Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Polentas' New BFF, Mustard and Herb Roast Pork Loin.

 I love dishes that I don't have to worry about. Obedient little entrees that one can tuck into the oven and don't scream for attention every five minutes. That's one of the pleasures of slow cooking with clay, prep it and leave it. But the world doesn't totally revolve around clay and not everything can be done that way.
  One dish that I especially love that fits this category is Herb and Mustard Crusted Pork Loin. I stumbled across this dish about two years ago on the website.  It's attributed to Maggie Ruggiero and this is my adaptation of it. This dish always hits the spot with the family and is fast becoming an Easter tradition at our house. It's one of the easiest things in the world to prepare. Just a marinating paste whipped up in the food processor or blender, slathered on and it's ready to go. And go it does. It works amazingly well with oven roast polenta, and these two dishes make great oven roommates. They never get in each others way and go great side by side on the same plate. Here's how to make it.
  Start with a 4 lb pork loin roast. Pat it dry and season with 1 and 1/4 tsp of salt and some ground pepper to taste.
In a heavy pan (I use cast iron) quickly brown it in about 2 Tbs of hot olive oil.
 When the roast is lightly browned on all sides, coat it with a paste. Here's how to do it.
  In a blender or food processor, finely chop 1/2 cup of shallots
  Mix that together with 3 Tbs of whole grain Dijon mustard.
In a roasting pan, lay fresh herbs on the bottom of the roasting rack.
3 Sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of sage
   Coat the pork roast on the top and sides with the paste then lay it down on the roasting rack fat side up.
 Roast the pork loin in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for one hour.
 After an hour take it out and in a bowl mix together:
3 sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of sage
1 Tbs of olive oil
Drape the top of the roast with these and put it back into the oven for another 15  minutes or so. The roast is done when a meat thermometer  gives a reading of 140 to 145 degrees.
 Take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before serving.
  I must mention here that there is a gravy that goes with this meat. I don't serve it to my family however because they are not "gravy" people and it would just go to waste on them. This is how it's made for those of you who are not cooking for my mother.
Take the pan drippings and bring them to a boil.
 De-glaze them by adding :
1/3 cup of dry vermouth
2 tsp of whole grain Dijon mustard
1 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  simmer this for about 3 minutes or so . It should reduce down. Strain it, keeping out the chunky bits and flecks
 In a separate pan melt
 1 and 1/2 Tbs of unsalted butter and add in
 1 and 1/2 Tbs of flour
 Whisk it up well so that it's smooth and whisk in the vermouth mmixture
 Simmer till it's thickened  which should take about 3 minutes.
  I would imagine this is great tasting, and I'm going to have to do this roast for just us one of these days to experience the sauce.
  This recipe fed about 8 picky eaters and we had a bit left over for ourselves for the next day. Always a good thing after cooking a huge meal, next days' left overs.
Coming up next, I whip out the clay for a "no touch" side dish.


  1. It is truly the simple dishes that are very often the best! This looks wonderful, Kathy!

  2. I also love dishes that you can leave and they come out perfect. I didn't get a chance to comment yesterday but I enjoyed reading about your family holiday!

  3. Your mum's such a hoot - but I think I'd be afraid to cook for her!

    I love the sound of these two rooming together in the oven, all quiet and content, leaving me free to get on with my own thing. Fantastic!

  4. oh these are the best need to stress and a wonderful meal at the them




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