Serves: 2-4 people
Hands-on time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
I made this Pork Loin with Pears recipe last year when I found it on the Williams Sonoma website and it was “quite good” or at least that’s what I wrote in my notes. It just so happens that we received a box of Harry and David pears for Christmas this year and I’m looking for something to make with them, so decided to try this recipe again.
I changed a few things this time around. Since I wanted to create a larger quantity of pork, I bought a 3-lb pork loin roast instead of the 1-lb loin the original recipe called for. Obviously this big roast was going to take much longer than the 1-lb loin, so I sliced it into three pieces and increase some of the other ingredients to compensate. Some of the pork is going to be saved for later in the week so I didn’t need to triple the pears and such, just the seasonings and browning oil.
Anyway, here’s the recipe. I think it makes a great-tasting but easy Sunday night meal.
- 1 pork loin roast, about 2.5 to 3 lbs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 4 pears
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dried thyme (or use 12-15 fresh sprigs if you prefer)
- Peel, trim and cut onion into 6-8 wedges. Put in a bowl.
- Wash and core the pears, and cut them into wedges as well. Add to bowl with onion.
- In a large ovenproof sauté pan (cast iron works great!), warm the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- In the meantime, slice the pork crosswise into 1/2″ slices. Optionally you can pound them with a mallet (between wax paper) and this will tenderize them a bit as well.
- Sprinkle the pork pieces with salt and pepper and dried thyme (if using).
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- When the oil is shimmering (don’t let it smoke), sear the pork slices, turning over after a minute or two. Transfer to a plate. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches, as the pieces of pork should not touch each other.
- Add the onion and pears to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Return the pork to the pan and drizzle with the honey and vinegar. If using fresh thyme sprigs, quickly strip off the leaves add them to the pan. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven and cook until the juices run clear and the pork is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes.
- Serve 1/4 to 1/3 of the sliced pork, pears and onion wedges on each person’s plate and drizzle with the glaze from the pan. Save the rest of the pork pieces for later in the week.
Excellent served with a toothy grain like farro and some steamed broccoli or cauliflower. Mmmm!
Comments? Modifications? Improvements? Tell us below!
Tips and Timesavers
- There’s not a lot you can do to reduce the time on this recipe, as I’ve already reduced it to its essence. Best thing here is to pre-chop your veggies and measure your ingredients, then cook this straight through. Especially if you like to watch TV on your iPad while cooking, like I do (all those little steps makes it hard to multi-task).
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