Hungarian Inspired Cherry-Balsamic Roasted Pork Loin
You are likely as excited as I am about the joyful appearance of cherries bringing life to our Full Circle boxes and roadside stands. There is nothing like sitting down to a big bowl of cherries for a snack or dessert. Of course we are excited to throw any extra cherries into jams, strudels and pies, but I love using cherries in savory dishes. The tart-sweet flavor intensifies and cooks down to create a gorgeous sauce that, especially with this blend of flavors, lends a perfectly balanced juxtaposition to a tender, juicy slice of roasted pork loin.
I hope you enjoy this simple yet impressive meal!
- 3-4 lb pork loin roast (as big as you need; but I always roast extra to allow for lots of delicious leftovers)
- 2 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
- 1 tbsp high quality oil/fat of your choice
- 1 tsp Hungarian sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tsp Hungarian hot smoked paprika (if you’d like to omit just use 1 tsp extra sweet smoked paprika)
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp onion granules/powder
- ½ tsp garlic granules/powder
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher/sea salt
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and mashed (you can substitute frozen pitted cherries if fresh are not available)
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup high quality organic/homemade low sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large oven-safe skillet or pot with low sides over medium-high heat.
- Poke several holes into your pork roast and push the slivered garlic into them. Combine the oil with the paprika(s), thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Slather this mixture all over your pork roast. Place the roast into the hot skillet/pot and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Season with pepper and sprinkle the onions around the roast. Combine the mashed cherries, honey, Balsamic vinegar and broth. Pour this blend over the pork roast and tuck the bay leaf into the broth.
- Place the roast in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees; the time will depend on the size of your roast and your oven. Remove the roast to a serving plate or carving board and cover with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes to finish cooking to 160 degrees and allow the meat to become tender and juicy.
- Meanwhile, put the sauce over medium-high heat on the stove. Discard the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thickened to a consistency similar to caramel. Set aside until ready to serve.
- Carve slices of the pork roast and spoon the thick Cherry-Balsamic sauce over the top.
- Enjoy and may this dish bring life to your table!
Pro tip: This roast is delicious with a side of roasted brussels sprouts and either mashed potatoes or (my favorite) garlicky mashed cauliflower.
About Kirsten Helle
Chef Kirsten Helle is a personal chef and nutrition consultant to professional athletes and high-profile clients. She set out to create a healthy new family legacy and lost over 100 pounds. Kirsten helps families create healthy legacies of their own while bringing life to the table through inspiring, delicious food. She has been seen on Food Network, FOX, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post and more. Her blog, MesadeVida.com was voted Best Food Blog in the King5 Best of Western Washington polls in 2014. Kirsten spends much of her time devoted to philanthropic efforts and eating, wine tasting, travelling and making the most out of life with her husband and two kids, who are 14 and 9.
The views and opinions of guest authors do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Full Circle.