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Pork loin roast with citrus fruit and the chest freezer

Roasted pork loin with citrus fruit

Pork loin is one of my all-time favorite roasts.
And this citrus pork loin roast is so good if you’re looking for a recipe that’s easy to make and works well.

When I was a child, I was not an eater but a curious taster.
And this, at least at home, was considered an oddity in a child.
In my only one year of kindergarten before primary school, I ate even salad without constraint.

At home, it was the same thing. Or almost the same.

Roast pork loin with citrus fruit recipe

The things I did not eat

Once, I didn’t like first courses that tasted of Parmigiano, passatelli, and Zuppa Imperiale were my enemies. The encounter with roast beef was traumatic.

I didn’t eat desserts with liqueur, even if a drop. And I had a terrible aversion to tiramisu. But only steak and Swiss steak had the power to turn a meek child into a resilient one.

I forced my family into some hot, cold war moments.
Unfortunately, I lost all the battles because, at home, no one got up from the table until there was something on the plate.

Even my passion for the roasts seemed a strange thing.
I loved not just roast chicken, but all the roasts and, above all, the pork loin. A dish that I ate then and now, both hot and cold, and that, for me, goes well with any side dish or sauce.

It’s a very satisfying roast because it always comes out perfect.

Pork loin roast with citrus fruit

My recipe for pork loin with fresh citrus fruit juice

This roast cooks in the pan in about an hour, then you have to strain and reduce (if you want) the sauce to serve with the roast slices.

If you are looking for a recipe for a second course that is easy and simple to make and, like me, you love citrus fruit, save this recipe for just the right occasion.

In a pan, melt a knob of butter in a little olive oil and season with some spices, dried thyme, juniper berries and peppercorns
(I used white, but you can also use black). I add a couple of finely chopped shallots and seal the meat on all sides before starting the actual cooking by covering the pork loin with the juice of the citrus fruits.

At the end of cooking, I remove the roast from the pan and reduce the sauce. When it’s almost ready, if you like, add cornstarch dissolved in a coffee cup full of hot water to get the sauce consistency you prefer.

Before cutting the roast into thin slices, I wait until it is cold.
I remove the kitchen string and proceed.
If you are not an expert, ask the butcher to tie the roast for you.

Roast pork loin recipe

A walk among my memories

Talking about roasts reminds me of the arrival of an appliance that the neighbors came to see in the home cellar, where it found its place. It was in the middle of Seventies.

Thinking about the chest freezer probably doesn’t evoke any memories or emotions for you, and until recently, neither did I. It’s for the blog things if I think every day of ingredients, recipes, cooking, and how to preserve food. And all this thinking often becomes a walk down memories.

That’s how I remembered the story of the first refrigerator my grandmother saw in the Sixties.

First, she remembered the disappointment because once removed the packaging, no “cold” there was inside the fridge. And then the surprise, when plugged into the electrical socket, it began to cool.

You have to think that the refrigerator is a milestone in the history of food storage that has forever changed the way we shop, store and even eat.

Try to think of it through the eyes of my grandmother. She was born and raised in the country before moving to the city. Also, it was a small town. When she recalled that moment, in her voice, there was still admiration, astonishment, and maybe even a little love for that refrigerator that was not even hers but of the family where she worked.

Short history of the refrigerator

The first refrigerating machine was designed in 1748. And after many experiments, such as the steam refrigerator of 1805, we had to wait until 1876 when French engineer Charles Tellier invented the working machine to preserve perishable food.

In the United States, the refrigerator entered the homes of the middle class as early as the 1930s, an incredible decade if you think about it, given that the Great Depression and a terrible economic crisis were underway.

In Italy, its spread began in the 1950s.
But it was with the economic boom of the Sixties, and falling prices, that the refrigerator entered Italian homes.

1971 also saw the arrival of the fridge freezer, the one with the minus-zero compartment that preceded the chest fridge.

Thinking back to my grandmother’s story of that first fridge, I thought about what inventions, destined to change people’s lives so radically I witnessed first-hand. Something that, caught up in everyday life, I don’t usually consider.

I witnessed the spread of the first computers and the digital evolution, or revolution.

And the chest freezer

An item that may seem insignificant, but the next time you walk into a supermarket, pay attention to how much space frozen food has taken up. Not to mention supermarkets focused on the cold chain.

In the second half of the 1970s, a chest freezer arrived at home, which nonna immediately appreciated. For her, born in 1922, food was stored in jars, underground, in the cellar.

The sump fridge meant that she could stockpile food, and hoarding was an obsession for the generation that lived through the hardships of the Second World War.

Fresh pasta, baked pasta, meat sauce, ragù, frozen roast cuts, cooked roasts with sauce aside, fruit and vegetables in season, piadina, bread. Grandma cooked according to the seasons and prepared many trays that would be eaten and enjoyed at another time.

The big freezing box had also impressed me, who was used to the fridge at home. When my grandmother would ask me to fetch something from the refrigerator, I was happy to oblige and always remembered the same recommendation: take what you need and close the door quickly.

Indeed, the temperature inside was like the North Pole, and it could have stayed open all night without anything thawing.

When I opened the door and looked out over “the kingdom of Bengodi” (an Italian expression for a place rich of food), I held my breath in wonder. And what about in summer, that sudden cold?

Which reminds me of Grandma’s anecdote about the throne

It’s a late summer afternoon, just back from holiday.

I’m looking for Grandma in the house and the garden, but I can’t find her. Screaming her name, with my sister behind me echoing, I go to the cellar.
At the bottom of the stairs, only darkness and silence.

And there, in the half-light of the cellar, is Grandma.
Placidly sitting on a throne, or so it seemed to us, the garden chair on which she had put all the cushions she could find.

She’s sitting next to the chest fridge with the door open as she takes in the cooler.

After an initial astonishment, we laughed at the unreal scene and Grandma at our faces.

We can witness history in many different ways.

Buona cucina, Monica

Reading tip

If you are looking for a different perspective, I recommend Bill Bryson, At Home. A Short History of Private Life.

Cook with me

I wrote HERE about my first disastrous encounter with roast beef.

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Pork loin roast with citrus fruit sauce

Pork loin roast with citrus fruit

serves 4
List of the Ingredients

pork loin, 800 g
shallots, 10
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
juice of 2 oranges
juice of 5 clementines
meat or vegetable stock (or water), 100 ml
marsala or white wine, 50 ml
juniper berries, 5
white peppercorns, 10
dried thyme, 1 tablespoon
50 g butter
olive oil, salt to taste

Note: I used about 450 ml of orange and mandarin juice


If you aren’t an expert in tying roasts when you buy meat, ask your butcher to do it for you but not to season the roast.

Massage meat with salt, then tie the roast so that it doesn’t lose its shape (if the piece is already bound, no problem, proceed with salting) and set aside.

Clean and finely chop the shallots and set them aside.

Squeeze the citrus fruits, except the lemon, and set the juice aside.

Prepare the spices and set them aside.

In a pot, over low heat, melt a knob of butter with little olive oil. Then add juniper berries, peppercorns, and thyme.

Then pour the shallots into the pan and cook gently for a few minutes, stirring.

Place the meat in the pan and seal, cooking each side for two minutes over medium-low heat.

Grate the rind of the washed lemon over the meat, turn up the heat, pour in the orange and mandarin juice, squeeze the lemon as well, and deglaze with Marsala or wine (or water or stock).

Add a pinch of salt, put the lid on, and cook for one hour on medium-low heat.

Turn off the heat, leave to rest for a few minutes with the pan open, and remove the pork from the cooking liquid.

Allow the meat to cool completely before removing the string.

In the meantime, strain the sauce and return it to the heat, with the pan open and the heat low, until it has the consistency you like.

If it is too runny, dissolve one or two teaspoons of cornstarch in an Italian coffee cup full of hot water and pour it into the sauce to give it more structure. In this case, put the sauce back on the cooker for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove the string and cut the pork into thin slices.

Heat the meat in the oven, covering the pan with aluminum foil, then transfer to a serving dish and cover with the citrus sauce.

Or serve the pork loin roast at room temperature and warm up the sauce.

Pork loin roast with citrus fruit sauce

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