Sometimes, when experimenting with cooking with booze, we come across certain things that are best left for recipes. Marsala wine is one of them. But while the sweet wine doesn’t make a great beverage, it really adds to a creamy sauce we use to smother roasted pork loin.
This is a pretty traditional Marsala wine sauce recipe. Generally, when making the sauce you reduce the liquor to a syrup and then add mushrooms and herbs. We used a jar of pre-cooked mushrooms we bought at our favorite local Italian market. If you have access to something similar, they will add to the recipe, but if you don’t, feel free to use the crimini mushrooms we call for in the recipe and it should turn out just as nice.
As we mentioned above, Marsala isn’t a wine we enjoy drinking, and we imagine you won’t either. So, save it for your next round of sauce and don’t serve it with this dish. Oktoberfest beers are all over the liquor store right now and they are a perfect match for both the flavors of roasted pork and the flavors swimming around in the marsala wine sauce. Our current favorite interpretation of the style comes from the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, KS. If you don’t see Free State in your area, check out the offerings from Sierra Nevada, Weihenstephaner, or take a chance on something else local — tons of breweries make a seasonal Oktoberfest.
Roasted Pork Loin
Pork Loin (about 5 pounds)
½ cup dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper
Prosciutto (about 16 thin slices)
Marsala Wine Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Marsala wine
8 ounces Mascarpone cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Cover the pork with the mustard and garlic and then coat liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
Place about 6 lengths of butcher’s twine on a large baking sheet. Then place one long length of string perpendicular to the others. Lay the prosciutto on top of the string to create a ham quilt to wrap the around the pork loin. Place the pork on the baking sheet and wrap with quilt. Tie the 6 strings and then pull it tight with the perpendicular string. Cut off the excess string and set aside.
Cook in the oven or on a smoker set to 375ºF. (We wrapped ours in foil after about an hour to prevent the prosciutto from transitioning from crispy to burnt). Cook to an internal temperature of 14ºF, roughly 2 hours. Remove and tent with tin foil. Set aside while you make the marsala wine sauce.
Melt the butter in a saute pan and add the onions. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, until they become transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, until they become softer. Add the wine and cook until it reduces by half and becomes syrupy, 8-10 minutes. Now add the mascarpone and mustard. Mix until incorporated , season with salt and pepper, and serve over slices of the pork. Serve with your favorite Oktoberfest beer.
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