Slow Roast Pork Loin

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Pork Loin, butternut squash, kale, gravy from the meat juices, spices.

After a satisfactory food shopping trip at Lidl and Tesco (let’s be honest – we all do it), I returned home in the mood to put some of the ingredients to good use. On a Sunday the supermarkets seem to shut at around 4pm meaning that if you are in the shop by 3-3.30pm you get the opportunity to elbow in with other bargain hunters for the last reduced items of the day. 3.45pm and you’re probably too late, ending up instead with unwanted, but ridiculously underpriced, post christmas overstocked items like brandy butter for a penny a pot, for example. The first pot goes down well enough, but from that point it’s just down hill. There are only so many days to consume 6 pots of 1p brandy butter, especially if that day was the day before yesterday.  My second port of call (after the veg) is the meat aisle. Meat generally gets well reduced on Sundays and as it freezes so well, why not?

The oven was set to about 125 – 150 degrees and whilst it was heating up, I seared the 800g pork loin in a heavy, high sided, cast iron pan with a splash of oil to caramelise, brown off and crisp up nicely. I then added some salt and pepper, star anise, fennel seeds, dried red chilli, smoked paprika and whole coriander seeds to the pork to get a coating all over. A glass of red wine and some boiling water went in also. I tightly covered the top with foil and put in the oven to do it’s magic. After around 2 hours I had a little check and it was looking very nice indeed. No top up of moisture required.
I put back in the oven at the same heat for another hour. Whilst the hour was drawing to a close I peeled and chopped up some butternut squash, covered with a generous glug of EV olive oil and salt and pepper and put in the oven with the pork. At this point I turned the oven up to 200 and took the foil off the meat to get a bit of crackling going. I also poured any remaining meat juices into a small saucepan for the gravy, and set aside. It was all in the oven for another 30-40mins at which point I let the meat rest and quickly steamed the kale and made the gravy. The gravy was a simple case of straining the spice bits out with a sieve, and returning to the saucepan with any scrapings from the meat pan. And finally adding some rice flour to the gravy to thicken. (easily done with a whisk)

The 800g joint was ample for 3 people.(Matthew)

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