Roast Loin of Pork with Quince Sauce

Serves

Loin of pork is a tender and succulent cut of meat that just cries out for a fruity sauce. Whether you serve it boneless or on its rack, it's a welcome guest at the dinner table, especially during the fall and winter months. Here the rich, robust sauce gains body and flavor from the addition of quince. For convenience, you can make the sauce a day ahead and reheat it at serving time.


Ingredients

1 boneless center cut pork loin (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup olive oil (divided)
  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider or juice
2 medium quinces (about 10 ounces total)
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons Calvados or apple brandy, optional
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups veal or beef stock
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 tablespoons crème fraîche


Directions

Rub the pork with olive oil and season all sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Let the pork rest at room temperature for an hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 275 degrees F. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet and brown the pork on all sides over medium-high heat. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin registers 115 degrees F, 30 to 40 minutes. Turn the loin to the other side, increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F, and cook until the meat temperature reaches 145 degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, place the apple cider in a small bowl. Peel, core, and coarsely grate the quinces, tossing them with the apple cider immediately after grating so they don’t discolor.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the shallots and thyme, and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinces (and any juice); cook, covered, until the quince is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Calvados, if using, and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.

Add the veal and chicken stocks to the saucepan and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds, about 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing firmly to extract all the liquid. Discard the solids and return the sauce to the pan. Add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm over low heat. Alternately, the sauce can be cooled and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days, then rewarmed over low heat.

To serve, cut the pork loin into thick slices and nap with the sauce.

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