Sunday, November 15, 2009

Herb-Roasted Pork Loin

The Clap-O-Meter went wild tonight!
Dinner was over the top!
Comfort food at its best!

What is a Clap-O-Meter? A Clap-O-Meter is a device for measuring and monitoring the duration and volume of applause. I first saw it on Queen for a Day, a program popular in the late 50's. Three women would each tell their tragic tale then the audience would select the winner by applause, which was measured by the Clap-O-Meter. The crown and velvet robe were placed on the winner and she won prizes! (...usually a washer and dryer!)


What is comfort food? Comfort foods are familiar, simple foods that are usually home-cooked or eaten at informal restaurants. They are foods that are often emotionally significant to a person and are usually related to pleasant associations of childhood. Comfort food then, can mean something different for everyone. The common denominator is our childhood and our mood, foods that are warm, soft, flavorful and usually high in carbs!

I found a 4 1/2 pound pork loin in the freezer and decided today was the day. It was cool outside and there isn't anything like the warmth of the oven, wonderful aromas wafting through the house and the "comfort" of roast, mashed potatoes, gravy....yum! Sunday dinner at its best!

The Kitchen Gnome suggested that we stuff the loin so I started out looking for a recipe that I could stuff with fruit and herbs. While on the quest I paged through the April 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine and found the recipe for Herb-Roasted Pork Loin. The recipe also appeared on Epicurious here. The one nice thing about also finding the recipe on the web is that there were reviews. There wasn't one disaster story in the bunch! Since I had everything that was needed and wouldn't have to drive to the store, it was a go!

I did have to make some adjustments along the way. I didn't have a heavy roasting pan so I used my Le Creuset Baking Dish. I think the high sides kept the oven from being splattered too badly. It probably took about 20 minutes longer to cook, also. Since I didn't have a rack that would fit in the baking dish, I didn't use one.

I didn't have any fresh sage or summer savory so I used dried. Everything else was just the same....except for the picture with the herbs on top pre-maturely. I removed them, popped the roast in the oven and then replaced them on top of the roast after one hour as indicated.


Herb-Roasted Pork Loin

For pork:
1 (4-to 4 1/2-pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
6 rosemary sprigs, divided
8 large thyme sprigs, divided
8 sage sprigs, divided
8 savory sprigs (optional), divided
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (4 to 5)
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

For sauce:

1/3 cup dry vermouth
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Roast pork:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Pat pork dry and season with 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Straddle a flameproof roasting pan over 2 burners, then heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on all sides, then transfer to a large plate.
Put a metal rack in pan and arrange half of herbs down middle of rack. Stir together shallots, garlic, mustard, and 1 tablespoon oil and smear over top and sides of roast, then put roast, fat side up, on top of herbs. Roast 1 hour. Toss remaining herbs with remaining teaspoon oil and arrange on top of roast.
Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 to 145°F, 5 to 15 minutes more (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees as it rests). Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 15 to 25 minutes.
Make sauce while pork rests:
Remove rack from pan and discard herbs from rack. Straddle pan across 2 burners on medium heat. Add vermouth and mustard and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half. Add broth and simmer 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measure. If you have more than 1 1/2 cups, boil to reduce; if less, add water.
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Whisk in vermouth mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Serve pork with sauce.


The Kitchen Gnome totally enjoyed this meal. It is true comfort...warm, soft, flavorful, high in carbs? Not too bad...the comfort made up for it!

All that was left was a forkful of rosemary!

5 comments:

  1. All the wonderful herbs must have given this roast so much flavor. And the mashed potatoes and gravy are perfect with it. I would have licked my plate clean. A beautiful meal, Kate.

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  2. I'm clapping out loud for you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yum !!

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  3. Was really glad to read this post because I was thinking of doing a pork loin for Christmas dinner- just for a change of pace. But pork loins are so often dry. Your recipe looks great.

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  4. What wonderful flavors this roast must have had with all those gorgeous herbs. Its aroma must have been mind numbing. This looks like a beautiful meal.

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  5. I bet the aroma was wonderful!

    I remember Queen for a Day..
    I was a little kid, but I remember my mom talking about someone we knew who went on, and won. And her story was made up!
    Like that TV show House Hunters. My friend was on, and she had lived in her house almost a year..they had to pretend they were looking ..everything is fake..LOL

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