Tomorrow will be my first post with the Barefoot Bloggers, but I couldn’t resist blogging about this Ina recipe as well. I will admit, I was fairly skeptical of the dish. Unless its barbecued or slathered in hoisin sauce, I usually pass on pork (with the obvious exception the bacon/ham/prosciutto food group). However, this week pork was on sale at the market and I couldn’t stomach $5/lb chicken breasts so I figured I’d give it a whirl. I am glad I did. The result was pork with a salty and tangy mustard crust, which paired beautifully with the sweet, tender caramelized vegetables.
The recipe is originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties!, and is reproduced below as written. I did, however, make a few alterations. I just about halved the amount of vegetables to feed 4 people and still had some leftovers. If you reduce the vegetables, don’t forget to reduce the oil and butter. I also found the cooking time to be off (I have found this with several Ina recipes, I wonder if anyone else has had the same experience). The internal temperature was nowhere near 138° after 30 minutes. Furthermore, I am convinced I will be one of the .0001 percent of people who develop trichinosis so I wanted to cook the pork to 160.° I did not watch the clock as well as I should have since I was using my handy dandy Williams Sonoma digital thermometer with voice alert (cruise control for cooking), but I think it took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied
- 3 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
- 8 carrots, peeled, and thickly sliced diagonally
- 10 small potatoes (red or white-skinned), cut in quarters
- 2 yellow onions, thickly sliced
- 4 tablespoons good olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- With a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, grind together the garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and thyme leaves. Add the mustard. Spread the mixture over the loin of pork and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulbs in thick wedges, cutting through the core. Toss the fennel, carrots, potatoes, and onions in a bowl with the olive oil, melted butter, salt, and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables in a large roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes. Add the pork loin to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 to 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads exactly 138 degrees. Remove the meat from the pan and return the vegetables to the oven to keep cooking. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thickly. Arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm.