Just a quick post, I really should wait until the fall to post it, but I didn't want to forget. I haven't blogged frequently in the past several months, and I have a stockpile of pictures on my iPhone. They are not always the best quality pictures, but I didn't want this recipe to go to waste. This one was a quick fantastic crock pot recipe. I served it up with some mushroom spaetzle. The inspiration came from a Bon Appetit magazine one of my dear friends gave me and I had a small bottle of juniper berries that I had been itching to use. I would re-do this recipe around Christmas time. The juniper berries taste like Christmas. This makes me think of one of my best friends. I once asked her why gin and tonic was her favorite drink, her answer was that it tastes like Christmas Trees! : ) (Gin's most dominant flavor is juniper berries in case you aren't a partaker.)
Cherry and Juniper Berry Pork Loin
1 unflavored pork loin
2 cups Pinot Noir (or Beaujolais, no sweet reds, you get enough sweet with the cherries)
1 small bottle of your favorite cherry preserves (not jelly, you want fruit bits, European ones are better because they tend to be made with sugar and lemon instead of corn syrup)
2 Vidalia or sweet onions sliced in rings
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp whole juniper berries
tbsp olive oil
In your crock pot, first put down the tablespoon of olive oil and roll it around to cover the bottom. Add the sliced onions and spread out in an even layer. Place your pork loin on top. In a small bowl, combine all your other ingredients and pour on top. It will be lumpy because the preserves won't want to completely dissolve in the wine yet. Pour the mixture over the top of your pork loin and set your crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours. We ended up pulling our apart like BBQ but you may want to slice and serve. A small sprig of rosemary would also complement this pork loin if you have fresh growing. Just throw the sprig in whole and fish it bag out at the end.
Warning: The juniper berries impart great flavor but are not fun to bite into, we remove ours, but many people like to just crush them and pulverize them before use so you don't have to fish them out. You could also tie them in a cheese cloth bag to retrieve.
I served mine with mushroom spaetzle this time, but next time I will be making rosemary black pepper polenta to go with it. Roasted carrots and parsnips would also go well with this one.
Oh yes, please admire my wood paneled kitchen and 60's snowflake and chrome countertops! I know you are so jealous of them! In high school I got the highest average in the house design class, I already have two alternate plans drawn up for the kitchen including all the wiring and plumbing placements. :) In 5 years, I think I may have my dream kitchen. I see white subway tile backsplashes, white beadboard, antique fixtures, a black and white tile floor and stainless steel in my future. First I am going to apply to every HGTV and Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen Contest I can first. If you find any contests, please send them my way.