This pork roast is quintessential Pacific Northwest, comprising three seasonal ingredients: farro, chestnuts, and Brussels sprouts.
Washington, it turns out, is a huge producer of the nation’s farro, an ancient relative of the wheat berry. Meanwhile, chestnuts continue to gain popularity, as they too are suited to our weather. And Brussels sprouts? Another delicious green product of our abundant, year-round Brassica farming.
Prepare the Farro
1 cup emmer farro (or spelt or wheat berries) (180 g.)
1-3/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp. pineapple juice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Soak the farro in tepid water for a minimum of 4 hours or as much as overnight. Bring the stock, pineapple juice, salt and pepper to a boil. Pour in the farro. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to slow simmer, cover, and cook until al dente, about 75 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Prepare the Chestnuts
300 g. chestnuts
Cut two slices in the crown of each chestnut. Put them into a sauce pan with plenty of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat. Let them sit for 20 minutes. Strain and put on a roasting pan into a preheated 400 F oven. Roast for 25-30 minutes, rotating them halfway through so that the centered ones become the exterior and vice versa. Once all of them have split open, remove from oven.
Set a kitchen towel over the pan for ten minutes, allowing them to steam. Peel. The shell and pellicle, or skin, should come off together. Set aside.
Prepare the Sirloin
1 pork sirloin, bone-in (2 kg.; 1.3 kg. trimmed)
Trim the meat from the bone. Tie with butcher’s twine to create an even chunk of meat.
1/2 yellow onion, peeled (100 g.)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled (10 g.)
1 small knob of ginger (20 g.)
1 Tbsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black peppercorns
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1/2 tsp. whole fennel seeds
32 white peppercorns
12 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp. canola oil
In a spice grinder, blend the black peppercorns, thyme, oregano, coriander, fennel seeds, white peppercorns, juniper berries, and bay leaves. Blend until nearly a powder. Reserve and set aside.
In a food processor, blend the yellow onion, garlic, and ginger. Add the spice mix. Blend, and drizzle in the canola oil. It should be a wet but thick rub.
Set the sirloin in a roasting pan, preferably on a rack. The thick layer of fat should be facing up. Cover completely with the pork rub. Let stand 30 minutes.
Roast the Sirloin
2/3 cup white wine
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Pour the wine into the roasting pan, then put the roasting pan with the rubbed pork, covered with foil or a lid, in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil. Strain out the pan juice through a sieve. Return to oven.
Cook, uncovered, until the internal temperature reaches 145 F, about 30 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let it rest.
Prepare the Brussels Sprouts
Prepare these as the sirloin finishes and rests.
600 g. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (425 g. trimmed)
1/2 cup pan juice
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1-1/2 Tbsp. stoneground mustard
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
Have a big pot of water boiling.
Strain 1/2 cup of the pan juice through a sieve while still hot. Quickly mix in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Stir in the mustard, then the canola oil.
Dump the Brussels sprouts into the boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds. Strain and immediately mix them with the sauce until all of them are evenly coated. Roast at 400 F for 20 minutes, stirring once to promote even cooking.
Remaining pan juice (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. brown sugar
Mix the pan juice and brown sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the stock, milk and pomegranate molasses.
Over a medium flame, heat the butter, then the flour, to make a roux. Cook for two minutes, then pour in the sauce while whisking. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring, until thick, about five minutes.
On a plate, arrange a slice of the roast, farro, sliced chestnuts, Brussels sprouts, and the sauce. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds, fresh thyme, and toasted-onion salt, or coarse finishing salt. Serve with dry red wine and bread.
Photos by Lori Paulson