Pork Loin In Date Sauce

February 27, 2017
1 Ratings
Photo by aargersi
  • Serves 4 - 6
Author Notes

This is one of those recipes born of tossing around ideas - I told my husband the theme, I was thinking lamb, he'd rather pork. He suggested cognac or wine, I went with wine. I love red wine and orange combined, he suggested some chilis, then it needed the balance of some bitterness from coffee. From there it was just a matter of test and taste. I considered naming this Date Night Pork but that sounds a bit like porn, am I right? —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • Brine The Pork - DO THIS IN THE MORNING!
  • 3 pounds Pork loin
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Ice
  • Braised Pork
  • 8 Medjool dates
  • 4 Pasilla chilis (you can sub ancho or guajillo if you can't find pasilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups Dry red wine (separated)
  • 1 Small orange
  • 1/2 cup Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  1. Brine The Pork - DO THIS IN THE MORNING!
  2. Cut the pork into bite size chunks. Bring the water, salt and sugar just to a simmer to dissolve. Turn off the heat and add the ice.
  3. Put the pork in a gallon ziplock bag. Pour the cooled brine in. Press out any extra air so all of the pork is fully submerged. Put the bag in a bowl in case of leaks and put the whole set-up into the fridge for the day. Save the rest of your coffee, you will need it tonight.
  1. Braised Pork
  2. Make the date sauce: Remove the stems and seeds from the chilis, peel and slice the garlic, pit the dates. Heat 1 tbs oil in a heavy large pan. Add in the garlic and chilis and cook a few minutes until they soften a bit. Add the paprika and cayenne and cook for just another minute. Add 1 c. wine, the coffee, zest and juice from the orange, salt, and the dates. Let this all simmer until the dates ad chilis are very soft. Cool the mixture slightly then put it into the blender and blend to a smooth paste. If it's too thick you can add a splash of water.
  3. Take the pork out, drain the brine, and pat the pork dry. Clean out your pan and add the remaining oil, heat to high. Working in batches (yes, I know, I hate that, but it's worth the trouble) brown the pork. If some of the pieces have a little fat cap focus on getting that browned and rendered because you know what's better than crispy fat? NOTHING, that's what. Once all of the pork is browned, deglaze the pan with the remaining 1/2 cup of wine, then add the pork and juices back in. Add your date sauce, stir everything together, and simmer away. After a few minutees taste for salt (though the pork is brined so it likely won't need any). Let the stew simmer for 30 minutes or so, and it's ready! We served ours over Israeli couscous but rice or noodles or potatoes would be good too. Serve forth!
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Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

4 Reviews

Tru April 6, 2019
The sauce was AWFUL. There was not enough sweetness from the dates and orange to balance out the smokiness of the paprika and bitterness from the peppers and coffee. It was just a nasty mess. DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE, EVER.
aargersi April 6, 2019
Wow. Harsh. May I suggest tasting as you go along so that you can adjust to your preferences? We found the balance to our liking but our household tends toward a more savory palate, perhaps you need more sweetness.
aargersi April 6, 2019
Wow. Harsh. May I suggest tasting as you go so that you might adjust according to your tastes? My palate does not lean towards sweet so this sauce was to my liking, but each person is different ... had you been tasting you might have added more orange or date during preparation.
drbabs February 28, 2017
Date night pork! I can't stop laughing!