03 February 2012

Balsamic Pork Loin

Some months ago, when Pinterest was a new phenomenon in my life, my friend Anna spotted a recipe for what was called Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin.

Well, I have a history with pork loins.  It's not pretty.  It involves me pursuing them with the reckless abandon of a fourteen year old girl who has more than a few daddy issues.  And they never love me back.  They almost always end up dry.  But the problem is that they are healthy, relatively inexpensive, but company appropriate, and not the same ol' same ol' thing. 

So, I saw this recipe, I had my doubts, but I did it, just like the girl who sends the 4th unanswered text message.  More like 44th in this situation. 

And he came through.  Apparently, his phone had been dead the whole time. 

I will say, though, that this ends up falling apart.  A fact that I always think is good, but it often ruins a presentation.  This is much more dinner with white table clothes than styrofoam plates and bad baked beans, but it looks an awful lot like its fattier, tastier, less classy sister of Pulled Pork Shoulder.  You may feel the need to serve it with apology (the explanatory kind, not the sorry kind) - "This is Balsamic Pork Loin.  White meat.  Grown up food.  Button up and khackis, not bathingsuits and fireworks.  I promise."  Or, perhaps, you're more secure than I am sometimes, and you are willing to say, "This tastes good.  I don't care if you do think it beneath the occasion.  Kiss my behind."  If so, kudos to you! 

So, here we go:

1 3 lb pork loin.  (This reminds me.  I grew up in the kitchen.  Cooked all the time.  But I was always cooking with my mother's ingredients, right?  I didn't learn the art of reading a recipe and shopping for it until I stumbled through it as a newlywed.  I can remember reading my mother's brisket recipe which called for a 3.5 lb brisket.  I searched and searched.  All I could find was like a 2.79 lb one and a 3.86 lb one.  No 3.5 lbs to be found.  I gave up, went home, and we ordered out.  I was 22 and a mother and could not figure out that IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW BIG YOUR PIECE OF DEDGUM BRISKET IS, but I'm pitiful like that.) 

Granulated Garlic (this is better than garlic powder - tastes less fake for some reason). 

Sprinkle all over the meat.  Put 1/2 a cup of water and the meat in a slowcooker, thin layer of fat side up, for 5-7 hours on low. 

45 minutes before you want to eat, prepare this in a tinyish saucepan on the stove:

1 cup brown sugar
2 T corn starch
1/2 cup balsamic
1 cup water
4 T soy sauce
2 tsp Tabasco

Boil until it thickens, simmer for a second or two. 

30 minutes before you want to eat it, take the top off.  Pull it apart with two forks.  It should come apart so easily. 
Toss with 2/3 of the balsamic mixture.  You can also toss with all of it.  But if you want something for people to spoon over something, save 1/3 of it, put it in a pretty bowl with a spoon and call it sauce.  Because it is.

This is yummy alone, yummy on sandwiches; yummy on quesadillas and yummy in lasagna

It freezes beautifully as well. 

There ya go!  Eat well, do good work and keep in touch. 

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