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Braised Pork Loin with Prunes

The cooler weather is here and their is nothing better than turning the key and walking into the house with the wonderful smell of food bubbling away in the oven. Don’t miss any ingredients on this dish, it’s absolutely gorgeous and will have you dipping bread into the sauce long after your guests/family have left the table.

Makes 8 servings

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic peeled
1 ½  cups pitted prunes
1  3lb  boneless center-cut pork loin roast
5 sprigs fresh thyme
6 fresh sage leaves
4 bay leaves
1/2  cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup Madeira wine
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 Tbs better than bouillon reduced-sodium chicken broth
2  Tbs red-wine vinegar
1 cup Marcona almonds
¼ cup unsalted butter – melted
¼ cup flour

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan until smoking. Season the pork with salt and pepper.

Sear the pork loin until golden and remove to a plate. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and sage to the oil and reduce the heat. Cook for about three-four minutes to soften.

Stir in the Madeira wine, water, bouillon and wine. Add the prunes. Rub the pork loin all over with the mustard and then the brown sugar. Place carefully into the center of the pan on top of the onions and broth mix. Place a lid firmly on top of the pan and place in the oven for 1 hour or until the center of the pork reaches 150 degrees.

Remove the pork from the pan to a plate and keep warm. Place the pan with the juices on the stove on high and bring to a boil. Stir together the melted butter and flour and whisk into the broth mix. Bring back to a boil and adjust the seasoning. Remove from the heat and remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Stir in the vinegar.

Allow the meat to rest about 15 minutes before slicing. Pour the sauce into a large bowl and lay the meat on top. Sprinkle over the almonds before serving.

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