In the midst of rounding up some of my favorite peach recipes that should be made at least once before the end of the summer, I realized something was missing. The role of peaches in more savory dishes gets little press. The sweet tang of peaches is perfect to pair with meats, side dishes and plays especially well to pique the palate when in used in the context of grilling.
As soon as I finished writing my peach post I headed to the grocery store to begin creating a simple, highly flavored dish that would celebrate the end of peach season and be perfect for those nights where time to prepare dinner is short (but never wanting to compromise on flavor). One of my favorite cuts of meat is a Boneless Pork Loin Roast. When cooked it has a fantastic ‘mouth feel’ or texture. It is not an inexpensive cut of meat but I find it a bit easier to keep moist than a tenderloin (another fave). It has a subtle taste on its own making it a perfect platform on which to build flavors. Depending on how it’s sliced, you can get a lot of mileage from one roast. When I served this recipe initially I served a few thicker slices for dinner, then sliced it about 1/4 inch thick for leftovers and sandwiches (bathed in the peach sauce!). Boneless Pork Loin can also be found cut as chops in the meat department of your favorite market.
If you haven’t tried brining for meat, I highly suggest it. My husband experiments with different turkey recipes every Thanksgiving but always brines the turkey first, leaving the most moist, luscious meat you have ever tasted. I’m sure you’ve had chicken or pork that is dry. Brining helps seal the meat so that when it cooks it retains more moisture. It’s simple like a marinade and worth the wait time for the result. In this case I created the brine one day and let the roast soak overnight to cook it the next day for dinner. It leaves minimal work in each session so your time spent is not much but the end result well-worth every minute. The peppery, saltiness of the succulent roast is fantastically paired with a simple fresh peach sauce. The sauce is sweetened with Moscato wine, historically a dessert wine, which is gaining mainstream popularity with those preferring a sweeter sipping wine at any time. The alcohol boils off in the making of the sauce leaving behind sweet, fruity notes to heighten the seasonal flavors of the sauce.
A peppery, slightly spice brine leaves this boneless pork loin roast moist, succulent and perfectly seasoned to compliment a simple fresh peach sauce sweetened with Moscato (dessert) wine. For those concerned about using alcohol, it evaporates during the preparation leaving behind sweet, fruity flavors but no intoxicating effects!
- 2 to 2 1/2 Boneless Pork Loin Roast (if larger increase the cooking time until the temperatures are met)
- 1 cup plus 4 cups Water
- ¼ cup crushed Peppercorns (black and white, or black, white and red in equal amounts)
- 1 ½ tablespoon Chili Pepper Flakes
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
- 6 tablespoons granulated Sugar
- 3 tablespoons Kosher Salt
- ½ cup Moscato wine
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 large Peaches, fully ripe yet firm; pitted, peeled and roughly sliced (they will be pureed later)
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- OPTIONAL: 1-2 teaspoons sugar or honey*
- In a small-medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water with the crushed peppercorns, chili pepper flakes and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to combine. Once it reaches a simmer, turn off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
- In large mixing bowl, combine the remaining 4 cups water, sugar and salt; stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Pour the spice mixture into the mixing bowl; stir to combine. Place the pork roast in a container large enough to hold both the roast and brine, OR pour the brine into a 1 gallon plastic zipper bag and place the roast in the bag too (I typically place the zipper bag in an empty large mixing bowl to stabilize the process then once combines and sealed remove it from the bowl); cover the container or seal the bag removing as much of the air as possible from the bag before sealing. Suggestion: if using a zipper bag, I place the sealed bag in a second 1 gallon zipper bag to avoid any accidental leaking while in the refrigerator.
- Place in the refrigerator overnight or preferably for 24 hours.
- When ready to cook the roast: Remove the roast from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove the roast from the brine (and discard the brine) and allow liquid to drain from the roast. Any clinging peppercorns can either be left for a more peppery bite or removed before roasting. Place the roast on a rack in a baking pan. Place in the oven and cook at 450 for 15 minutes.
- Lower the temperature to 300 degrees and cook the roast until the internal thermometer inserted into the middle of the roast registers 145 degree (40-50 minutes). Check the temperature at 40 minutes and then every 5 minutes so the roast does not overcook.
- Remove the roast and tent the pan with tin foil (shiny side in) for an additional 15 minutes which allows the temperature to rise an additional 10 degrees still allowing the roast to stay moist and succulent.
- To Make the Peach-Moscato Sauce: In a small bowl combine the wine and cornstarch; whisk to dissolve the cornstarch.
- In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Over low heat bring the mixture to a low simmer. Allow to simmer 2-3 minutes.
- Using an immersion/stick blender puree the sauce (alternatively the mixture can be poured into a conventional blender to be purees and returned to the saucepan). Continue to cook the sauce on very low heat, stirring frequently as it begins to thicken; about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to sit and thicken for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice the pork and serve with the sauce!
*The sweetness of all peaches is not equal. Using fully ripe peaches in season should provide enough sweetness along with the Moscato wine. If however upon tasting the sauce while making it you'd like more sweetness, you may add honey or sugar to sweeten it. The sauce it not intended to be overly sweet making it perfect for a savory dish.