Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Roast Pork (or Beef or Lamb) With Balsamic-Glazed Potatoes & Onions

This recipe works with beef or lamb, too.

Ingredients for the pork:
1 small bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 T freshly ground fennel seeds
3 1/2-pound boneless rolled pork loin, skin off, fat scored in a crisscross pattern
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
4 bay leaves
2 wine glasses white wine

* * * * * *

Ingredients for the potatoes and onions:
3 1/2 pounds medium-sized waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise
olive oil
7 ounces butter, cubed
1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
1 whole bulb garlic, quartered or smashed
5 medium red onions, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the pork:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling, salted water and cook for around 8 minutes, then drain and return to the pan.

To prepare the meat, scatter a handful of finely chopped rosemary leaves over a large chopping board. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and the ground fennel seeds. Roll the pork across the board, pressing down hard so all the herbs and seasoning stick to it.

Put a roasting pan just big enough to fit the pork in on a burner over a medium-high heat. Pour in a little olive oil and place the pork in, fat side down. Sprinkle any flavorings remaining on the board over the top of the pork. When the pork fat is lightly golden, turn it over and add the garlic cloves, onion, celery and bay leaves to the pan. Place on the bottom rack of the oven for 1 hour, basting it halfway through. For the last 20 minutes of cooking, you may need to cover the pork to stop it coloring too much.

In another roasting pan just large enough to layer the potatoes, heat it on the stove. When hot, pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into it and add the butter, rosemary and garlic. Add the potatoes and toss them in all the flavors. Add the onions and all the balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes on the burner to reduce the balsamic vinegar a little. Place the pan on the top shelf and cook for around 50 minutes, until the potatoes and onions are dark, sticky and crispy - removing the pan to toss the onions and potatoes halfway through.

After 1 hour, prick the meat -- If the juices run clear, it's done. Remove it from the oven and let it rest on a plate for 10 minutes. Pour away most of the fat from the pan and mash up the garlic and onion. Place the pan over the burner and add the white wine. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, scraping all the fond off the bottom. Season if necessary. Pass through a sieve into a serving pitcher and serve alongside the pork and drizzle over the top.

Serves 6


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