The combination of pork and prunes is often found in casseroles and stews from the Loire Valley, perhaps with one of the local wines. For the best flavour, soak the prunes overnight.
PREP TIME: 30 min
COOK TIME: 20 min
READY TIME: 50 min
CALORIES: 536 (per serving)
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- 18-24 prunes, stoned
- 750 ml/11/4 pints/3 cups fruity white wine, preferably Vouvray
- 1.8 kg/4 lb center cut pork loin (about 8 ribs), chined and skin removed
- 30 ml/2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large leek, sliced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stick, sliced
- 30 mt/2 tbsp brandy (optional)
- 250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup chicken stock
- 1 bouquet garni
- 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp cornflour, blended with 45 ml/3 tbsp cold water
- 60 ml/4 tbsp double cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Watercress, to garnish
- New potatoes, to serve
1 Put the prunes in a bowl, pour over the wine, then cover and leave to soak for several hours or overnight.
2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/Gas 6. Wipe the meat with damp kitchen paper, then dry the fat thoroughly. Score the surface of the fat with a sharp knife.
3 In a flameproof casserole or large heavy roasting tin, heat the oil over a high heat until hot. Add the onion, leek, carrot and celery and cook for 3-5 minutes until browned, stirring frequently. Add the brandy, if using, stock and bouquet garni and stir well.
4 Put the pork on top of the vegetables and place in the oven. Roast for about 11/2 hours until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a skewer, or a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 66°C/150°F. (If the liquid in the casserole or roasting tin evaporates, add a little of the prune soaking liquid or water to prevent the vegetables from burning.) Transfer the meat to a warmed serving platter, cover loosely with foil and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
5 Using a slotted spoon, transfer the prunes to a medium saucepan. Skim off as much fat as possible from the casserole or roasting tin and place over a high heat. Add the prune liquid to the casserole or roasting tin and bring to the boil, stirring constantly and scraping the base. Boil for 3-4 minutes.
6 Stir the blended cornflour into the casserole or tin and cook, stirring frequently for 2—3 minutes until the sauce thickens, then strain the contents of the pan into the saucepan with the prunes, pressing the vegetables to extract all the juice. Return the saucepan to a medium heat, stir in the cream and simmer for 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until ready to serve.
7 Spoon the prunes on to the serving plate with a little of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce into a gravy boat or serving jug. Garnish with watercress before serving with new potatoes.
Calories: 536 Kcal
Fat: 17 g
Cholesterol: 7 mg
Sodium: 945 mg
Carbs: 79 g
Protein: 5 g
It is important that the pork isn’t overcooked — so for accurate timing, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into a fleshy part of the meat away from bones before roasting, or if using an instant-read thermometer, insert towards the end of cooking, following the manufacturer’s instructions.