Tangy Braised Pork Loin with Pear and Prosciutto Salad
Subtly sweet pears are the perfect partner for pork that has been braised in a slow cooker to tender perfection. Assemble the salad while the pork is resting on a platter. This will also give the fat from the braising liquid time to rise to the surface so you can skim it off.
For the pork:
- 2 lb. (1 kg) boneless pork loin roast, about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, well trimmed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 large shallots, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) dry white wine
- 2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) chicken broth
- 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
For the salad:
- 1 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Several grinds of black pepper
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 firm but ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 oz. (90 g) thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into strips
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Season the pork generously all over with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan. Add the shallots and celery and sauté until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the wine, broth and vinegar and stir to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom. Transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker. Place the pork on the top. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 to 7 hours. The meat should be very tender.
Transfer the pork to a platter and let rest for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salad: In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Add pears, prosciutto and parsley and toss to mix.
Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the braising liquid.
Slice the pork across the grain and divide among warm individual plates. Drizzle some of the braising liquid over the slices. Mound the pear salad alongside or over the pork and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker (Weldon Owen, 2010)