Tested and Perfected by Food and Wine
Roast Pork Loin with Saba
© Simon Watson

Roast Pork Loin with Saba

  • ACTIVE: 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 30 MIN plus overnight marinating
  • SERVINGS: 4

Efisio Farris's sister Angela uses her own homemade saba (reduced grape must) to add tangy-sweet richness to a glaze for pork tenderloin. "The saba and Mediterranean herbs combine to give a deep traditional flavor to this 'modern' cut of pork," Farris says.

  1. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 8 thyme sprigs
  3. 4 rosemary sprigs
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons saba or vincotto (see Note)
  7. One 2-pound pork loin
  8. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  9. 1 cup dry red wine
  10. 1 cup vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
  11. 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the thyme, rosemary, garlic, bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of the saba. Add the pork and turn to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning a few times.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove the pork from the marinade; reserve the marinade. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the red wine to the skillet and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the vegetable stock and the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Add the pork, fat side up, and roast in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the loin registers 140°.
  4. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and let rest for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid from the skillet into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Add 1/4 cup of the saba and stir in the cornstarch slurry. Simmer the sauce, stirring, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat the broiler. Brush the top of the roast with 2 tablespoons of the saba and broil for about 1 minute, or until glazed. Turn the roast, brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons of saba and broil for 1 minute. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes. Carve the roast and serve with the sauce.
Notes Saba, the Italian condiment made from reduced grape must, is available at specialty-food stores and by mail-order from igourmet.com or gourmetsardinia.com.

Suggested Pairing

The saba in this juicy pork recipe adds a dark, winey fruitiness, making it an ideal match for one of Sardinia's robust red blends. Look for one that combines Carignano and Syrah or Bovale Sardo, Carignano and Cannonau.