Monday, July 5, 2010

Herb Crusted Pork Loin with a Sweet Potato and Pear Compote

Well tonights undertaking was a bit more labor intensive than most and cost a couple more bucks. The best part of working with a roast is knowing it can be repurposed the next couple of nights into less expensive dishes. I love working with pork because it pairs well with sweeter elements. I am pairing this one with a sweet potato and pear compote. I know most people associate the word compote with a sweet fruity dessert, but trust me if it can be done sweet it can also be done savory. I am taking this one from dessert to side dish. It can also be done with an apple or as a dynamite Holiday side dish with apples, cranberries and pecans.

What you will need:
2-4 lb pork loin roast (mine was 2 lbs $6.52)
1 onion ($1.14)
1 sweet potato ($.64)
1 pear ($.86)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 balsamic ($.10)

1 handful of baby bellas ($.75)

Herb Crust:

2 tsp fresh rosemary (from the garden)
2 tsp fresh basil (from the garden)
4 cloves minced garlic ($.12)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp seasalt
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Mix together and set aside.

How to make it happen:

I started today by cubing the sweet potato and pear in equal chunks to ensure proper baking. I tossed the together in a covered baking dish and sprinkled them with the cinnamon. I cubed the butter and placed it on top. The butter will melt down and offer the moisture the dish will need. This will go in the oven alongside the roast for the last 35 minutes of baking. The roast needs to be hand rubbed with the just want to make sure the crust in evenly dispursed over the roast. Preheat a dutch oven with the tbs of olive oil...make sure it is nice and hot. You will want to sear the roast on all sides to lock in the fastastic flavor of the herbed crust. Put the sliced onion in the dutch oven all around the roast and cover. This will roast in the over on 475 degrees for 30 minutes....reduce the oven temp to 425 degrees and continue roasting for another hour....don't forget to pop the compote in the oven for the last 35 minutes. The roast should come out of the oven and rest for about 20 minutes. The internal temp shoud be 155 degrees. It will continue to cook and lock in the natural juices of the meat. Bring the balsamic and mushrooms up to a boil in a small saucepan while the roast is resting. Stir the balsamic frequently as it thickens up....throw the onions from the roast in at the last minute and remove it from the heat. This glaze will add one powerful punch of flavor to the pork. I will serve this dish with peas and carrots to round out the meal. That is how you feed a family of four a gourmet meal for under ten bucks! Clifton will be using the leftover pork tomorrow for a pork carnita dish. I find if we have plan in place to use the leftovers we are less likely to be scraping them into the garbage disposal a week later...i mean who can afford that?

1 comment:

  1. I am sooo gonna try this one for a Sunday dinner!!!