- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups bourbon
- 1 pork loin, trimmed and cleaned (about 6 pounds)
In a small saucepan, combine vanilla beans, orange zest, black pepper, brown sugar, cider vinegar and bay leaves and cook over medium heat until sugar is melted and flavors have begun to meld, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add bourbon. Cool marinade completely before pouring over pork loin in a glass casserole or bowl. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning every 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove pork from marinade and pat dry. Transfer marinade to a saucepan and reduce volume by 1/3. Reserve to use in the pecan gravy. Place pork on a rack on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 155 degrees F. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with Pecan Gravy and Sour Cream Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
For the Pecan Gravy:
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup chopped trinity (equal amounts onion, celery, green pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup pork marinating liquid
- 1 quart chicken stock
In a saucepan cook pecans in butter until you get a pleasant pecan aroma. Add trinity and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic, cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour, cook for 2 minutes, then add marinating liquid and chicken stock. Continue to cook until sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Sweet Potatoes:
- 8 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup Steen's cane syrup
- Salt and white pepper
In a large saucepan, boil sweet potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pour off all of the water and put potatoes through a food mill or ricer. Using a large plastic spatula, fold in sour cream, bourbon, brown sugar, and cane syrup. Taste and add salt and white pepper to taste. Serve immediately or put in a casserole dish and reheat when ready to serve.