Monday, January 2, 2012

Holiday Mainstays

Family. Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation. Stockings and Bloody Mary's. Champagne and fantastic drink glasses for every beverage. Turkey and pork. Thank goodness my parents were here to take over turkey duty on Christmas day. I found myself in a swarm of anxiety of nerves when it came to cleaning, lifting, roasting and then carving this gigantic bird. I let my mom do the roasting and my dad do the heavy lifting.
Dad (in my apron) ready to list the beast and carve!
My mom brought her culinary A-game and really helped me pull of a food-filled weekend. Our turkey was delicious and has made great turkey salad, stock and turkey tetrazinni will be next week!
Christmas turkey!
On New Year's Day, I took a more active role in the meat preparation. Gourmet Magazine (via had a wonderful herb-roasted pork recipe that was great for New Year's Day dinner. 
My take is below:

For pork:
         1 (2 lb) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
         2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
         8 large thyme sprigs, divided
         4 sage sprigs, divided
         4 sprigs parsley, chopped
         1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (4 to 5)
         1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
         1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

For sauce:
         1/4 cup dry vermouth
         1 teaspoons Dijon mustard
         1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
         1 tablespoon butter
         1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Roast pork:
 Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven or stove-top/oven proof pan, brown pork on all sides, then transfer to a large plate.
Arrange half the herbs down the center of baking dish. Stir together shallots, garlic, mustard, and 1 tablespoon oil and smear over top and sides of roast, then put roast, fat side up, on top of herbs. Roast 45 minutes. Toss remaining herbs with remaining teaspoon oil and arrange on top of roast.

Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 to 145°F, 5 to 15 minutes more (temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees as it rests). Transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes.

Make sauce while pork rests: 
Remove the pan from the oven and discard herbs. Straddle pan across 2 burners on medium heat. Add vermouth and mustard and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half. Add broth and simmer 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 2-cup measure.
Melt butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Whisk in vermouth mixture and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
Serve pork with sauce.

Served with carrots, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and crescent rolls. Happy New Year!

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