Catalan Braised Pork Loin with Dried Fruit
Prep Time: About 1 hour and 15 minutes (30 minutes hands-on)
Meal Notes: This Spanish pork loin is a beautiful, festive centerpiece dish, fit for a holiday feast. I’ve served it for both Christmas and Easter dinners and, although it’s fairly easy to prepare, it tends to elicit oohs and ahhs. Try pairing it with Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad, Warm Zucchini Salad, roasted Brussels sprouts, or baked sweet potatoes.
Source: The New Spanish Table cookbook by Anya van Bremzen
1 boneless pork loin (2-3 lbs)
2 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 cup white pearl onions
1/2 cup kirsch (or any brandy)
2 cups full-bodied, dry red wine (such as Merlot)
1 cup beef stock
3/4 cup pitted dried sour cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots
1 bay leaf
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
Prep: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Crush the garlic. Dice the yellow onion. Peel the white pearl onions. Cut the apricots in half (or quarter them if they’re especially large).
Prepare the Pork: Rub the pork generously with salt, pepper, and the crushed garlic. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a dutch oven (or any heavy-bottom, oven-proof pot) over high heat until almost smoking. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides (about 8 minutes). If the pork starts to look dry, add the remaining oil while it browns. Transfer pork to a bowl.
Prepare the fruit sauce: Add the chopped onion, carrot, and pearl onion to the same dutch oven. Add the kirsch and cook over high heat for about 1 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced to about 1 Tablespoon. Add the wine, beef stock, cherries, apricots, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the casserole to dislodge any brown bits. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake the pork: Return the pork to the dutch oven with the fruit sauce. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake the pork, turning it once or twice, about 45 minutes - or until it is very tender and a meat thermometer registers 150 F.
Finish: Transfer the pork to a platter. Remove and discard the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and rosemary sprigs before serving.