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Braised Pork Loin with Port and Prunes

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 boneless pork loin roast (4 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 large leek (white part only), rinsed well and finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup port
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock
1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) pitted prunes
2 bay leaves

In small bowl, combine pepper, salt, sage, mustard and thyme. Trim excess fat from pork and rub surface of roast with spice mixture. Tie roast at 2-inch intervals with heavy kitchen string.

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Brown pork on all sides and transfer to plate. Add onions, leek, and carrot to pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Scrape vegetables into stoneware insert of slow cooker. Add port, broth, prunes and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high 5 to 8 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 170 degrees. Remove bay leaves. Transfer roast to carving board and slice. Place sliced pork on serving platter and keep warm while preparing sauce.

Scoop 8 to 10 prunes and some of the cooking liquid (a few tablespoons) into food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Return pureed prunes to remaining cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over pork before serving, or pass it separately. Makes 8 servings.

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