Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spanish-style Pork Roast with Pan-Roasted Romesco Sauce

Juicy circles of pork.

Romesco is a tomato and red pepper sauce from Catalonia, Spain (or so Bon Appetit magazine tells me). All I know, is it looks real good in the picture. When my brother and sister-in-law came over for dinner last weekend, I made a pork loin roast with the sauce and, man, was it good. Bon Appetit tried to convince me that instead of buying pork at the store, I should buy something called heritage pork from one of these web sites. It was not exactly clear to me why buying pork on the Internet was better, so I just picked up a pork loin at the store. The recipe recommends you use a pork rib roast, but they were out at the store I visited. The pork loin worked just as well, same time roasting even. The recipe also calls for Marcona almonds - these are apparently roasted, salted Spanish almonds. My usual go-tos for random ingredients (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, random Hispanic grocery up the street) did not have them, so we subbed regular roasted almonds.

Eat Rating: Very good. Ours was a little too salty, so I recommend omitting the salt from the pork rub.
Difficulty: Medium. You need a food processor for the Romesco sauce. Also requires some random ingredients: Marcona almonds, smoked paprika and dry Sherry. I subbed for the almonds and sherry.

Adapted from Bon Appetit magazine, May 2009

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp kosher salt (LN: I'd recommend omitting, otherwise the pork is really salty)
1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram (LN: I used 1 tbsp dried)
1 tbsp smoked paprika (Sometimes labelled Spanish paprika)
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 8-10 bone pork rib roast, or 6 lb pork loin
4 large roasted red pepper (about a 15 oz jar), drained
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 ripe Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Marcona almonds (or roasted, salted almonds)
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup dry Sherry (LN: Don't use cooking Sherry. It has extra salt added and is generally gross. I couldn't find any at my neighborhood package store, so I subbed 1 cup Ruby Port)

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and mix to form a paste. Rub the paste on the pork loin and let rest in the roasting pan for 1 hour. (You can do this up to a day ahead of time. Refridgerate and then let come to room temp for 1 hour before proceeding). Preheat oven to 425 and roast the pork for 15 minutes. While pork is roasting, combine the red pepper, 6 cloves of garlic and tomato in a pie dish and set aside. After 15 minutes, reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Place the dish of red peppers in the oven with the pork and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the red peppers from oven and cool.

Continue roasting pork for another 1 hour and 15 minutes (2 hours total) or until meat thermometer read 140 degrees. Remove from oven. Transfer pork to a cutting board and tent with foil. Reserve any drippings from the pan (LN: To be honest, there were practically no drippings from the pork loin, probably because it doesn't have as much fat as a rib roast. But keep any you do have.)

Chop the almonds and bread crumbs in the food processor until you finely ground. Add the red pepper mix and blend until you have a rough paste. Spoon any reserved drippings into a saucepan and add the 1 cup of Sherry/Port. Boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 7 minutes. Let cool 1 minute, then add to the sauce in the food processor. Mix until smooth.

Cut the roast into slices, about 1/2 inch thick if pork loin or between bones if rib roast. Serve with sauce.

With Romesco sauce.

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