Roasted Pork Loin with Almond Pesto 5 Spice Root Vegetable Pot Pie

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  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/4 cups toasted slivered or whole almonds (save 1/4 cup for garnish)

3 serrano chiles

Juice of one lime

6 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cups picked Thai basil leaves

1 cup picked mint leaves

3/4 cup peanut oil

3 to 4 pound pork loin, cut into at least 4 (2-inch) pieces, pounded flat

Salt and black pepper to taste

Canola oil to cook

1/4 cup sliced green scallions for garnish

5 Spice Root Vegetable Ragout:

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup diced red onions

1 tablespoon 5 spice powder

1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced celery root

1 cup diced parsnip

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch slurry (1/2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with cold water)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Pastry Cups: (can substitute frozen puff pastry)

2 cups all purpose flour

4 ounces, 1 stick of butter, cut up into small pieces and frozen

1 teaspoon salt

Pinch of 5 spice powder

2 eggs lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon ice water


  1. In a food processor, place almonds, chilies, lime juice, garlic and ginger and mix well. Add the basil and mint leaves. Slowly drizzle in the oil to achieve a thick puree. Check for seasoning. Season the pork and spread the pesto on each pork escalope. Save a little pesto for garnishing. Roll the pork escalopes and tie each one with string. In a hot saute pan coated with oil, sear the pork roulades on all sides. Place pork in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. An internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees is ideal. I love my pork pink. Let loin rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  2. Add a little oil to thin out the remaining pesto.
  3. For the 5 Spice Root Vegetable Ragout: In a 2 quart saucepan on medium heat, add the butter, onions and 5 spice powder. Saute for 3 minutes then add carrots, celery, celery root and parsnips. Saute for 10 minutes then add chicken stock. Reduce stock by 30 percent until the vegetables are soft but not mushy. Stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken. Check for seasoning.
  4. For the Pastry Cups: In a food processor with the blade, add flour, butter, salt and 5-spice. Pulse until butter ends up in very small, tiny pieces. Add the egg mixture and pulse until a ball is formed. If ball is too dry, add a little water or, if too wet, add a little flour. In either case, pulse to incorporate. Wrap ball in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick and dock dough (make small holes). Cut out circles or squares and place on an upside down muffin pan. Place a sheet of parchment on top then weigh down with a sheet tray. Bake at 425 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. PLATING: Zigzag pesto oil on white plate. Place one pastry cup in the center of a plate and generously over fill with vegetable ragout. Slice thick slices of pork and surround cup. Garnish with toasted almonds and sliced scallions.
  6. Wine Suggestion: Robert Sinskey Pinot Noir 1996