LOMO DE PUERCO EN SALSA DE GUAYABA Y CIRUELA

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LOMO DE PUERCO EN SALSA DE GUAYABA Y CIRUELA
Pork Loin in Guava and Plum Sauce

Known in Spain as solomillo, pork loin was adapted for Mexican cuisine and is prepared in a variety of ways. The flavor of this meat is enhanced when it is combined with sweet-and-sour sauces, especially those made with seasonal fruits such as guava and plum.

FOR THE SAUCE
6 large, ripe plums, halved and pitted
8 guavas, halved and pitted
6 crab apples, peeled and cored
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Embassa chiles chipotles in adobo sauce, deveined
⅓ cup adobo sauce from the chiles
4 cloves
4 Tabasco peppercorns
2½ cups reduced chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
salt and sugar, to taste

FOR THE PORK
2 cups water
3 cones piloncillo (unrefined brown sugar) or 3 cups brown sugar
8 pieces pork loin, 5 to 7 ounces each
⅓ cup olive oil
1½ cups butter
salt, to taste

FOR THE GARNISH
4 large purple plums, pitted and thinly sliced
16 crab apples, peeled, cored, and lightly fried in butter
4 ripe guavas, cut into thin strips or chopped, lightly fried in butter
8 Embassa chiles chipotles in vinegar

Prepare the sauce: Chop the fruit. In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, chiles, vinegar, cloves, pepper, and half the chicken broth. Preheat a saucepan for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, strain the sauce. Add the butter and then add half the strained sauce. (The rest of the sauce will be added at serving time, so that it has a fresh flavor.) Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until it thickens slightly. Season with a bit of salt and sugar.

Prepare the meat: Preheat the oven to 400° F for 1 hour and preheat a large frying pan for 20 minutes. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar, and cook over low heat until the syrup thickens slightly. Baste the pork loin with this mixture. In the hot saucepan, put in the oil and half of the butter. Brown 4 pork pieces on all sides until a thin, fairly dark crust forms. Transfer them to an ovenproof baking dish and salt lightly. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the meat. Once it is all in the dish, bake it for 10 to 15 minutes. (This baking must be at high temperature in order to keep the meat sealed and juicy.) Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

To serve: Warm 8 large plates. Slice the meat thinly and place in the center of each plate. On one side of the meat, place the plums, on the other, the crab apples and chiles chipotles. Below, place the guavas. Reheat the sauce and add to it some of that which was left uncooked, along with a bit of broth, so that it is medium thick. Spoon some of the sauce over the meat and serve immediately with remaining sauce on the side.

SERVES 8

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