Food & Drink

Weekend Cooking: The Most Aromatic Herb-Roasted Pork Dish Ever

Weekend Cooking: The Most Aromatic Herb-Roasted Pork Dish <em>Ever</em>
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Temperatures are dropping so why not spend the weekend indoors with this tender herb-roasted pork loin with flavorful salsa romesco? The brainchild of chef Michael Poiarkoff of the cozy Brooklyn-based eatery Vinegar Hill House, the rich dish will make you want to cozy up, stat. (Note: the dish requires preparation one day in advance, so consider making this a full weekend project. Trust us, it's worth the effort for the heavenly aroma of tarragon, mint, and thyme wafting through your kitchen alone.)

Poiarkoff recently whipped up this gem at Local Fare BKLYN, a gastronomic event hosted on October 5 by Building on Brooklyn, a foundation that provides venues for local artists and artisans to create, exhibit, and engage with the community. Its latest project, a five-course dinner featuring dishes from five celebrated chefs— including Daniel Burns and Gabe McMackin, who, between their respective restaurants Luksus and The Finch, hold two Michelin stars combined— was held to benefit City Harvest, an NYC-based nonprofit that distributes food to soup kitchens, food pantries, and community food programs throughout the city's five boroughs. How's that for good eating? 

Read on for the full recipe and get cooking!

Herb-Roasted Pork Loin with Salsa Romesco

Serves 6

Ingredients

For the pork
4 lb heritage pork loin
1 1/2 qt water
1 qt ice
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp fennel seed
1 tsp black pepper (cracked)

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For the sauce
6 large roasted red bell peppers or 1 12 oz jar roasted bell peppers
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup almonds, toasted and crushed
1 large tomato, chopped
4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the herb spread
2 tbsp fresh tarragon
2 tbsp fresh mint
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp sherry vinegar

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Directions

To brine the pork Note: Prepare 1 day before cooking
1. Boil 1 1/2 qt water.

2. Toast spices in a pan on medium heat just until you begin to smell them, about one minute.

3. Transfer boiling water into a separate bowl.

4. Dissolve salt and sugar in water and add spices.

5. Add ice to cool down and finish brine.

6. Place pork into brine, making sure it's submerge, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

For the sauce
1. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until the consistency of fine salsa.

For the herb spread
1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

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To cook the pork
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

2. Remove pork from brine and pat dry.

3. Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron, from $17; crateandbarrel.com) on high with 2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil.

4. Sear all sides of the loin until golden brown.

5. Rub all sides with herb spread, place on baking sheet, and cook in oven until internal temperature reaches 135˚F, about 6-10 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and let rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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