1) Using kitchen twine, tie pork loin at 1-inch intervals to form a cylinder of uniform circumference.
2) Combine oil, lemon zest, sage, rosemary, thyme salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Roll pork loin in mixture. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
3) Preheat conventional oven to 325 degrees F. If using a convection oven preheat to 300 degrees F. Place a large (12-inch) cast iron skillet into oven to warm.
4) Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat until oil begins to shimmer. Add pork; sear well, about 5 minutes per side, using tongs to roll meat until all surfaces are brown. Transfer roast to hot pan already in oven. Roast for 35 minutes, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Remove from oven. Tent with foil; let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
5) While pork roasts, add 1/4 cup vermouth to pan in which pork was browned. Scrape to release fond from bottom of pan. Add broth. Stir in instant blending flour and whisk until a thin sauce forms. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Tuscan pork loin. Yield: 6 servings.