St. Patrick's Day is Saturday.
In my quest to arrive at a recipe that would be appropriate the "Irish Loin of Pork with Lemon and Herbs" immediately came into mind.
Having already featured recipes in the past for the traditionally popular Irish Stew which is suitable for a casual dining setting, the succulent pork entrée is perfect for a little more formal dining experience with accenting table landscape.
I first prepared this recipe when I was searching for an Irish menu to highlight a gourmet dining experience with friends. The recipe may sound a little intimidating at first, but it is so easy to prepare and so mouthwatering wonderful.
The end result is like enjoying a serving of prime rib, especially when served with the au jus that is enhanced by the addition of sherry to the remaining pan juices at the conclusion of the roasting stage.
I like to complement the pork loin with a nice tossed garden salad, garlic or plain mashed potatoes, and a light desert. If you are looking for a heavier vegetable to serve on the side, creamed peas are also a welcome and wonderful pairing.
Just in case you'd like to serve the entrée with bread I've also included a yummy Irish Soda Bread recipe.
Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!
Irish Loin of Pork with Lemon and Herbs
6 lbs. boneless pork loin
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup onions, minced
1/4 cup rind of lemon, finely grated
1 Tbsp. basil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup dry sherry
Pat pork dry and score well with a sharp knife. Combine parsley, onion, lemon peel, basil, and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk in 2/3 of oil and rub into pork. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight. Let pork stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush pork with remaining olive oil. Set on rack in shallow pan. Roast until meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of meat registers 170 degrees F, about 2 1/2 hours. Set meat aside.
Degrease pan juices. Blend sherry into pan juices. Cover and cook over low heat 2 minutes. Pour into sauceboat. Transfer pork to platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and lemon slices. Serve sauce separately.
Irresistible Irish Soda Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours or overnight for best flavor.