Pork Loin Roast Tajine with Preserved Lemons & Rosemary
Using a pork loin roast in a tajine would be utter sacrilege in North Africa. Here in California, I can be creative. This tajine was not spiced as usual; I wanted to preserve the delicacy of the onions, pork and lemons.
I started, as always, with the sauteeing of onions (2 huge white) and garlic (many cloves very fresh) in virgin olive oil (the heavier the better for a tajine.) When the onions/garlic were soft, I removed them from the pan and browned the roast on all sides at high temperature.
The onion mixture went back in around the meat, which I left as an experiment in one whole piece instead of cutting into chunks. Sprigs of fresh rosemary pierce the roast. The lemons, which I preserved myself with salt, clove, bay leaf and cardamon, were scattered around. Rock salt and fresh ground black pepper came last.
To ensure there was plenty of sauce for my gravy-loving husband, I added one cup of white wine (also a big no-no in North Africa) with a dissolved heaping teaspoon of condensed chicken stock.
Put on the tajine lid and cook on low heat for a couple of hours. note: You can feel the top of the tajine lid to make sure it’s hot and all is cooking as it should.
The meat came out especially moist and tender. I think the center might still have been a bit frozen which turned out to be a plus.
Served with wholewheat coucous and a crisp Chardonnay.