Loin of Pork with Fig, Pomegranate, and Chipotle
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo (including some liquid)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- Pinch cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 3 pounds (wrapped and tied with some fat left on)
- 2 cloves garlic, slivered
- Fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra, for garnish
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Up to 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped, dried mission figs
- 1 orange, segmented
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- Watercress sprigs, for garnish
- Orange peel curls, for garnish
To Make the Sauce: Mix the chipotle chile and orange juice in a mini-food processor until pureed. Add the next 9 marinade ingredients, pulsing to combine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut small slits in the roast, cutting with the grain and insert garlic slivers and an equal number of thyme sprigs. Rub the roast liberally with salt, pepper, and ground cumin.
In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed roasting pan, combine butter and olive oil. When bubbling, add the roast to the pan and turn to brown on all sides (about 8 minutes). Add 1/2 cup wine and the onion to the pan and place in the oven. After 20 minutes, start basting the roast with the sauce. Continue to baste until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, about 1 hour total.
Transfer the roast to a carving board, tent with foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, spoon off any excess fat from the pan then deglaze with 1/4 cup wine; when bubbling add chopped figs, orange segments, and 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme. Simmer gently for about 10 minutes, until the figs are soft. Remove from the heat and puree using an immersion blender. There should be some chunks remaining in the "marmalade".
To Serve: Remove twine and slice pork 1/2-inch thick. Top slices with a generous spoonful of the marmalade and garnish with thyme sprigs, or for a buffet, present the whole roast on a nest of watercress (or arugula) and orange peel curls. Add the marmalade to each serving as your carve.
Cook's Note: It is very important that there is a thin layer of fat on the roast and that it is all natural?not water and nitrate "plumped".
Recipe courtesy Nicole Aloni