Braised Pork Loin with Red Wine and Olives; the Update

Mon mari managed to get a little work done without me here to supervise…. Although most of it is not photo worthy.

More to the point, I’m not going into the cellar with my camera to take pictures of the plumbing he had to do to hook up two more radiators.  It has a low ceiling, dirt flour and creepy, crawly critters everywhere.

Use your imagination.  He said it was a lot of work; I believe him.

The big project at the moment is to get insulation on the ceiling.

Not much point in getting two new radiators if we’re still attempting to heat the solar system, now, is there?

Allow me to show you what I mean:


Do you see the orange bit between the boards?  That’s the underside of the terra cotta roof tiles.  Bare roof tiles do not hold in heat…. Nor do they keep out wind.  They do keep out the rain, however, which is the actual purpose of a roof after all.  This floor had been used as a ‘sechoir’ or tobacco drying loft in years past.

Also notice all the lovely different shapes, sizes and positions of the various beams.

Before he can put up any insulation he had to figure out how he was going to put up a ceiling.  We wanted to expose as much of the beams as possible, and keep a good height on the ceiling.  This meant that the ceiling is going in every which direction and angles all over the place.

Big slabs of sheet rock were not an option.

He decided on a wood ceiling (and he’ll clean up the beams).  This is the framework.  He’ll lay the insulation on top of the framework then put up the ceiling later.

The only problem is that he has to measure every board carefully – both the angle of the cut and the length, then go downstairs and cut it (table saw too big to haul upstairs).  He hopes he gets it right the first time and doesn’t have to trim 1/4″ to get a good fit.

Some parts are relatively easy, like the bit over the stairwell:


Easy if you don’t count the fact that one has to straddle the stairwell on a ladder to nail them up…..
(Very glad I wasn’t here to witness that.)

There is even a bit that’s finished (with the insulation part anyway)


That’s the hallway going by the bathroom – which is also insulated.

So there is progress.  Once the ceiling is all insulated we’ll be able to heat it and continue work all winter.

Mon mari was so worried that he’d be stuck playing computer games when it got cold…. Glad we got that sorted!

Now that the cold has arrived we are trading grilling for braising.

Braised Pork Loin in Red Wine

Braised Pork Loin with Red Wine and Olives

24oz (750gr) pork loin roast
4 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup dry-cured Greek olives, pitted
3 bay leaves
1 sprig fresh sage (about 6 leaves)
1 tbs oil
2 cups red wine
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water

Slice shallots in quarters through the stem end. Roughly chop garlic.  Heat oil in heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add shallots, garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add pork and brown on all sides.
Add 1/4 cup of wine and stir up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return shallots, garlic to pot and add remaining wine, herbs and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a slow simmer and braise for 75 minutes. After 75 minutes add the olives.  
To finish: Remove pork and let rest. Remove and discard herbs. Increase heat under shallots and olives. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened and clear.
Slice some of the pork and arrange on a small platter. Spoon some Red Wine Sauce over and serve.

Bon Appétit!

11 thoughts on “Braised Pork Loin with Red Wine and Olives; the Update”

  1. Wow, what a job that is!!! Reno’s always end up being more than we bargained for, don’t you think? We may be in the same boat, down the road, as our house is up for sale, where we want to live is pricey…means big reno’s…Yikes, hope we are up for it, but like you both, we love the place we eventually want to retire to…scary, but exciting too! Katie – hearing your stories, gives us hope and inspiration too! Thanks for sharing your adventures.

  2. Ina, it’s a very big job – they’re always much bigger than expected. When will we learn.
    Ruth, I try – to keep his strength up LOL
    Jeanne, we need insulation!!!!
    Zoomie – right!

  3. When will we learn indeed? I am thankful that we got it mostly done before the back problems and arthritis set in. That ceiling is imposing. We are pulling for you.

  4. I have a question – why is he using some yellow-painted wood for parts of the ceiling and shiny metal ones for other parts?

  5. Penny, I’m hoping we can do the same – thanks for the mental help ;-))
    Zoomie, the wood is ‘treated’ with a preservative, not painted. The metal studs are a lot cheaper (wood is expensive here) and he uses it for short spans where he can also support it from the ceiling… It’s not nearly as solid as the wood but works for some things. It’s also pretty easy to work with.

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