Gourmet dinners go full on fall, thanks to balsamic vinegar, basil, and lots of spice. Berries add some sweetness and color, and ciabatta holds the meal together.
1 - 2 1/2 pound boneless pork top loin roast (single loin)
1 - teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 - teaspoon salt
1/2 - teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 - teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 - teaspoon ground black pepper
1 - 10 ounce jar seedless raspberry preserves
1 - cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 - cup finely chopped shallots (2 medium)
2 - tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 - teaspoon salt
1 - clove garlic, minced
1 - tablespoon olive oil
2 - tablespoons cornstarch
2 - tablespoons cold water
1/2 - cup snipped fresh basil
6 - ciabatta buns, split and toasted
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker. For rub, in a small bowl combine oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, dried basil, and pepper. Sprinkle rub evenly over meat; rub in with your fingers.
In a medium bowl stir together preserves, blueberries, shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and garlic; set aside.
In a large skillet cook meat in hot oil over medium-high heat until brown on all sides. Drain off fat. Place meat in cooker. Pour berry mixture over meat.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 4 1/2 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2 1/4 hours. Remove meat from cooker, reserving cooking liquid. Cover meat loosely with foil and let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan combine cornstarch and the water; stir in cooking liquid. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in snipped fresh basil.
Cut meat into thin slices or, using two forks, pull meat apart into shreds. Place meat on bottoms of buns. Spoon sauce over meat; replace tops of buns. If desired, garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Nutrition Facts (Braised Pork Sandwiches with Berry-Basil Sauce)
Per serving: 732 kcal cal., 21 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 g monounsatured fat), 121 mg chol., 875 mg sodium, 83 g carb., 3 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 49 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet