This is by far the best pork I have ever made. Three words that my Dad used to describe this pork were flavorful, tender, and juicy. This recipe comes from the cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table by Suzanne Goin who is the owner/chef at Lucques in Los Angeles. This is only the third recipe I have tried from this cookbook. The other two recipes I made were the Roasted Kabocha Squash and Fennel Soup and the Winter Squash Risotto with Radicchio and Parmesan. But so far, I’d say that this cookbook is pretty awesome and filled with fantastic recipes…that are also somewhat time consuming.
This recipe for herb-roasted pork loin does require a lot of preparation. Technically, to achieve the best results, you are supposed to marinate the pork loin overnight. However, if you decide that you want to make this and it’s already 6:00, it can definitely be done as well. I would know, because this past Sunday night, I began to prepare this dish and we were able to sit down to dinner around 8:30.
It is very important not to confuse Pork loin with Pork Tenderloin. While both cuts of meat are lean, pork loins are much thicker than pork tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is usually sold in pairs and is much thinner and thus cooks much quicker. It is also really important to use a roasting rack. It helps to circulate the air resulting in even cooking.
This is the perfect recipe for entertaining or just to enjoy with your family any night of the week. Do not be turned off because of the marinating time. The marinade can be prepared in 10 minutes or less the night before and then the next night all you have to do is pop it in the oven for a little over an hour. Before you know it you will be sitting down to one of the best pork dinners you have ever had!
Herb-roasted pork loin with mustard breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus 6 sprigs
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 pounds center-cut pork loin
- 3 sprigs rosemary, broken into 3-inch pieces
- 3 sprigs sage
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth/water
- Mustard breadcrumbs (recipe follows)
- Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk together the mustard, thyme leaves, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Stir in the garlic, and slather the pork with this mustard mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. (I marinated my pork only for about an hour…hopefully next time I can plan in advance!)
- Take the pork out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking, to bring it to room temperature. After 30 minutes, season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade. (I did not take the pork out an hour before cooking)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat for 3 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and wait a minute or two until the pan is very hot, almost smoking. Place the pork loin in the pan, and sear it on all sides until well browned and caramelized. Don’t turn or move the pork too quickly or all the mustard will be left in the pan and not on the pork. Be patient; this searing process takes 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer the pork loin to a roasting rack, and slather the reserved marinade over the meat. Reserve the pan. Arrange the rosemary, sage, and thyme sprigs on the roast and top with 3 tablespoons of butter.
- Roast the pork until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 120 degrees, about 1 1/4 hours. Let the pork rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- While the pork is roasting, return the pork-searing pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Wait 1 to 2 minutes and then deglaze it with the chicken stock/broth/water. Bring to a boil, whisking and scraping the bottom of the pan to release the crispy bits. Swirl in 3 tablespoons butter and set aside.
- Arrange the sauteed string beans on a large platter. Slice the pork thinly, about 1/4-inch thick, and fan the meat over the beans.
- Add the buttery pork juices and herbs to the sauce, bring it to a boil, and then spoon it over the pork. Shower the mustard breadcrumbs over the top or serve it in a bowl on the side.
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the butter, and when it foams, whisk in the mustard, thyme, and parsley.
- Remove from the heat, let cool a few minutes, and then pour the mustard butter over the breadcrumbs, tossing to coat them well.
- Transfer the breadcrumbs to a baking sheet, and toast them 10 minutes, stirring often, until they’re golden brown and crispy.
Along with the pork loin and string beans, we served bread and amazing mushrooms. My boyfriend, Todd, works for a mushroom company in Avondale, PA called To-Jo Mushrooms, so he is always bringing me lots of fresh mushrooms. I used to hate mushrooms, so it’s a good thing I got over that! So if you think you’re not a fan of mushrooms, I encourage you to give them another shot! Todd brought over whites, portabellas, and 3 pounds of the largest Shiitake Mushrooms I have ever seen….they were almost the same size at Portabella caps! I found this picture online to show you just how big these shiitakes were. If you are familiar with shiitake mushrooms, you would know that these mushrooms are typically pretty small mushrooms.
This is definitely one of my favorite side dishes to prepare with dinner. It is so simple to prepare. Keep in mind that mushrooms let out a lot of moisture when you cook them so they will shrink down a lot!
- Mixed Mushrooms (I used Large Shiitake, Portabellas & Whites)
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1-2 Shallots, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1-2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
- Over medium heat, heat a large saute pan. After a minute or so, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Allow the butter to melt and then add the minced shallots. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the garlic and a bit of salt. Stir.
- After a few minutes, add the Mushrooms to the pan and season liberally with Salt. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Continue to cook down mushrooms for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Towards the end of cooking add the parsley and thyme.