Strawberry Pork Loin
Serves 6 – 8
3 to 4 lbs pork loin
4 ounces bacon
1 cup strawberries, sliced;
½ cup balsamic vinegar;
4 garlic cloves, minced;
Salt and freshly ground black pepper;
Split the pork loin length ways by cutting about ¾ of the way through and spread it out so it is flat. (this is called Butterflying) Do not cut all the way through you want to have one large piece of pork. If you wish you can gently tap the open pork loin with a meat mallet or the bottom of a clean pot to make it the same thickness throughout. Wrap the pork in plastic and store in the refrigerator until it is needed. This can be done a day ahead.
Make the sauce:
Dice the bacon and render it in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. When it begins to crisp, remove the bacon to a towel to drain and add the garlic to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until it is browned on all sides and begins to soften. Remove the garlic cloves and mash them with the side of a chef knife and chop. By sautéing or roasting the whole garlic cloves you bring out an almost sweet, nutty character to the garlic.
Add the balsamic vinegar and ½ cup of the sliced strawberries, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Season the sauce to taste and add the remaining strawberries.
Using a brush, coat the inside of the pork loin with some of the sauce. It’s ok if some of the strawberries find their way into the pork as well.
Roll the pork loin so it looks like a log and secure it either with string or wooden toothpicks. I like string best.
Sear the pork loin on the grill or on a griddle until it is golden brown on all sides. Put it in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted to the middle registers between 145 degrees (for medium rare) to 160 degrees (well done). This size of a pork loin will gain about 10 degrees after you remove it from the oven and rests (which is an essential step for any roasted meat.
After the meat has rested, slice it between ½ to ¾ inch thick for service and top it with the sauce.