I didn't plan on making this last night. To be honest, I was thinking about perhaps trying Marcella's braised pork with vinegar, or perhaps some Indian food (yes I'm chancing my hand with some spice occasionally).
But then Giulano posted a link to him cooking a pork loin with apples and apricots which looked damn good and so I had to give it a crack.
This recipe is in his "How to Cook Italian". It actually calls initially for plums rather than apricots, so that's what I bought. Good time of year to cook them, summer, with all the stone fruit out.
I bought my loin of pork. I was concerned about all the fat on it. It just seemed way too much. I peered at Guilano's video and his didn't seem to have nearly as much fat on it. But Marcella says to leave it on in some of her pork recipes. I tried to ask the teacher himself without being too forceful, and kindly and generously, he clarified.
So I took to the fat with my knife. As it turns out, there was actually more fat than meat in the loin I managed to buy. It didn't look too bad after I found the meat. To think, if this were roasted all that fat would have gone down the throat. It made me sick thinking about it.
I gave Basil the kitten a chance to play with it for a few minutes before binning it.
The next steps were to brown the meat, soften the onion, and cut the fruit.
The really fun bit was pouring in some red wine and boiling off the alcohol. In the name of all that is holy, this was the most amazing smell. More so for me because I am off the grog for 12 months and am over 6 months in.
So I couldn't get my head out of the pot as it wafted into my nostrils.
The meat joined the fruit and onion and, still on a high from the alcohol, I declared that everything that was good and right in the world was in that pot.
The spoon was sampled and there were some sour notes. From the fruit perhaps? I hoped it wasn't from the wine, as I wasn't able to taste it before it went in.
Within 40 minutes any sour notes had disappeared, and the official taster declared that the sauce activated all the pleasure sensors at the back of her mouth.
When the meat was cooked it was finely sliced and put back into the sauce. It was greeted with many oos and aaars at the table, and pronounced genius by all.
This recipe is a keeper. The pork wasn't dry and tasted of itself, and the sauce was sweet and delicious. I will be making this one again!