We were supposed to get hit with a huge storm that was going to “take over the Northeast” at the beginning of this week, so I planned this hearty meal in case we got snowed in. Apparently when they said 16 inches of snow and major power outages, they really meant a light rain for a few hours lol. Needless to say, we didn’t get hit with a storm, but this dinner was still really great and comforting in the cold weather. Pork loin roasted in a dutch oven with pearl onions and apricot paired with deliciously roasted brussels sprouts drizzled in a maple syrup and balsamic vinegar reduction… let’s just say there weren’t any leftovers by the time we went to bed last night! This recipe can easily be multiplied to serve more people and is pretty simple so it would be great to serve to company.
Start with a 1.5 lb lean boneless pork loin and pull it out of the refrigerator about 10 minutes before cooking. Tie it off at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine to help it keep its shape during roasting. Pat your pork loin dry with a paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper. Rub 1 tsp ground coriander all over the loin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove, heat 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. While the meat is coming to room temperature and the oil is heating up, peel 10 oz of pearl onions. I find the easiest way to do this is to soak them in water for a few minutes, cut off the tops and bottoms and then the skin comes off quite easily. Sear the meat in the dutch oven on all 4 sides until golden brown, about 5 minutes total. Remove from the dutch oven.
Reduce the heat in the dutch oven to medium and add the pearl onions. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes and then deglaze the dutch oven with 1/3 cup dry white wine. Add in 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth, 2 slices of orange zest, 1 tsp fennel seeds and 2 oz coarsely chopped dried apricots. Stir, bring to a boil and then add back in the pork loin. Cover the dutch oven, and finish cooking the pork in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meat reads 140 degrees (about 25-30 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare your brussels sprouts. Toss 1 lb brussels sprouts with 1 tsp olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. My brussels sprouts were huge so I quartered them, but you can cut them in half or leave them whole depending on their size. Place on a baking sheet. When there’s about 10 minutes left on the pork, throw the brussels sprouts into the oven. Once you take the pork out, bump up the oven temp to 425 and leave the brussels sprouts in to finish for about 10 minutes more. Once you’ve removed the pork from the oven, take the loin out of the dutch oven and tent it with foil, allowing it to rest. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over medium high heat to reduce it down into a sauce. While that’s reducing, make the maple-balsamic drizzle. Combine 1 tbsp maple syrup with 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Over medium-high heat, boil until it reduces down into a thick syrup. Remove the twine from the pork and cut it into thin slices then top with the reduced cooking liquid.
Once the brussels sprouts are finished roasting, transfer them to the plate and drizzle with the reduced maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.