PORK ROTI AUX PRUNEAUS ET ESCHALLOTES
(Roast pork stuffed with prunes and shallots)
1 2-1/2-to-3-pound pork loin roast (for 6 to 8 people) 24 large soft pitted prunes 1-1/2 cups strong mint tea, hot 2 carrots 1 celery stalk 1 small onion 2-3 shallots Salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar 1 tablespoon butter Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Chop four prunes in small pieces. Soak prune pieces and remaining whole prunes in mint tea for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop carrots, celery, and onion, and mince shallots. Remove whole prunes from liquid, and reserve liquid and prune pieces for sauce. Slit pork roast horizontally and stuff generously with whole prunes and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap and tie roast with string. In roasting pan on top of stove, saute chopped vegetables with olive oil, stirring until golden brown and well caramelized. Remove and set aside. Deglaze (heat liquid along with cooking juices and sediment left in the pan) with vinegar, and set aside liquid for basting. Place meat in pan with vegetables. Cook 45 minutes per pound, basting often. Remove roast from oven, place on platter, and cover. To make sauce: Drain fat and place pan on top of stove. Add remaining vinegar glaze, and deglaze with reserved mint tea and prune pieces. Stir crusty bits from bottom, and boil gently to reduce liquid to 1/2 cup. Whisk in butter and reserved vegetables. Serve sauce with carved roast. Accompany with small potatoes and seasoned vegetables. Preparation time: about 1 hour and 15 minutes.