Roasted pork loin is a versatile and tender meat that can be paired with a variety of different sauces, sweet or savory. We decided to roast the pork with similar seasoning (from this recipe) but serve it with two different sauces: one is on the sweeter side and the other is a spicy option. Both were fantastic – and if you buy a larger piece of meat cut it in half and try both sauces on different nights!
Caitlin: I served the pork with a plum and port sauce – the result was a perfectly seasoned tender piece of meat, which was only enhanced by the sweet plum sauce. I took a couple different elements from two different recipes, made some changes and the result was a perfectly balanced and delicious dinner. The plum sauce is versatile enough to be served with other meats such as roast chicken, duck or turkey. It would also make a great addition to your Thanksgiving sauce tray, give your guests a choice between plum or cranberry sauce – both of which would compliment your turkey. The sauce and the seasoning were both easy enough to prepare: you can make the sauce while the pork is roasting and still have time to relax. I used port to sweeten and enhance the plums, but if it’s unavailable to you I suggest using another sweet wine such as Riesling or Muscat. I’m always looking for different sides, so I decided to serve this with roasted carrots and parsnips (with a touch of olive oil and salt), then I toasted small pieces of rosemary bread with a little garlic and butter – it was great combination.
Monica: I decided to serve my pork with a tomatillo salsa. I love the flavor of pork and green salsa. The salsa can be adjusted according to your preference of spiciness. I used my mom’s recipe for the tomatillo salsa – it is a family recipe I hope you will enjoy. My pork loin was 4 pounds, and it took about 2 ½ hours to cook at 325 degrees. I continually basted it once the juices were released, and the result was tender, flavorful meat. It was literally one of the best meat dishes I have had in a very long time. I actually made this dish for my brother’s birthday dinner celebration and everyone complimented it – so if your friends or family eat and like pork, I highly recommend this dish. I served my pork loin with the salsa (of course) rice, sliced avocado and corn tortillas. You have the option to make tacos with this dish or just eat everything separately. Either way, it is delicious.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic slivered
2 teaspoons Sea or Kosher salt
2 sprigs rosemary, or 1½ tsp dried
1 sprig of fresh thyme (leaves separated), or 1 ½ tsp dried
1½ teaspoons dried sage
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 or 5 plums (red or black)
1 shallot – chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
1½ tbsp brown sugar
½ cup Port
1½ tbsp Balsamic vinegar
s&p to taste
1 lb tomatillos
8-10 dried chiles de arbol
dash of cumin
kosher salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Rinse the pork, pat it dry, place in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.
In a small bowl crush your spices together and rub the seasoning all over the meat. Make a couple small slits in the top and stick a little seasoning and garlic in there.
Put the meat into a baking dish and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Make sure to baste the pork once the juices are released and it is cooking.
If Making the Plum Sauce
Heat oil in a skillet and add shallots - cook until softened and slightly golden. Add the ginger and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the plums, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until the plums are very soft. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine - with the back of your spoon, slightly crush the plums. Add the port and the vinegar and simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the butter and remove from heat.
If Making the Tomatillo Salsa
Put the 1 lb of tomatillos (husks removed) in a small pot. Fill the pot with water, just barely covering the tops of the tomatillos and add salt. Cook the tomatillos until the water is boiling and they are tender.
As the tomatillos are cooking, fry 8 –10 (you can add more or less according to your preference) chiles de arbol in a tablespoon of canola oil. Fry the chiles until they are well crisped.
Once the tomatillos are soft, add the tomatillos and the boiled water to a blender, along with the chiles. Add a dash of cumin (about a teaspoon) and blend to a smooth consistency. Taste, and add salt accordingly. If the salsa is too thick, add a bit of water (but not too much) and blend until smooth.
If making the plum sauce, you can substitute Port for another sweet wine such as Riesling or Muscat.
Caitlin: I listened to one of my favorite Pavement albums, Terror Twilight.
Monica: Since I made this for my brother’s birthday, I had to play some of his favorites, including a Pink Floyd song or two.
1) “Us and Them” Pink Floyd
2) “For No One” The Beatles
3) “Candela” Buena Vista Social Club
4) “Learning to Fly” Pink Floyd
5) “So What” Miles Davis
Drink Of Choice
Caitlin: Since you’ve already opened a bottle of port (or another bottle of sweet wine), have a little as an after-dinner drink.
Monica: Mexican Coke, of course!
A Recipe to Remember?
100% yes! The pork was easy to prepare and the two sauces were both amazing compliments to the meat.