I bought a bottle of port wine for a crock pot roast I made last week. I only needed a cup, so 2/3 of the bottle was still sitting around waiting to be used. I hate wasting a bottle of wine when it comes to food; I usually only buy the $3 Golden Gate variety for cooking, but I hate even wasting that. Wine can lose a lot of its taste and flavor after it's been opened, so if I can't use it fast enough it eventually gets dumped down the drain because it tastes too bad to drink. Fancy that, even a "badass", undiscerning southsider like myself has opinions about wine! Revoke my card and send me packin' to Lincoln Park!
We really liked this, but the port sauce was a little too strong for Graham's liking. Maybe next time I'll dilute it with a little beef stock. I'm not sure yet. This is a great, simple recipe that looks, sounds, and tastes fancy but doesn't require a ton of work. I'm keeping this in my arsenal for dinner with guests.
Pork Roast and Port Wine Sauce
1 T. Olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork loin
1 shallot, diced
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. port wine
8 fresh figs, cleaned, stemmed, and halved
1 T. butter
Season roast generously. Heat oven to 450 degrees, and turn on your ceiling fan so your kitchen won't be so hot. Heat olive oil in a medium-to-large skillet. Brown the roast on all sides, 10-15 minutes total. Pour off almost all fat--save some for roasting in the oven.
Transfer skillet to the oven. Cook 25-35 minutes, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 F. Halfway through cooking, top roast with butter. Slice into smaller pieces to cover.
When roast reaches 145, transfer to a plate and tent with aluminum foil. Move skillet to stovetop and heat over medium. Add shallot, and cook until softened, approx. 2 minutes. Add flour and cook 30 seconds. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in port wine, in 2 or 3 batches if necessary. Sauce should have a thick consistency, but if it is too thick, dilute with a small amount of water (1 T.) and continue whisking until sauce reaches desired consistency.
Add figs and heat through until warm, one to two minutes.
- I adapted this recipe from Everyday Food's October 2008 issue. I go through phases where I see a recipe and think it sounds disgusting, and then months later I'll find it and it will hit the spot. :-)
- The roast was pretty basic, and I think everyone should know how to roast a pork loin. When it's done right it should be moist inside and have a crispy, but not burned, crust.
- The butter doesn't do too much other than brown the roast. I think it looks so much nicer than a pale pork roast.
- The recipe called for figs, but I used plums. Figs are out of season now and I couldn't find them anywhere. Plums were an acceptable substitute: similar size and texture. The sweetness of the plums was really great with the port sauce.
- Port wines are generally sweeter. Use a dryer wine if you don't like the sweet taste of the port.
- Figs are touchy. If you buy deep purple figs with a "honey" that formed at the stem, you have to use them within a day or two before they turn.