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 the goods

4-5 lb (2-2 1/2 kilo) pork loin roast

1 bottle rosť (dry)

6 quinces

1 cup honey

2 cups sugar

3 blood oranges

2 oranges

2 lemons

salt and pepper

fresh ginger

olive oil

 

active time: 25 minutes

total time: 6 hrs (+ 2 days marinating)

you will need:

  • large ceramic or glass bowl or dish to marinate pork
  • baking pan
  • wire rack
  • saucepan

serve with:

  • buttery sprouts and peas
  • goosey taters
  • spicy pumpkin profiteroles

or

  • Roxie, the chocolate harlot

*ps: thanks to Lisa for the marinade suggestion!

Rosy, the thrice blushing roast pork loin 

what makes Rosy blush?

Simple: the perfect pink hues of the rosť wine, the roasted quinces and the blood orange...besides, wouldn't you blush a little if your loins were laid out on a platter for all and sundry to devour?

This is so ridiculously simple and low maintenance...the kind of meal you practically forget about, get on with your day and then open the oven and let the ecstasy overcome you.

Simply the sexiest, most lush meal that I've ever made.

Huge thanks for Nigella Lawson, whose dessert, 'red roast quinces with pomegranates' (from her book, 'Feast') inspired part of this recipe.

Here we go:

2 days before: put the pork loin in a large (non metallic) mixing bowl. use a vegetable peeler to slice thin strips of zest from the oranges and lemons (not the blood oranges), then cut the fruit in halves and squeeze the juice over the pork. add the zest strips and 3-4 thin strips of fresh ginger. add some salt and pepper and douse everything with olive oil. that's it for rosy. cover her up with cling film and forget about her for a couple of days.

1 day before: optional, this step only takes a few minutes of prep and 30 minutes total time if you want to do it all on one day. Pour a glass of rosť. Pour the remainder into a medium sized saucepan. The glass is for you (cook's privilege). The rest is for the syrup. Add 2 cups of castor / superfine sugar, 1 cup of honey (hard to pour? try zapping the bottle in the microwave for 30 seconds), Using the vegetable peeler, slice strips of peel off one of the blood oranges. Try to peel strips that are shallow and wide so that you only get the zest, not the pith. Now, choose a quince. The largest. Chop it into 1 inch cubes. Skin, seeds, core and all. Toss this into the saucepan, bring the lot to a rapid boil and let it go until it has reduced by about half. This will take about 30 minutes, so sit back and enjoy your glass of rosť. The syrup is ready when it has reduced and is noticeably thicker. Pour it through a strainer. Keep the cooked quince and orange zest...these are a treat for later.

8 hrs before you want to serve: remove Rosy from the fridge

 

6 hrs before you want to serve: pre-heat the oven to 450f / 220c. Place a baking pan (about 12 x 16 with sides at least 2 inches high) in the oven to heat up. If you made the syrup the day before, you will need to heat it up.

Slice: 5 quinces in half from top to bottom. Careful; they're tough little buggers.

Place: quinces cut side down into the hot baking pan. reduce the oven temp to 300 / 325 (we want a long slow roast for Rosy and her quinces, so if your oven runs hot, or you have to put the rack down low, then lower the temp to 300f / 150c). The quinces will hiss and sizzle a little, pour the hot syrup over them.

Place: the wire rack over the baking tray and place Rosy, unadorned of any of her marinating chums, in the centre of the rack. douse her with some more olive oil and salt and pepper. Put her in the oven

Cook: for an hour. Carefully lift the whole arrangement out of the oven, lift the wire rack off, turn the quinces over and spoon a little syrup over each one. Scoop about 1 cup of syrup out of the pan and place Rosy's rack back on top of the baking pan. Pour the cup of syrup over Rosy. Put everything back in the oven.

Baste: as above every 40 minutes. Cooking time for pork at this temp is about 1 hr for ever 1lb / 500g. If Rosy is starting to caramelise (brown) a little too fast, then cover her with some foil.

Remove: Rosy from the oven after about 5 hrs. Cover her with aluminium foil and sit her aside. The syrup should be as thick as molasses by now and the quinces the deepest garnet. if not, increase the oven temp to 325 -350f / 160-180c and cook a little longer.

To serve: arrange the quince halves in a circle, place Rosy in the centre. Using a zester or grater, remove the zest from the remaining 2 blood oranges and sprinkle this over the roast. Cut the oranges in half and place on the platter with the quinces. Pour some of the syrup all over everything and serve the rest in a gravy boat...it is the darkest, sexiest sauce you'll ever taste!

 

 

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