This slow-roasting method for pork loin ensures that the meat will remain succulent, even when served at room temperature. Here, each 3-pound half-roast will yield about forty 1/4 inch slices; an electric carving knife works best for this. The garlic and sage coating makes the pork flavorful enough, but the apricot plum sauce makes a wonderful accompaniment.
- pork loin
- 1 (96 ounces) whole (center cut) pork loin
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- pork loin
- 10 sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
- apricot sauce
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 5 ounces dried apricot cut into 1/4 -inch slivers
- 3/4 cup (4 ounces) dried pitted prunes halved lengthwise
- Pan juices from pork loin
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have ready a large roasting pan.
Trim the fat on the pork loin to the thickness of a regular piece of bacon (about 1/8 inch). Divide the loin into two 3-pound roasts. At even intervals starting 1 inch from each end, tie each roast with four 8-inch lengths of kitchen twine, using double knots. Trim and discard excess twine. Place the tied roasts in a large bowl.
Use a food processor to puree the sage, garlic, salt, pepper and oil into a smooth paste. Rub the paste entirely over both roasts. Place the meat in the pan and roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250 degrees and slow-roast for 50 to 70 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees. Transfer the roasts to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Before the pork has finished roasting, start the apricot plum sauce: Place the broth, and the sugar, if using, in a large microwavable bowl and cook on high for 4 minutes. Add the apricots and prunes and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
When the pork roasts are done, add the pan juices to the fruit and broth. Transfer 1 cup of the fruit to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the puree to the remaining fruit-broth mixture, stirring to combine and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (You should have about 3 cups.)
If serving the roasted pork loin warm, let it rest for 15 minutes before carving; otherwise cool completely. Discard the twine and cut the roasts into 1/4-inch slices. Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with the apricot plum sauce on the side.
Pork recipe adapted from "The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking," by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker (Scribner, 1997). Apricot plum sauce recipe adapted from chef and former restaurateur David Hagedorn.
Tested by Maria Henriques.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.