Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Roasted Pork Loin with Sherry, Dijon, and Thyme with Blue Cheese Sauce

Made this one for a TON of family back home. Even people who claimed not to like pork devoured it. But to be honest, I'm not sure if it was the pork or the blue cheese sauce. I think you could probably serve it on fried raccoon tails and nobody would complain.

I used dry sherry for the marinade, and as I only had two hours to marinade it, left it out at room temperature, flipping it over midway. Next time I'll marinade it over night in the fridge.

Between this and the rum cake, my brother in law proclaimed me the queen of squeezing alcohol into recipes. All hail the queen!

Roasted Pork Loin:
Should easily serve 10-12 adults, but double check to see what butcher says.
* Remember, the key to pork is to NOT over cook it, and to leave a little fat on when roasting to protect it - especially a large roast that will be in the oven a while.

1 6 pound boneless pork loin, tied (have your butcher do this - say you want to roast it)
1 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
14 small garlic cloves, or 7 large ones, halved length-wise
salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, to add to pan as needed (as marinade dries and evaporates)

Get out a medium to large, ridged roasting pan that will easily fit your roast and all the marinade without overflowing.

Using a pairing or similar sized knife, poke slits down each side of your loin to hold the garlic cloves, about 3/4 inch apart (just make sure they're spaced evenly across the center of each long side of your roast.) Stuff cloves into the slits, then slather the entire roast with dijon, not forgetting ends. Evenly sprinkle thyme leaves all over.

Carefully pour your sherry over the roast, trying to 'coat' all sides but not being too spastic about it - your going to flip it over halfway through marinating anyway. Do the same with the soy sauce.

If you're short on time, leave the roast out at room temperature for one hour, carefully flip to the other side and let sit one more hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425. Sprinkle your roast with salt and pepper (not too liberally - you've already got salty soy on there.)

Put in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and cook another 1 and 45 minutes, adding stock to pan when necessary (you don't want the bottom to be dry or it will burn), or until a thermometer is inserted into the center reads 165 (will come up to 170 while it rests.)

Let rest for ten minutes before serving. Meanwhile, whip up blue cheese sauce.

Blue Cheese Sauce:

4 oz blue cheese crumbles
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup light mayo
1 and 1/2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

Mix all together in a medium pan over medium heat on the stove, until cheese has melted and all has combined into a nice, velvety sauce. Serve warm with the pork.

* By the bye - since it is that time of year - I want to add that I've made this sauce with both low fat sour cream and mayo - and no one knew the wiser. There is virtually no fat in the pork loin, so this can not only be company friendly and impressive but figure-friendly too.

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