Thursday, May 1, 2014

Pork Loin with Pomegranate Sauce and Roast Broccoli with Jalapenos

Like most of the pictures we take of our food for the blog, this picture doesn't look very appetizing.  Actually, this picture is worse than most because the sauce looks like a pool of blood so it makes the whole experience a little... gorier than usual.  But notwithstanding how the sauce looks, it is damn good.  It is the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, but nice and rich.  Adding the butter to the sauce at the very end made it glossy and rich.  Reducing the pomegranate juice in the porky cast iron pan made the whole dish that much porkier and more flavorful.  It also pairs really nicely with the spice rub on the outside of the pork, which isn't spicy but it does have a lot of flavor.  I would love to make this dish for a more casual dinner party - it is easy to make but it is pretty distinctive and delicious.  I think with bread, a nice salad and some veggies (roast brussels sprouts would be lovely) it would make a really nice meal that is elegant and flavorful, but not fussy.  Tonight we served the pork with broccoli we roasted with jalapeno, shallots and garlic.  Roasting broccoli is easily my favorite way to prepare it -it gets all nutty and crispy around the edges, but tender on the inside.  Sauteed broccoli tends to be a little mushier and the flavors aren't as concentrated.  The thinly sliced shallots were crispy and reminded me of onion straws or fried shallots - we usually mince or chop up our onions or shallots rather than tossing in thinly sliced rings but I will totally do the ring thing more often.  I thought they added a really nice flavor and texture to the dish.  It never would have occurred to me to add sliced jalapenos to the broccoli (that was all Alex), but they worked really nicely.  The broccoli picked up a surprising amount of flavor and heat from the jalapenos, without being too spicy.

Recipes after the jump!

Pork Loin with Pomegranate Sauce
Adapted from Gourmet
November 2006
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 lb boneless pork loin
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 cup plain pomegranate juice (such as POM Wonderful)
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 to 2 tsp Sherry vinegar
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Stir together cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl. Pat tenderloins dry and dredge in spice mixture until evenly coated.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add pork and sear until golden brown on all sides (about 2 minutes per side).  Turn meat so it is fat-side up and place i oven.  Roast until center of each tenderloin registers 145 degrees F, about 40-45 minutes.  Transfer pork with tongs to a cutting board (reserve skillet) and let rest for 10 minutes. 

Add pomegranate juice to cast iron and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 3-4 minutes (if there is a lot of fat in the skillet when you remove the pork you can pour it out, but there wasn't that much in the cast iron so I left it in for more porky goodness).  Stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into pomegranate juice, stirring so it doesn't clump up.  Gently boil sauce until thickened slightly, 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and add Sherry vinegar to taste, then swirl in butter.  Slice pork and serve with sauce. 

Roast Broccoli with Jalapenos and Shallots

4 cups broccoli florets
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 tbsp grapeseed oil 
s&p3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss broccoli , jalapenos and shallot with oil and season with s&p.  Roast in the oven until charred around the edges and just tender, about 20 minutes, stirring in garlic after 12 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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