The oldest form of theater is the dinner table. It’s got five or six people, a new show every night, same players. Good ensemble, the people have worked together a lot.Michael J. Fox
I’ve posed this question to a few friends and relatives: What is your favorite Sunday dinner meal? At the top of the list, after lasagna and a roast, the response was pork chops or a pork roast.
Truly, a pork roast is one of the ultimate comfort foods. Many people may gravitate more naturally to pork chops or ribs when they think of pork for dinner. And those are certainly terrific meals, though please make a pork loin, which is a super-healthy and flavorful alternative, one of your options.
For this Sunday Dinner of “Pork Loin with Roast Strawberry Merlot Sauce,” start with a cast iron (or LeCreuset Braiser) pan which can go from stovetop to oven and back again with ease. Coat the outside of the roast with some aromatic spices and brown it on the stove. Before you transfer the pan to the oven, add strawberries and start roasting. Your home will be a sweet and savory oasis in no time!
The accompanying sauce will be the more time-consuming part of the recipe—another 20 minutes—yet, oh so worth it! The sweetness of the strawberries, the tartness of a shallot, the earthiness of a Merlot, and the savory drippings from the pork— mmmmmm, it’s a culinary match made in the heavenly kitchen of your home.
If there are leftovers, the roast, thinly sliced, makes a beautiful Monday sandwich. Though I might wager that the family and friends gathered around your Sunday table will be so dazzled and delighted, you might not have anything left for the next day. And that’s a small price to pay for the comfort and camaraderie this meal will bring to your Sunday dinner guests.
PORK LOIN, ROASTED STRAWBERRY MERLOT SAUCE
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Charcuterie & Vegetable Board
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Clos LaChance 2016 Estate Merlot
1-½ pound pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1-½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups hulled and halved fresh strawberries
1 teaspoon granulated sugar, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons canola oil
⅓ cup finely chopped shallot
¾ cup Merlot
1-½ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Let pork tenderloin stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, crush coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle until coarsley ground. Stir together crushed coriander seeds with salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside. Toss together strawberries and sugar in separate bowl; set aside.
- Heat 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle coriander mixture over pork, pressing lightly to adhere. When oil is just beginning to smoke, add pork to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until pork is browned all over, about 8 minutes. Place strawberries around pork.
- Transfer skillet to preheated oven. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of pork registers 130 degrees, about 8-10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200 degrees. (Do not remove skillet from oven.) Continue to roast pork and strawberries until thermometer registers 140 degrees, about 5 more minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, reserving strawberries and pan drippings in skillet. Cover pork loosely with aluminum foil.
- Return skillet to stove over medium high heat. Add shallot to pan drippings, and cook, stirring often, until pan drippings are slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring and mashing strawberries with a spoon, until sauce has thickened enough to hold a clean line when a spoon is dragged across bottom of pan, about 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and thyme sprigs, and bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 13 to 17 minutes. Pour sauce through a fine wire mesh strainer into a small saucepan, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids.
- Place saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until butter is fully incorporated, about one minute. Remove from heat, and season strawberry sauce with salt and sugar to taste. Cut pork into slices, and serve with strawberry sauce.