Pork loin is easy to cook and slice, and the cabbage and cherry sauce are simple to prepare; once you have all the ingredients ready, you can have dinner in 1 hour.
Technique Tip: If you can't find fennel powder, you can make your own by grinding fennel seeds in a spice grinder.
- 1 2- to- 2½-pound boneless pork loin, tied to keep the shape
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fennel powder
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 large head green cabbage, cored and shredded
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 2 cups dried cherries
- 1½ cups dry white wine
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1. For the pork, preheat oven to 375°F. Season the pork all over with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon fennel powder. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the olive oil. When the butter is melted, sear the pork all over, about 6 minutes total, then remove to a plate.
2. When the pork is out, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the Dutch oven, and add the garlic. Once the garlic is sizzling, add the onion and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the cabbage, bay leaves, and thyme, and season with the remaining salt and fennel powder. Cook until the cabbage just begins to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine, and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup water. Set the pork on top of the cabbage, and cover the pot. Roast 20 minutes.
3. After 20 minutes, uncover, stir in the 1/2 cup dried cherries, and continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads 145°F, about 25 to 30 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
4. Meanwhile, for the sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups dried cherries, white wine, chicken stock, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer, and cook until cherries are very soft, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, and remove bay leaves. Pour into a blender, and add the vinegar, butter, and salt. Carefully blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan, and reheat over low heat while you finish the pork.
5. Once the pork has rested, remove the strings and thinly slice. Serve the pork on a bed of the cabbage, with the sauce on the side.