Roasted pork loin with orange-herb sauce

This is Week #11 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.

Oops, I cooked pork two weeks in a row for this challenge. Isn't pork delicious, though? My mother prepared it a lot growing up. She really only prepared it one way, but that one way was fabulous. As with everything she makes, I am constantly striving to achieve the flavor that she achieves. In the past month, my husband and I have prepared a lot of pork and I feel confident saying that we have gotten close to Mom's level of pork deliciousness.

This recipe is insanely delicious. The reduction sauce that swims around the tender, flavorful pork makes me cry tears of happiness.

First, you will want to marinate a 1 1/2-pound pork loin. The recipe suggests a marination time of 1 hour, but I let mine sit overnight.

In a shallow dish, combine:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

Add the pork loin and coat with the oil-garlic mixture. Place in the refrigerator and flip the pork periodically.

Once the pork has had some time to soak in its bath of olive oil and garlic, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and set a rack in the upper third part of the oven.

In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet, fat side down. Cook over moderately high heat until it is richly browned, about 4 minutes. Brown the pork on the remaining sides, and then turn it fat side up.

Add to the skillet:

1 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

5 black peppercorns

1 rosemary sprig

1 oregano sprig

1 parsley sprig

Once the mixture has reached boiling, transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast the pork for about 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers at 145 degrees F.

Transfer the pork to a carving board. Carve it into 1/2-inch slices, but you might want to wait to do this until the sauce is nearly done cooking. Do as I say, not as I do.

Strain the liquid from the skillet into a saucepan.

Allow the sauce to boil and reduce to 1/2 cup. This takes about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley.

What? You don't see chopped parsley in my reduction sauce? Well, this is because there is no parsley in my reduction sauce. This was the point in my day where chaos reigned our home. Sammy was screaming for more food, as always. Elijah's potty watch had gone off. I knew I needed to take photos quickly, before the sauce got too thick. My husband's phone rang. AAAGhsdkghhghh! So. I forgot to add the parsley. It sat in a sad pile on the cutting board, and I didn't see it until we were sitting down at the table. Please forgive me.

And then drizzle your sauce over the slices of pork that adorn your plates.

Did I mention how delicious this reduction sauce is? If I could take a bath in it, I would be one happy girl.

Roasted Pork Loin with Orange-Herb Sauce

This is possibly the most delicious sauce I have EVER made. (source: Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010)

Serves: 4

Total time: 2 hrs, 15 min

Roasted Pork Loin with Orange-Herb Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2-pound boneless pork loin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 oregano sprig
  • 1 parsley sprig, plus 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the oil with the garlic. Add the pork, turn to coat and let stand for 1 hour. Set a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining oil. Season the pork with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, fat side down. Cook over moderately high heat until richly browned, 4 minutes. Brown the pork on the remaining sides, then turn it fat side up. Add the orange juice, stock, wine, peppercorns and herb sprigs and bring to a boil.
  2. Transfer the skillet to the upper shelf of the oven and roast the pork for about 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 145 degrees F. Transfer the pork to a carving board.
  3. Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and boil until reduced to ½ cup, 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the chopped parsley. Carve the pork and serve with the sauce.