This delicious recipe pairs an elegant boneless pork loin roast with a creamy shallot and tarragon sauce. It tastes even better than it sounds and isn’t very hard to do. Boneless pork loin is not the tenderloin. This is basically a big pork chop roast. It’s an impressive cut, with a nice bit of fat on the top and lean, juicy inside.
For the past three months, I’ve been buying all of my meat and most of my eggs and dairy from Sea Breeze Organic Farm in Fort Pierce, Florida. It takes a little more effort and planning than running to the grocery store, but it’s worth it. We place our twice-monthly order by email. You can choose from nearly one hundred items; including farm fresh eggs, sour cream, milk, any cut of grass-fed beef, buffalo, lamb and goat, free-range chicken and even rabbit. They have fermented products like kombucha tea, sauerkraut and kimchee. Organic baked goods and seasonal fresh produce are also on the list. To pick up our goodies, we meet the delivery truck in a church parking lot late in the afternoon. My husband is usually the one to go on this errand because it involves waiting in line with an empty cooler to swap it out for a very heavy, full one. This isn’t the usual way to go grocery shopping in the heart of Miami, but it works for us.
What has me going back for more is the freshness and quality. Finding the best ingredients drives my desire to cook. My recipes taste better and I’m feeding my family foods raised with care and without pesticides. It’s good to know our hard-earned money is going into the pocket of small farmers instead of industrial food producers.
Back to the recipe! I paired the roast with my go-to roasted potatoes and broccoli rabe sautéed in garlic and olive oil. It was an extravagant change from our usual weekend roast chicken. By the way, keep extra sauce at the table. It was so good, my husband wanted to drink it right from the saucepan!
Yield: Serves 4
Combine garlic, tarragon and olive oil in a small bowl and stir to combine. With your hands, rub the olive oil mixture all over the roast. Place in a plastic bag and marinate 4 hours to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow to the roast to come to room temperature. Remove most of the marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the roast to the pan and brown on all sides. Place the roast fat side up in the oven and cook about 30-40 minutes, until a thermometer shows the internal temperature is 135 degrees. Remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a carving board to rest for 15 minutes. Slice thinly before serving.
Using the same pan the pork was cooked in; drain any excess fat so there is about 1 tablespoon remaining. Saute the shallots on medium heat until they are soft. Stir in the garlic. Add wine, stock and any juices that released from the pork while it was resting. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered until it is reduced by half. Reduce the heat and add cream. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes more. Add tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over pork slices and serve at the table.
I always thought broccoli rabe (also known as raab or rapini) was a baby stalk of broccoli, but I was wrong. Because I thought this was a baby vegetable, I expected it to be sweet and delicate. Nope. Broccoli rabe is a robust, slightly bitter green that holds up to some strong flavors. This relative to broccoli loves to be smothered in garlic and good olive oil. It is a favorite vegetable in Italy and Portugal and lends itself well to pastas, spicy sausage and nutty cheese like Parmesan Reggiano. It also makes a great addition to a sandwich or pizza.
Brocolli rabe is easy to cook, but usually requires a quick blanch in boiling water before you sauté it to make sure the tougher stem is cooked through. I left most of the stem on in this dish because we like to eat every bit of this healthy veggie. If you like a more tender green, remove the stem at the point where the leaves are growing. With its dark green color and robust flavor, you know this veggie is healthy for you. Dr. Axe listed it #2 on his list of Top 10 Superfoods because it’s, “packed with potassium, iron and calcium, dietary fiber and as well as Vitamins A, C and K. Broccoli rabe also contains lutein, which is an antioxidant that protects the retinas of your eyes from damage caused by free radicals.”
Along with the nutritional benefits of broccoli rabe, I love how it looks on a plate. It’s elegant and wild at the same time. This is a veggie that impresses. I served this batch with roasted pork loin and shallot, tarragon cream for our Sunday dinner. I like to go all out on the weekend and cook something that is out of the ordinary and has the bonus of leftovers. Usually it’s a perfectly roasted chicken. Sometimes it’s a duck. For this occasion I had a gorgeous organic boneless pork loin roast from Sea Breeze Organic Farm in Fort Pierce, Florida. A good roast deserves a great vegetable and broccoli rabe fit the bill.
Total Time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Adapted from Maria’s Broccoli Rabe.
Trim off most of the broccoli rabe stem. Blanch in boiling water 5 minutes until it becomes bright green and slightly wilted. Remove from water with a strainer.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and pepper flakes and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli rabe and continue to stir and cook for 12-15 minutes until leaves are wilted and stems are tender.