Main Dish

Sous Vide Pork Loin Sliders with Fennel Slaw and Pomegranate-Molasses Sauce

Roth Estate

10309 Chalk Hill Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2015
  • RECIPE BY: Chalk Hill Estate Chef Ryan Freebern
  • YIELD: Serves 8
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: 2013 Trenton Pinot Noir

Pure deliciousness! This pairing is all about the balance in flavor: the ripe fruit, oak and balanced acidity of the 2013 Trenton Pinot Noir is complementary to the pomegranate sauce and fennel slaw. Mound the pork over a sweet dinner roll with a dollop of slaw and enjoy the rich flavors while sipping our 2013 Trenton Pinot Noir.

Brine and Pork

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 3 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 whole dried red chile
  • 2000 grams water
  • 375 milliliters pomegranate molasses
  • 400 grams kosher salt
  • 340 grams brown sugar
  • 4 grams Instacure #1 (optional)
  • Peel from 3 lemons (no white pith)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 shallots, thickly sliced
  • 1625 grams ice
  • 4 pounds boneless pork loin
To brine and cook the pork, in a large pot (at least 6 quarts) over medium heat, toast the peppercorns, cumin, coriander, allspice, clove, star anise, cinnamon stick, cardamom and chile until fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. 

In the empty pot, combine the water, pomegranate molasses, kosher salt, brown sugar and Instacure #1. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. 

While the brine is heating, combine the cooled spices with the lemon peel, thyme, bay leaves, garlic and shallots and bundle them together in a piece of cheesecloth to form a sachet. Put the sachet in the pot. When the brine boils, remove the pot from the heat and let steep for 20 minutes, then return the brine to a boil. As it boils, remove from the heat, add the ice and stir until cold and most of the ice has melted. Transfer the cold brine to a container large enough to hold the brine and the pork loin. Place the pork in the cold brine; it should be fully submerged. Refrigerate for 12 hours. 

After 12 hours, remove the pork from the brine, rinse and pat dry (discard the brine). If possible, let the meat rest at this point: Vacuum on high immediately after drying and immerse in an ice bath in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

When ready to cook, set the water oven to 59°C/138°F. When it reaches temperature, remove the pork from the ice bath and lower gently into the water oven. Cook for 6 hours. 

While the pork is cooking, make the sauce and the slaw.

Pomegranate-Molasses Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cardamom pod, cracked
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 1 or 2 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup unseasoned brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup veal demi-glace
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate concentrate
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup mild molasses
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, washed well and crushed
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
To make the sauce, set a 2-quart pot over medium heat. When warm, add the bay leaf, cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, star anise, allspice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and black and white peppercorns. Toast lightly until fragrant. Add the onion and a dash of salt, reduce the heat to medium-low and sweat until the onion is translucent. 

In a separate 2-quart pot over medium-high heat, combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, demi-glace, brown sugar, pomegranate concentrate, pomegranate molasses and mild molasses and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, allowing the mixture to reduce slightly. 

Add the fennel to the pot with the onion and spices and sweat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper and a dash more salt and sweat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger and another dash of salt and sweat until most of the liquid has cooked off. Then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to burn the mixture. 

Add the vinegar mixture to the pot with the vegetables, stirring to combine, and cook at a low simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. 

Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Fennel Slaw

  • 2 pounds fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 2 to 4 1/2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or to taste
To make the slaw, place a colander over a bowl and add the fennel. Salt generously and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Using a towel, wring out the fennel, removing as much excess water as possible. Taste the fennel to make sure it’s not too salty. If it is, rinse with cold water and wring out again. 

Put the fennel in a clean bowl. Add the vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing until incorporated and tasting good. Stir in the onion, sugar, pepper and pomegranate seeds. Drizzle in about 1/4 cup olive oil and toss to combine. The slaw should not be runny or soupy. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The slaw should be balanced between sweet, salty and sour. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Finishing and Serving

  • Olive oil as needed
  • Slider buns, hamburger buns or bread of your choice for serving
After the 6 hours of cooking, remove the pork promptly from the water oven and immerse in a fresh ice bath until fully chilled, at least 4 hours.

If you wish to cold smoke the pork, do so at this point. Remove the pork from the bag and smoke with the wood chips of your choice for 2 to 3 hours. After smoking, unless serving right away, immediately return the pork to the vacuum and immerse in a fresh ice bath once sealed, chilling thoroughly.

When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 325°F. 

Remove the pork from the bag. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm a thin film of olive oil. Add the pork and sear on all sides. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into thin slices and place in a roasting pan or baking dish. Drizzle with the pomegranate-molasses barbecue sauce and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven and heat until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Heat the slider buns in the oven.

Place about 2 ounces of meat on each slider bun, or 6 ounces meat on a larger bun. Drizzle with extra barbecue sauce, if desired, and top with fennel slaw and the top bun.

Roth Estate

10309 Chalk Hill Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448