How to Choose Authentic European Olive Oil * Pork Loin With Wine and Herb Gravy Recipe




I cook with olive oil nearly every meal. Buzzing along thinking I'm using pure, natural extra virgin olive oil, I learned that much of the olive oil we buy in stores is adulterated. Tests reveal that somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of EVOO sold in stores and used restaurants is mixed with cheap vegetable oils like sunflower or peanut and sometimes even oils not made for human consumption. 


Knowing this, I am leery every time I purchased a bottle. I usually go for the higher priced brands labeled organic. Still, I know that that does not mean I'm getting pure oil. 

Why Is Authentic Olive Oil Important?

Authentic extra virgin olive oil is loaded with health benefits. It's anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, prevents stroke, is protective against heart disease, beneficial to healthy weight, it may prevent Alzheimer's disease, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, the antioxidants in olive oil may have anticancer properties, can help reduce joint pain and swelling from rheumatoid arthritis, and olive oil has antibacterial properties. 

When other oils are added, it is to make production cheaper, cheap oils are used. The main problem with these added oils is that they are processed chemically, not pressed traditionally, like real EVOO. This causes oxidation in the body leading to cell membrane damage and other structural damage including cellular proteins, lipids, and DNA. 

How To Check For Authenticity

Harvest datepurchase oils only from the current year's harvest. Look for "early harvest" or "fall harvest."

Color and flavorhigh-quality extra virgin olive oil has an almost luminescent green color. Color does vary so it is not a deal breaker. A little bit of a spicy taste is a sign of high antioxidant content. 

Labeling terms: Ensure that your oil is labeled "extra virgin," other categories like "pure" or "light" oil, "olive oil" and "olive pomace oil" have undergone chemical processing.

Quality sealslook for the European Union PDO certification (Protected Designation of Origin – also known as DOP in Italian) or PGI (Protected Geographical Indication – also known as IGP in Italian). PDO certified products must be produced, processed and prepared in a specific region using traditional production methods and have the sensorial qualities attributed to that region. PGI is less strict and certifies that one stage of the process occurred in a specific region. Third party authorities constantly monitor these certifications.

Storage: make sure to store your oil in containers that protect against light and to replace the cork or lid immediately after use - do not leave oil exposed to air.

You can also check out the Flavor Your Life Campaign for further info on choosing Authentic European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. They are dedicated to helping you make the real stuff a part of your daily diet.

It was through the Flavor Your Life campaign that I learned the brand Zucchi. It is a trusted brand of EVOO that is prepared with traditional standards.

One of my favorite recipes that uses extra virgin olive oil is  
Pork Loin Medallions with Wine and Herb Gravy.

Pork loin sliced thin is cooked on the stovetop with fresh herbs, garlic, and wine, and served with a flavorful, creamy gravy. So good!







Ingredients


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced 
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 lb  boneless pork loin 
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine (plus a bit more to deglaze pan)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or evaporated milk)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, rosemary and sage, stirring, for about one minute.  When it becomes fragrant, add the pork loin to the pan, carefully placing it on top of the herbs. Saute the pork for about 5 minutes on each side, then remove it to a plate. Add the wine to the pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan. Cook until the smell of the alcohol has disappeared, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Lower the heat under the pan to low-medium heat. Return the pork to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Partially cover with a lid and cook for about 1/2 hour, flipping the pork and scraping the bottom of the pan every 20 minutes or so. 

When the pork is cooked through remove pork to a plate to rest. Meanwhile, increase the heat under the liquid in the pan to medium. If your pan has little liquid, deglaze with a splash of white wine. Stir well to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow to cook until the alcohol smell disappears (about 1-2 minutes). Add the chicken stock. When the liquid is hot add the cornstarch slurry ( 1 Tbsp cornstarch & 2 Tbsp water) and stir until thickened. Turn off the heat. 

Add the cream and put the pan back on the stove. Heat gently over medium-low heat, stirring the sauce constantly until it thickens a bit and warms. Avoid boiling. Taste sauce and add salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Place the resting pork on a cutting board (you can add any accumulated meat juices back to the sauce if you like!). 

Pour the warm gravy over top. 

We love served with mashed potato and broccoli. 


 “I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com) to use and post my honest opinions. Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links.”





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