Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fall Dinner Party: Festive Pork Roast & Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce

Last weekend I threw a Fall Dinner party as a birthday celebration for some friends and family.  On the menu was a roasted pork loin, pasta with roasted butternut squash sauce, and bacon-wrapped green beans.  For the starter I served a fancy cheese platter with brie, gouda, Roquefort, and goat cheese rolled in cranberries & cinnamon.  For dessert I made a beautiful pumpkin roll served with butter pecan ice cream.  It sounds like a lot, but it was a fairly easy menu.  The roast was marinated for 24 hours and then just thrown in the oven to roast…easy.  I made the butternut squash sauce the day before, so all I had to do was re-warm it the night of the party and add some pasta water to thin it out a bit.  I blanched the green beans the day before, pre-cooked the bacon slightly, and wrapped them into bundles, so all I had to do was throw them in the oven for 10 minutes while the roast was resting.  I also made the pumpkin roll the day before, let it set in the fridge overnight, and just added a sprinkle of powdered sugar before serving. 

Festive Pork Roast

3/4 C dry red wine (I used a Paso Robles Pinot Noir)
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C water
2 T grape seed oil (use whatever cooking oil you have)
1 T soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t fresh ginger, grated or minced
1 t curry powder
1/4 t black pepper
4.5-5 lb boneless pork loin roast

In a large sealable plastic bag, placed in a bowl to prevent spillage, add all the ingredients except the pork roast.  Seal the bag and mix everything up by squishing the bag until all the ingredients have combined to make a very fragrant marinade.  Add the pork roast and marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Turn the bag every once in a while so the whole roast gets marinated well. 

After marinating, remove the roast from the bag reserving the marinade, pat dry with paper towels, and allow to set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Place the meat on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan and insert a meat thermometer through the center of the roast.  Roast at 325 degrees for 2 hours 30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 150 degrees. 

During the last 30 minutes of roasting, pour the marinade into a saucepot and bring to a boil and cook about 10 minutes.  During the last 15 minutes of roasting, baste the pork roast with the marinade frequently. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Sauce

3-3.5 lb butternut squash, roasted
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T butter
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 sage leaves, sliced or chopped
1 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 C heavy cream
S&P, to taste

Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepot over medium-high heat.  Add the bell peppers and cook until starting to caramelize.

Add the sage and garlic and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the roasted butternut squash pulp and chicken broth, season with S&P, and mix to combine.  

Add this whole concoction to a blender and puree until smooth.  Return the sauce back to the saucepot and add parmesan cheese and cream, mix well, and taste for seasoning. 

This would be great tossed with hot pasta, but I just served it on the side so that we could add it as a sauce for the pork also and so that the kids could eat plain pasta if they wanted. 

The curry in the marinade of the pork goes so well with the butternut squash…yum!  

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