This is a good weekend to cook pork – it is considered to be a very lucky New Year’s food. Pigs root forward – so in many cultures they are a symbol of progress for the coming year.
Pork loin has improved health wise during the last few years, and the pork loin that is sold these days is actually leaner than skinless chicken breast – with much more flavor. I like to braise pork loin to give it that fall-apart texture. I don’t eat pork very often, so when I do I want it to be homey and comforting.
I saw this cooked by Marcela Valledolid on Mexican Made Easy on the Food Network, and had to try my own version – tweaked a little, of course.
I wish all of our Fab Frugal Friends a happy and prosperous 2011!
PINEAPPLE MOLASSES BRAISED PORK LOIN with Cipolline Onions and Dried Plums
Serves 6 to 8 – Prep time 30 minutes, Cook time 90 minutes
2 1/2 pounds pork loin, in two pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper, as described below
2 cups cipolline onions, peeled
2 cups dried plums or prunes, cut in half
3 cups pineapple juice
1 teaspoon (or more if more heat is desired) cayenne pepper sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pat pork loins dry with paper towels. Rub with olive oil. Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed large skillet to medium high heat. Brown pork loins well on all sides.Generously season pork loins with salt and pepper.
Place onions and dried plums in a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. Snuggle pork loins down into center of pan among the onions and plums.
Add to skillet the pineapple juice and vinegar. Simmer for a few minutes, scraping bottom of pan to removed all browned bits. Remove pan from heat and add remaining ingredients. Season with a little salt and pepper. Pour pan sauce over pork loins.
Place uncovered in oven and bake for 80 to 90 minutes, until pork is browned and sauce is reduced and thickened. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving, drizzled with pan sauce.
— posted by Donna