Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Caramelized Endive, Walnuts and Vin Santo

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Submitted by Chef Antonio Ghilarducci

Depot Hotel Restaurant and Garden
Sonoma


This recipe is easily among my favorite ways to prepare pork.  Also, this can be easily adapted for a party of four to a banquet of forty.  The pork loin is slow roasted till moist and tender and served with a lightly sweet sauce and beautiful bitter endive.  This combination makes a truly elegant main course suitable for any meal.  Enjoy!

Serves 6 as a main course


Ingredients

  • 1 3# Piece of Boneless Pork Loin trimmed and tied
  • 12 Heads of Belgian Endive
  • 1 bottle good, but not great Vin Santo
  • 3 Shallots
  • 5 Large Cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • ½#  Shelled Walnuts
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees and salt and pepper the pork loin on all sides liberally. When oven is hot put the pork in a roasting pan or a large skillet and put in the oven for fifteen minutes.

Remove any brown outer leaves from the Belgian endive and cut in half leaving the root end intact to hold them together. Heat a large skillet on the stove with two tablespoons of olive oil when the oil begins to smoke, add the endive cut side down and turn off the heat. Add a large pinch of salt and a large pinch of sugar (You may have to do this in batches if your skillet is not large enough). Put the endive in the oven for fifteen minutes as well. When fifteen minutes has past, reduce the oven heat to 250 degrees and take the endive out, it should be tender when pierced with a knife, if not put it back in until it is.

After approximately 45 minutes the pork should be getting close to finished, using a thermometer check the internal temperature of the pork, I personally cook my pork to 135-140, but you may want to take it to 150 if pink, juicy pork scares you. When the pork has reached your desired temperature take it out of the pan and put a piece of foil to cover it. Keep that pan however as you need it for making the sauce.

Slice the shallots thinly and smash the garlic cloves and add them to the pan the pork was in, with a little oil if necessary, and put on medium high heat on the stove. Cook the garlic and shallots until lightly browned and translucent and add your walnuts and two cups of the Vin Santo.

Meanwhile add a couple knobs of butter to the endives and reheat them on the stove, correcting seasoning if necessary. Reduce the Vin Santo by half , turn off the heat, and stir in about three tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Cut the strings off the pork and carve into half or quarter inch slices. On a platter arrange the endives, the sliced pork, and pour the Vin Santo-walnut sauce over the top.

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