This is a simple holiday recipe that uses easy to find ingredients that are of the highest quality; it will be a big hit for the holidays. The trick to this recipe is to not be afraid of salt and pepper, and make sure you ask your local butcher to cut a nice center piece of loin with the fat cap on for the most flavors possible.
Roasted Loin of Pork
- 1/2 cup tamarind paste, (fig preserves will be fine) dissolved in water (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 pounds boneless loin of pork, with the fat cap left on
Blend together the tamarind paste (if using), orange juice, molasses, chile powder, vinegar, oil, and basil. Pour the marinade over the pork loin in a shallow glass baking dish, cover, and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the pork from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and blot dry. Butterfly the loin lengthwise, leaving 1/2 inch of meat attached to connect the two halves of the loin. Open the pork loin and cover it with plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a butcher’s mallet or heavy pan to an even thickness, 1/2 to 3/4-inch. Mound the stuffing down the center of the loin and fold it closed. Tie the loin carefully at 1-inch intervals with butcher’s string. The loin may be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pour the marinade into a saucepan and reduce it over low heat to a glaze-like consistency. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over moderate heat and sear the meat. Transfer to a metal rack wet in a roasting pan and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. Brush the pork liberally with the glaze during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes or so before removing the twine. Slice and serve. Serving suggestion: Serve with sautéed chanterelle mushrooms with roasted apples.
Figs and Chipotle Stuffing
- 2 cups dried Black Mission figs, trimmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pureed chipotles in adobo
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped roasted garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon-flavored oil or 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil with 2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon sherry or balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Olive oil, for searing
Place the figs, garlic, and pureed chipotles in a food processor and pulse until semi-smooth. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the remaining ingredients.