March 15, 2013
When it comes to dinnertime, the easiest way to make my husband happy is serving a pork roast. More often than not, it’s the simple things in life that show the most love (even if it’s a slab of meat on a plate) and thankfully for me, it’s easy to prepare. We’re not talking thin tenderloin here, but an actual old school roast. I think a pork roast is one of his favorites because it reminds him of childhood; it means we’ll have leftover pork sandwiches, and most importantly, you can’t make a pork without having a killer jus.
I’ve been throwing this dinner together for years without a real recipe. But wanting to share it on the blog, I had my nine-year-old daughter take notes as I made it the other night. This is an excellent family dinner, because you can serve it at room temperature. At our house this usually translates to me cooking up the pork then yelling at someone to help me set the table and throw together a few sides while it sits on the counter and has a good rest.
Serves 4-6 (with leftovers)
3.5 lbs top loin roast (boneless)
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
2 tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped)
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (divided)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine
½ cup water
Preheat the oven 325
Wash and dry the meat and rub the salt and pepper evenly around the roast. In a small bowl mix the garlic, thyme (two tablespoons), oregano and two tablespoons of Dijon and rub that all over the meat.
Heat up a large skillet that has a lid (I use my Le Cresuet five-quart braiser) and get the pan good and hot, add the extra-virgin olive oil and sear the meat until golden brown on all sides. Things will get pretty crusty and hot in the pan, so once you finish searing turn off the heat.
Then add the wine first and whisk up the brown bits. The wine will almost evaporate as you do this, then add the water and mix it up. I just work around the meat but if you want you can pull it out for a minute. Return the meat to the pan if needed and cover. Put it in the oven for 45 – 55 minutes. If you like your meat a bit pink in the center check the temp after 40 minutes, when the thermometer reaches 130 than pull it out, place it on a platter and tent with foil. If you want it a little more on the done side, pull it at 135 or 140; place it on a platter and then tent with foil. The pork will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven. Be sure to save the pot and all the juices, you will use this for the jus.
*My husband likes it pink. He always gives the lecture about how trichinosis is dead and how it’s much more moist and delicious if the meat is not mutilated and dry.
For the Jus:
Mix this up just before you sit down for dinner. This is an easy, quick extra step that makes this dinner. It also really helps out with you happen to overcook the pork, like I just did. You will have a combination of beautiful juices from the pot that you cooked the roast in and from the meat that is now resting on a platter. Pour the juice from the pot in a measuring cup and let it rest for about a minute. The fat will rise to the top making it easy to skim or pour off the fat. You don’t have to stress about removing it all, just skim a few tablespoons.
Now put the pan drippings and the juice from the resting meat back in the pan. Mixing with a whisk, add the remaining one-tablespoon of Dijon and one-tablespoon of fresh thyme. Taste for seasoning and pour it into a small pitcher. Serve alongside sliced roast.