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Chez Panisse Fruitby Alice Waters
Pork Loin Stuffed with Wild Plums and Rosemary
Once again, we advise you to avoid eating pork unless you can find a local certified organic farmer who takes care of his hogs the right way.
1 1/2pounds wild plums or Santa Rosa plums
The plums can be prepared a day in advance. Split the plums in half and remove the pits. Cut the halves into small wedges. Peel and chop the shallots fine. Strip enough rosemary leaves off the stems to make a scant 1/2 teaspoon, chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the shallots and the rosemary, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, until wilted. Add the brandy and flame. Add the sweet wine, bring to a boil, add the plums, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the water and mash the plums with a potato masher or whisk. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, the grated zest of 1/4 lemon, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook at a simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring often to keep the plum paste from sticking and burning. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. Let cool completely before stuffing the pork loin.
To stuff the loin, take a sharp knife and cut along the rib bones to separate them from meat. Cut almost all the way down, leaving only 1 inch of the loin attached to the bones. Make a lengthwise pocket for the stuffing, cutting halfway into the roast, where the meat has beenexposed from the bones. Liberally season the roast all over with salt and pepper; this will give it a delicious crust. Season the inside of the pocket and stuff it with the plum paste. Press the pocket closed. Slice the second lemon as thin as you can. Arrange the lemon slices and rosemary sprigs between the bones and the meat. Gently push the roast back into its original shape. Using cotton twine, tie up the roast with one tie between each rib. Now the loin is stuffed with the plums in the middle and the lemon and rosemary between the ribs and the meat. It can be roasted now or covered and refrigerated for up to a day.
If the loin has been refrigerated, take it out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before roasting. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Put the loin in a roasting pan, bone side down, and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, until an internal temperature of 130°F. is reached. Start checking the temperature with an instant-read thermometer after an hour, but be sure to insert the thermometer into the meat, avoiding the line of stuffing. When the roast is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes in a warm place. Remove the twine, carve into individual chops, and serve.
Rinse, dry, and hull the strawberries. Purée them with the water and sugar. Taste and adjust the flavor with a few drops of lemon or kirsch if needed. Freeze according to the instructions for your ice cream maker.
Makes about 1 quart.
Chez Panisse Fruit. Copyright © by Alice Waters. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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