Braised pork loin with mashed potatoes and vegetables by beFOODled on Flickr.
For our main plate on New Year's Day in Calgary, Mark, S and I served braised pork loin medallions topped with caramelized onions. We served them with mashed potatoes, sautéed Asian-glazed carrots, pan-seared bok choy and baked Provençale tomato.
Mark told us that the classic onion-carrot-celery flavour base used in braising is called mirepoix by the French. He also advised that tender cuts of meat, such as this loin, do not have to be fully submerged in liquid when braised. But more sinewy cuts, such as shoulder or hock, taste more tender if submerged.
Braised pork loin
enough pork loin to serve six
1/2 bottle red wine
whole garlic cloves
onions, carrots and celery in a large dice (mirepoix)
Marinate the pork loin by beFOODled on Flickr.
Marinate the pork loin in the above ingredients for a few hours.
Season the pork and reserve the marinade by beFOODled on Flickr.
Brush the elements of the marinade off the meat and season the pork loin on all sides. Set the marinade aside.
Brown the pork loin on all sides in a hot pan with hot oil. Set aside.
Sauté the garnishes in the marinade by beFOODled on Flickr.
With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove all of the whole vegetables, herbs and seasonings from the marinade. And keep that wine for later (for the love of Bacchus, don't throw it out!) Sauté the elements of the marinade for a few minutes in the same frying pan.
In a cast iron Dutch oven, add a layer of the sautéed veggies and then add the meat on top. Add the rest of the cooked veggies on top of the meat. Add some tomato paste and the wine from the marinade (about two cups). Add about two more cups of chicken or vegetable stock, or as much as you need.
Braised pork loin in a Dutch oven by beFOODled on Flickr.
Cook for two-and-a-half hours at 300 to 325 degrees. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes under foil before cutting into medallions.