Friday 22 June 2007

Recipe: Roast Loin of Pork with Dijon Mustard

This was practically the first dish I ever learned to cook - and it remains one of my favourites, even now. The instructions given here are taken from my dog-eared and decrepit recipe folder; I had thought the recipe originally came from Robert Carrier, but when, idly, I went to check it, I found I was wrong. Which means its true provenance is lost in the mists of time......

For Six.

Ingredients: 1 boned Pork Loin (approx 1500g for six people); 120g Butter, softened to room temperature; 6 tablespoons Dijon Mustard; 1 tablespoon of ground Bayleaf; 1 tablespoon of dried Thyme; Salt & Pepper.


1. Start preparations at least four hours before you intend to roast the Loin.

2. With a sharp knife, remove the rind from the Loin - reserve it to roast with the Loin, to make crackling. (If making this in Italy, I don't have this option, since Italian butchers only sell Pork Loin with the rind already removed. A great shame......)

3. Slice the Loin open, as though unrolling a swiss roll, in order to have a flat rectangle of meat (to do this, with the Loin end-on to you, imagine it as a clock face and make a flap in the Pork slicing from two o'clock almost through to eight o'clock - being careful not to slice right through the meat at the eight o'clock point; open this flap to the left, and then make a second cut from the end of your first cut, in the opposite direction, almost through to five o'clock; open this flap to the right of the Loin, giving you your rectangle).

4. In a bowl, use a fork to mix together the Butter, Mustard, and Herbs. Season to taste with Salt & Pepper. Spread three-quarters of this mixture over the rectangle of Pork, then roll it back into its original shape. Tie it with half a dozen lengths of string, and then spread the remainder of the mixture as a poultice over the strung Loin. Place in the fridge for the flavours to penetrate the meat for at least four hours. (I generally place the rind from the Loin over the poultice when I do this; this has no culinary benefit, but means that I don't forget to put the rind into the oven when it comes to roasting the Pork!)

5. Roast the Loin for an hour in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees C. Have the rind on a rack directly above the Pork, so that the fat it releases in roasting will fall onto the Loin as it cooks.

6. When cooked, remove the Loin from the pan and keep it warm under foil or in a warming oven while it rests for twenty minutes or so. In the meantime, remove the fat from the roasting pan and make a sauce by adding half a glass of white wine to the pan and bubbling it over high heat on the stove, whilst scraping the cooking residue from the base of the pan and incorporating it into the sauce.

Slice the Loin and serve with the crackling and a vegetable of your choice - my personal preference with this is Ratatouille, but roast celeriac is pretty good, too!

1 comment:

The Passionate Palate said...

Cooking question, and I know you will have the exact answer :-):
I have never been quite clear on using bay leaves other than putting them whole in my soups and stews and then remvoing them. I have a bay leaf tree at home. Can I use a fresh leaf in this recipe, say, chopped very finely, or does it have to be dried and crushed? Secondly, do you think one could substitute olive oil for the butter?
Thanks a million as we are wanting to have pork loin for our Thanksgiving holiday instead of tacchino!