French-Style Pot-Roasted Pork Loin

Don’t you think that it is funny how when the leaves start to turn and cover the ground stews and roasts creep back into our diets? I suppose it’s because cooking something in the oven during the summer just heats up the kitchen and during the fall with windows closed the aroma fills the house. That is good because when you go out for the sweater weather walk and return to the house you are hit with that drool starting blast of goodness.   Pork Loin is one of my wife’s favorite cuts of meat, there is just so much you can do with it and we have. I saw this today and it reminded me of others I have tried and thought I would share it with you. Also included the how to double butterfly instructions on the bottom.

 

From America’s Test Kitchen

Why this recipe works:

Enchaud Perigordine is a fancy name for what’s actually a relatively simple French dish: slow-cooked pork loin. But given that American pork is so lean, this cooking method leads to bland, stringy pork. To improve the flavor and texture of our center-cut loin, we lowered the oven temperature (to 225 degrees) and removed the roast from the oven when it was medium-rare. Searing just three sides of the roast, rather than all four, prevented the bottom of the roast from overcooking from direct contact with the pot. Butterflying the pork allowed us to salt a maximum amount of surface area for a roast that was thoroughly seasoned throughout. And while we eliminated the hard-to-find trotter (or pig’s foot), we added butter for richness and sprinkled in gelatin to lend body to the sauce.

Serves 4 to 6

We strongly prefer the flavor of natural pork in this recipe, but if enhanced pork (injected with a salt solution) is used, reduce the salt to 2 teaspoons (1 teaspoon per side) in step 2. For tips on “double-butterflying,” see step-by-step below.

Ingredients

  • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1(2 1/2-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin roast, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4-3/4cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add half of garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl and refrigerate.

2. Position roast fat side up. Insert knife one-third of way up from bottom of roast along 1 long side and cut horizontally, stopping ½ inch before edge. Open up flap. Keeping knife parallel to cutting board, cut through thicker portion of roast about ½ inch from bottom of roast, keeping knife level with first cut and stopping about ½ inch before edge. Open up this flap. If uneven, cover with plastic wrap and use meat pounder to even out. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over both sides of loin (½ tablespoon per side) and rub into pork until slightly tacky. Sprinkle sugar over inside of loin, then spread with cooled toasted garlic mixture. Starting from short side, fold roast back together like business letter (keeping fat on outside) and tie with twine at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle tied roast evenly with herbes de Provence and season with pepper.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add roast, fat side down, and brown on fat side and sides (do not brown bottom of roast), 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to large plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, apple, and onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in remaining sliced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine, thyme, and bay leaf; cook for 30 seconds. Return roast, fat side up, to pot; place large sheet of aluminum foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until pork registers 140 degrees, 50 to 90 minutes (short, thick roasts will take longer than long, thin ones).

4. Transfer roast to carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. While pork rests, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup chicken broth and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf from jus. Pour jus into 2-cup measuring cup and, if necessary, add chicken broth to measure 1¼ cups. Return jus to pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk softened gelatin mixture, remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and parsley into jus and season with salt and pepper to taste; remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Slice pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices, adding any accumulated juices to sauce. Serve pork, passing sauce separately.

How to “Double-Butterflying” a Roast

Steve says: I have tried this on a lot of different roast and my god does it enhance the flavor

When butterflying a narrow roast like pork tenderloin, a single bisecting cut will usually suffice. But to open up wider roasts like the center-cut pork loin used in our French-Style Pot-Roasted Pork Loin, we make two parallel cuts. This technique exposes more of the meat’s surface area to flavorful seasoning.

1. Holding chef’s knife parallel to cutting board, insert knife one-third of way up from bottom of roast and cut horizontally, stopping ½ inch before edge. Open up flap.

 

2. Make another horizontal cut into thicker portion of roast about 1/2 inch from bottom, stopping about 1/2 inch before edge. Open up this flap, smoothing out rectangle of meat.

Step-by-Step

Secrets to Juicy, Rich-Tasting Pot-Roasted Pork Loin

Thanks to their well-marbled pork, the French can get away with pot-roasting the loin, one of the leanest cuts of the pig, without drying it out. Here’s how we adapted their approach to super-lean American pork loin.

 

“DOUBLE-BUTTERFLY” AND SALT Opening up the roast like a tri-fold book creates more surface area for seasoning, ensuring that the salt thoroughly penetrates the meat.

ADD FAT Spreading garlic butter over the surface enriches this lean cut, bringing it closer in flavor and juiciness to well-marbled French pork. We then fold up and tie the roast.

 

 SEAR TIED ROAST ON 3 SIDES Browning only the sides of the roast that are not in contact with the pan during roasting prevents the bottom of the meat from overcooking.

COOK IN LOW OVEN Roasting the pork in a gentle 225-degree oven until medium guarantees that the meat will cook up tender and juicy, not chalky and dry.

 

ADD GELATIN Adding gelatin to the exuded meat juices replaces the body and richness lost by omitting the pig’s trotter used in the French original.

 

 

There is a good video of this recipe

 

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8 thoughts on “French-Style Pot-Roasted Pork Loin

  1. Pingback: Smoked pork tenderloin « Chef Doru's Blog

  2. This is awesome! I reside in Mexico and belong to a Expat culinary association with over 60 members. I have never prepared a classic French dish but needed to participate so I prepared this for the “French” competition. The trial run was perfect…unfortunately the final presentation was just slightly overcooked (the ovens here don’t have temperature markings on the dial….I actually had to probe open the oven door to keep it from reaching 500 degrees). Keeping that in mind, there were 10 French entrees entered and the judges were either natives of France, or professional chefs. The 1st place winner cooked 40 lbs of bones for 36 hours to make the stock for her dish (yawn), while this sweet little flavorful beauty came in 3rd. The subtle combination of flavors provided a new profile that was a delightful surprise.

    • Even with temperature gauge is sometimes deceptive. I’ve been there before my trial is perfect and one little thing throws off the final presentation. Glad you enjoyed and thanks.

  3. Thanks for posting!!! Have used this recipe several times over the past few years and it is amazing (Christmas quality).
    I just lost my tattered stained clipped recipe, and I’m so glad to have a digital copy now!

  4. What do you do with the onion & apples left in the pot after cooking but before you start the sauce? Recipe doesn’t say

  5. Totally awesome Steve. Thanks for the great graphics on butterflying the loin. I decided to stuff the loin w/ dried apricots and some breadcrumbs and tied it all up. It came out ridiculously delicious!

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