Long-time New Yorker, college undergrad extraordinaire, and ultra-passionate foodie, fellow blogger Sasha over at Chez Sasha is the guest author of today’s post. She writes genuinely about whatever recipe, restaurant, or cookbook is on her mind, and I always look forward to something surprising on her site, like a video post or a recipe that reflects her Ukrainian heritage. Check out her culinary adventures and my own pear post to compliment hers on her site!
Roasted Pork Loin with Pear Sauce
One of the best things about cooking is that it never gets boring. There are so many ingredients, techniques and recipes to experiment with; and just when you think you’ve done it all, you discover something completely new. It is truly a never-ending journey.
When cooking, it is important to keep an open mind (and palate, so to speak). Pork smothered in a fruit-based sauce may sound weird, but it’s actually quite perfect. The pears’ sweetness really develops while roasting and it does a great job of offsetting the tanginess of the other ingredients. I served this pork over cheesy grits, but mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables would work as well.
(Yield: 6 servings)
1 pork loin (about 2.5 lbs)
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt + 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Bartlett pears, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp brown mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
Set a Dutch oven over high heat. Rinse loin with water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim all excess fat if any is present. Drizzle one side of loin with 1 tbsp of oil and sprinkle with half of seasonings. Massage loin to distribute evenly. Add 2 tbsp of oil into Dutch oven and place loin into pot, seasoned side down. Then drizzle the side facing up with remaining oil and seasonings, and massage. Cook meat for 4-5 minutes, until well browned, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes to brown the other side. Remove pork loin from pot and set aside on a platter. Preheat oven to 400F.
Reduce heat under Dutch oven to medium-low. Add onion, garlic and pears to pot with a pinch of salt, and stir. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in mustard, vinegar and water. Cook for another minute. Then push everything off to the sides to make room for the pork. Place the pork loin in the center, cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place into the oven. Cook for 35 minutes, or until juices in meat run clear when pierced with a fork.
Remove pork loin from Dutch oven and place on a platter. Let rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. In the meantime, transfer all remaining contents from Dutch oven into a blender and puree (If you remember 8th grade physics, warm air expands; remove pouring spout cap when pureeing to avoid an explosion). Serve pork hot, drizzled with sauce.