Well, I was a bum last week. Sorry for not posting! The boyf came to visit and then I got sick and, as stupid as it sounds, I really just lost track of the days until it got too late in the week to post something. To make it all up to you, though, I will be posting TWO ridiculously delicious recipes this week! How about that? Check back on Thursday for the second post. That will come later though. For now, let’s focus on the here and now; namely, pork, rosemary, and blood oranges.
It sounds like the perfect winter combination, no? I couldn’t resist one last winter fling, and I hope you’re not all groaning about another winter dish. I am also so ready for spring, especially because in NYC the last few days have been such a spring-weather tease; we’ve had sixty-degree weather and plenty of sun, flowers are starting to bloom, and it really has just felt like the world is starting to warm in earnest towards spring. That is, until today– today it was back in the thirties, and tonight we are projected to get snow. Snow! In the middle of March! It was enough to make me want to return to hibernation mode, to crawl under my comforter and not emerge until it’s really truly spring. And then I realized that one last freeze means one last chance to make the perfect winter roast with some of my favorite winter ingredients.
As you probably remember, my last attempt at cooking with blood oranges didn’t turn out exactly as planned. This time, though, as my roommate told me during dinner, this meal is “a resounding success.” Pork and orange is a pretty standard combination, but using blood oranges instead of the standard citrus makes the flavor profile of this dish much more complex. Plus, blood oranges are only in season for another little while– why not showcase them as often as you can? Add some rosemary and roasted onions to the mix and you’ve got a perfect way to survive these last few nights of winter. So, what do you say? Another blanket to curl up under while we wait for spring? Don’t mind if I do.
Blood Orange Roasted Pork Loin
Adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe.
3 blood oranges
1-3 pound boneless pork loin (I used two 1-pound loins)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1-2 large onions,* cut into 8 wedges each
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped from stems. Bon Appetit calls for fresh, but I used dried.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 large garlic glove, pressed or minced
Blood orange slices for garnish (optional)
Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel in thin strips from the blood oranges. Be careful to take only the orange part and leave as much of the white as possible.
Place your pork in a large roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Rub the meat with about two tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the onion, orange peel, and rosemary with the remaining olive oil in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange this mixture in the pan or skillet around your pork and roast until the pork and onion are beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.
While your roast is browning, prepare your orange sauce. First, squeeze about 3/4 cup of juice from your oranges; this will probably require the juice from all three oranges. Juicing will be easier if you first roll the oranges between a hard surface and the heel of your palm, which breaks some of the membranes inside the orange and makes it easier to release the juice.
Add the orange juice to a small saucepan with the wine, broth, and garlic. Boil this mixture until it is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about seven minutes.
After your pork and onions have browned satisfactorily, reduce your oven temperature to 350 degrees. Add 1/2 cup of the orange juice mixture to the pan/skillet and baste the pork with the combined pan and orange juice mixture. Continue roasting the pork, basting often and adding more orange juice as needed. The pork is done when the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork reads 150 degrees. I do not own a meat thermometer, so I cooked the pork until the middle was no longer pink. It should take about 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your pork loin.
When the pork is cooked, remove the pan from the oven and place the pork on a platter. Cover it loosely with foil and let rest. Put your roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat and add the remaining orange juice mixture to the pan. Boil until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. When the sauce is ready, slice the pork and serve. We accompanied it with a nice salad of mixed greens, dried tart cherries, and red onions, which complimented the pork nicely.
*I love roasted onions, so I upped the amount from the one large onion that Bon Appetit called for. If you could care less about the extra oniony bits, though, feel free to only include one onion.