Fall pork loin with prunes and apples, a lovely holiday main that checks all the boxes: flavor, tenderness, texture, and comfort. American Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Want to change things up a bit? Try this Italian dish! Why wait for a holiday, do it today!
Seasonal, comforting, festive
I can truly tell you that Italian cuisine and what ingredients to use, revolves always around the seasons, and what is being produced in that time. When we came upon this recipe I was immediately brought into the season of Fall. Furthermore, it brought back so many memories of my parents and their amazing plums. They had two plum trees in their backyard that would produce the most abundant, sweetest, juiciest plums. I don't think it was only the tree, but how passionate my parents were about growing.
Today I am so delighted to share with you this lovely Fall pork loin with prunes and apples. Recipe, memories, and all. Let's get right into it! Get ready, it is mouthwatering!
Ingredients for Fall pork loin with prunes and apples
This is what you need to complete this recipe:
- Pork loin
- Fresh prunes/plums (or dry pitted prunes)
- Marsala wine
- Vegetable broth
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Dollop of butter
From the kitchen:
- Dutch oven
- Sauce pot
- Small sauté pan
- Some ramekins, bowls, and a glass
- Spoon for basting
- Wooden spoon
- Butcher's twine
Tie up the pork loin
We don't want that tender pork loin to just fall apart in the Dutch oven so what we want to do is tie it up. I start with three strings along the width of it making sure the twine is taught. Then I run two strings along the length of it running under the width ones. This is going to keep the loin all in place, and make it so juicy. All we need now is to season it all over with salt and pepper.
It is time to cook up this Fall pork loin with prunes and apples!
I truly can say this recipe is so easy and quick, and the fact that it is done in a Dutch oven makes it almost effortless. Just a little love with some basting and that's all! Come, let me show you how to do it:
- First, drizzle olive oil into the Dutch oven. Turn heat to medium high and when it is nice and hot place the tied up loin inside. Sear it on all sides using tongs to hold it while you do the sides.
- Once it is all nice and browned all over we add the shallots and sauté until shallots soften. Next, we pour in the Marsala wine and let that simmer for a while. This is where you take your wooden spoon and loosen all those caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan.
This is where it gets really good!
You better get ready because the aroma you are about to experience is just mouthwatering and blissful! These are the next steps:
- Once the alcohol has been cooked out of the Marsala, it is time to add in the flavor bombs. Cut 6 of the prunes in half and peel the skin off. Place them in the pot with the pork loin. Add in the raisins, and apples which we have cored, peeled and chopped.
- Lastly we pour in the vegetable broth making sure the broth comes up half the height of the meat. Then place some thyme sprigs into the mix. Let simmer on medium heat for 34-40 minutes. Check on it from time to time and baste it with the juices at the bottom.
- To really get the best out of the pork loin you know it is done by inserting a temp probe right into the middle. It should read 145 degrees F.
While the loin is simmering
Just a few more steps before we are done. This is what we have left to do:
- Firstly, for garnishing a need for some lovely caramelized prunes. Cut prunes into quarters, and of course discard the pit. Heat up some olive oil in a sauté pan, and place the prunes in. Sauté until soften, take off heat and set aside.
- Next, we take the pork loin out of the pot and place it on a cutting board to rest.
- Time to make the sauce. Place a nice dollop of butter into a sauce pot, turn heat to a medium setting and let the butter melt. Sprinkle in flour and whisk. It will become a thick paste, the roux. With a spoon scoop as many of the raisins into the pot with the roux, then place a sieve over the pot and pour all the juices that were left in the Dutch oven. Press the prunes, and apples, squeezing any of the excess juice out. Thrown out whatever is left in the sieve. Let that simmer stirring frequently with a whisk. Bring it to a bowl and when it starts to thicken, turn off heat and set aside.
Time to plate this Fall pork loin with prunes and apples
Get a pair of scissors and cut the butcher's twine. Take the twine all off the pork loin and discard. With a sharp carving knife cut nice round slices and place on a beautiful serving platter. Pour sauce into a gravy bowl, and lastly place the sautéed prunes on top of the slices of pork loin. Your dish is ready to serve!
I am salivating. The aroma of this pork and those sweet scents of cooked prunes and apples has me so hungry right now. I love that hint of thyme and pepper just perfect.
Let's have a taste!
OMG! That pork is just so juicy. I love that feeling when you bite into a forkful and your mouth explodes with the juices of the meat and it just falls apart in my mouth. The raisins, prunes, and apples offer such a nice sweetness to the pork and the thyme some backdrop of herb. Most of all, that sauce just puts the icing on the cake. It is profound in flavor ranging from pepper to sweetness and the richness of the renderings just playing on the tongue.
It has been a tough few years. We so deserve time together with friends and family to celebrate the things we are thankful for. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas. So many cherished memories and there is not one celebration that does not bring back thoughts of delicious food.
This Fall pork loin with prunes and apples has definitely won my heart, I hope it wins your heart over too!
- 2 tablespoons evo oil
- 600 g pork loin
- 1 shallot or onion
- ½ cup Marsala
- 3 tablespoons raisins
- 10 prunes, divided
- 2 apples, peeled and quartered
- salt and pepper
- a few fresh thyme leaves
- Dollop of butter
- 11/2 Tbsp. flour
- With a butcher twine, tie the pork loin like a roast. I tied three strings on the width and two along the length. Season the pork loin with salt and pepper all over.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of evo oil in a Dutch oven, place the meat in and brown it well on all sides. Use tongs to hold it onto its sides so you get it browned all over.
- Then, add the chopped shallots, sauté for a minute or so, stirring with a wooden spoon, then blend with Marsala and, once the alcohol has evaporated, add the raisins, 6 prunes cut in half and peeled, discard the pit. Finally throw in the chopped apples.
- Pour vegetable broth up to cover half of the meat. Add in the sprigs of thyme. Use the wooden spoon to loosen any caramelized bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. Cook over medium heat with a lid for 35-40 minutes. Check on it from time to time and baste it with the juices at the bottom. For best results inset a probe thermometer right into the center of the meat. It should read 145 degrees F.
- In the meantime, cut the remaining prunes into wedges and cook them for 2-3 minutes in a pan with a drizzle of oil.
- Once the meat is cooked, transfer the pork loin to a cutting board and let it rest.
- Make an apple and plum sauce with the pan juices: In a small sauce pot melt a nice dollop of butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until it becomes a paste. Scoop out as many of the raisins as you can and place them in the pot with the roux.
- Place a sieve onto the pot and pour all the juices from the Dutch oven into the sieve. Press on the prunes and apples to release any excess juice. Discard solids from sieve.
- Whisk away until sauce boils and thickens, turn off heat and set aside.
- Then, cut the loin into round slices, top with the pan-fried plums as a garnish and serve it with the sauce.
For a leaner cut of meat you can use pork tenderloin.
If you cannot find fresh prunes/plums, you can use dry pitted prunes.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Main, Meat
- Method: Baking/Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: festive main, pork loin, prunes, plumbs, thyme, marsala wine, Italian cuisine, shallots, vegetable stock,
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.