Lomo di Cerdo Almendrado

Roast Pork Loin with Almonds, Garlic, and Parsley

This is by far the most popular pork roast we serve at Square One. I suspect that people love it because it has so many interesting textures and flavors—toasted garlic, crunchy almonds, and an unctuous sherry cream sauce. We have broken down the cooking process into a series of simple steps so that you may prepare all of the components ahead of time and assemble the dish quickly at serving time.

Ingredients

  • 1 pork loin roast on the bone, 5 to 6 pounds
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Almond Crunchies

  • 2 cups sliced almonds (not blanched)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup reserved pork drippings

Sherry Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 large shallots, minced (⅔ to ¾ cup)
  • 1 cup Amontillado sherry
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • Pinch sugar (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut shallow incisions between the bones of the roast (on the bone side) and insert the garlic slivers. Put the roast in a roasting pan and lightly sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper. Roast about 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 140°F. Cover and let the roast rest up to 2 hours. Measure and reserve ¼ cup pan drippings.

For the crunchies, reduce the heat to 350°F. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes, then crush them coarsely with your fingers into a small baking dish or chop them with a cleaver. Add the parsley, garlic, and reserved pork drippings and stir until blended. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside up to 2 hours.

For the sauce, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the sherry and heat to simmering; simmer briskly 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce is a bit tart, add a pinch of sugar. Set aside until serving time.

To serve, cut the roast between the bones into chops or cut the long strip of loin meat off the bones, then cut into eighteen ½-inch-thick slices. Heat the sauce to simmering in 2 wide saucepans. Add the pork and the crunchies and simmer gently until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes for slices or about 4 minutes for chops. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Place the pork on serving plates and spoon the sauce over top. Serve with sautéed spinach or green beans and little roasted or fried potatoes.