This is your lucky day! You get two recipes in one entry! Every time Jake comes home from being gone an extended period of time I let him choose what he wants to eat. You may remember that the last time he asked for shepherd’s pie made with lamb. This time he asked for pork loin in some form. So I went to the Food Network website and found 2 recipes for pork loin that were labeled as “easy” (since I have never cooked pork loin before) and let him choose between the two. I also decided to make a new recipe for mashed potatoes that I had found a few months prior on the Vegetarian Times website. I’d been waiting to have a really good excuse to make mashed potatoes and this seemed like perfect timing. So I bring you, below, both recipes as well as links to their originals, for your own enjoyment.
For the pork loin:
1 cup warm water, plus 1 cup cold water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) pork loin
1/4 cup ground coffee beans
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
3 whole star anise
1 (1/2-inch) piece cinnamon stick broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
For the sauce:
1/2 pound bacon, diced
2 cups demi-glace or 1 package demi-glace mix dissolved in 1 cup water
1 cup red wine
1 cup pineapple juice, from canned pineapple tidbits
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
1 cup cola
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
For the pork loin:
2. Combine 1 cup of warm water with the vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, whisking until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
3. Transfer to a large resealable gallon-sized plastic bag. Add 1 cup of cold water and the pork loin, seal, and refrigerate overnight.
4. Pulse the coffee, brown sugar, peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stick in a coffee or spice grinder until they become a fine powder. (Or use a mortar and pestle like I did, which is harder, but just as possible).
5. Remove the pork loin from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
6. Rub with the spice mix, transfer the pork to a baking sheet and set it aside at room temperature.
7. In a large skillet melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork loin and brown for 5 minutes, turning to brown all sides.
8. Transfer the pork to a baking sheet and roast until the temperature reads 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour.
9. Remove the roast from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
For the sauce:
10. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until crispy.
11. Remove any excess fat from the pan and add the demi-glace, red wine, cola, pineapple juice and pineapple tidbits.
12. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half.
13. Slice the pork loin and serve with the sauce on the side.
2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, diced
5 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 cup half and half milk
2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme
1. Boil potatoes in enough water to cover 25 minutes, or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, sautè onion, oil, cumin, salt, and cayenne in skillet over low heat 30 minutes, or until browned. 3. Stir in milk and thyme.
4. Drain potatoes, and mash.
5. Whisk onion mixture into potatoes.
6. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.