Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rosemary & Mustard Pork Roast with Vermouth Jus

Before we launch into this post, I just want to make sure we are all on the same page re: Christmas dinner.  I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but it is NEVER too early to start planning Christmas dinner.  Never.  Christmas dinner ends, and my family starts talking about menu ideas for next year.  Why?  Because I love big dinners.  I love everything about them: planning, making a master grocery list, prepping the ingredients, having a big glass of wine while cooking and chatting with everyone and, of course, sitting down to eat and laugh for hours. 

Back in my college days, I did not get many opportunities to make big dinners.  So I jumped at the yearly opportunity that Christmas presented to test out my budding obsession with cooking.  Unfortunately, I might have run roughshod over any input from other members of my family (read: angry little sister), but I think I have since calmed a bit.  Right Erin?  Planning for Christmas dinner is more of a collaboration now.  Which leads me to this recipe.  Last night mom and I were chatting on the phone and I told her my plan to try out this pork roast.  Her immediate reaction was Christmas dinner!  Hadn’t thought of it, but she has a very good point!  This meal has all the trappings of a fabulous big dinner: easy to prep ahead of time (and clean mess before guests arrive) + smells amazing while it cooks.  Oh and it is really delicious. 

Added bonus: the heat in my apartment has been a little skittish lately, so having the oven on for 1.5 hours really helped my overall level of warmth and happiness. 

adapted from Bon Appétit
Click here to print
serves 4-6

1 3-pound boneless pork loin
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons lemon zest (from about one lemon)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, separated
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
Vegetable oil
Assorted vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, shallots, rutabaga (the unsung hero of the root vegetable world in my mind)
Olive oil

Combine garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon rosemary, salt, and pepper in a mini-food processor or blender.  Grind until paste forms.  Add mustard; mix until blended.  (Do Ahead: the mustard paste can be made a day in advance). 

Coat a large roasting pan with nonstick spray or a light coating of vegetable oil.  Place pork, fat side up, in pan.  Rub mustard paste over the top and sides of pork.  Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, toss the vegetables with a little olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary; then put them on a baking sheet. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the vegetables and pork in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, until a crust begins to form on the pork.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to cook for an additional 45 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 145 degrees and the vegetables are tender (this may not take the same amount of time- pork came out earlier than veggies for me).  Transfer pork to a large cutting board, tent with foil and let rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.  Don’t touch it before then or you will lose all of the precious juices and completely ruin dinner.

Place the pork’s roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat.  Add vermouth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon.  Simmer until reduced to ¼ cup, about 3 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and continue to simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup jus, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cut pork in ¾-inch slices and serve with the roasted vegetables and jus.

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