Roasted Pork Loin with Fig-Port Sauce, Carrots, Potatoes, and Parsnips
- 1/2 rack pork loin (~2-3 lbs)
- vegetable oil
- 2 cloves, garlic minced
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- red potatoes
- 1 cup dried mission figs, quartered
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 1 cup tawny Port
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsps. butter
Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget
We're going to create a marinade by combining roughly 2 Tbsps. salt, 1 Tbsps. pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and 1/4 cup oil. Put the pork in a plastic bag and coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 375˚F degrees.
Remove the marinated pork loin from the refrigerator and discard the bay leaves. (If you want to be fancy, you can also tie the rack with butcher's twine to form it into a nice cylinder.) As the meat is coming up to room temperature, dice any combination to your choosing of carrots, parsnips, and potatoes—make sure they are all roughly the same size. Toss in oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a skillet over medium-high heat with a little bit of oil, sear the pork loin on all sides until nicely browned. Place the meat on top of the veggies in a roasting pan. Place the entire thing in the oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145˚F—this should take around 40-45 minutes for a 2 lb. piece of meat if you don't have a meat thermometer.
Let the meat rest for a good 20-30 minutes before slicing. You may need to place the vegetables back into the oven for a little while longer depending on how large you cut them.
As the meat rests you can start preparing the sauce. In the same pan that you used to sear the loin, sauté the figs briefly in the leftover fat (add more to the pan if necessary). Dust with the flour, stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes.
Away from the flame, carefully add the port and—now for my favorite part—flambé! Yes, I am telling to start a (controlled) fire in your kitchen. (Be sure not to stand over the pan for the safety of your eyebrows.)
Add in the chicken stock and balsamic vinegar. Reduce until you reach the right consistency, which is when the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper, and swirl in the butter. The butter will give the sauce a nice sheen and a great richness.
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