"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recipes–Braised Pork Loin with Thyme

I like this recipe because it is relatively simple, pork loin is almost fat-free, and the cream sauce (bourbon, cream, sour cream, and mustard) blends perfectly with the thyme roasted or braised with the meat.  A few different steps, alas, but well worth it.

Braised Pork Loin with Thyme and Prunes

* 2 pork loins (this is for four hungry people; one loin easily for two)

* 1/2 cup cream

* 2 lg. Tbsp. sour cream

* 2 tsp. Maille (or other good Dijon) mustard

* 1 Tbsp. thyme

* 1/4 cup bourbon

* 10 dried prunes

- Place the prunes in water and let soak for about two hours until soft

- Rub a small amount of olive oil in an iron skillet to lubricate it

- Heat the skillet to very high heat (the light oil coating should start to smoke)

- Rub the pork loins liberally with thyme on all sides

- Braise the meat in the skillet until the pork loins are brown all over.  You will need to turn the meat frequently, trying to braise it both on the flat sides and on the narrower sides as well.  This should take about 15 minutes.

- When the braising is complete, turn the heat down to medium-high and cook for another 10 minutes approximately until done. You will need to test the meat for doneness by pressing your finger down into the meat.  It should be firm, but there should be plenty of give when you press.  You should NOT cut the meat to test because even if you sear the ends that have been cut you will lose a lot of juice.  The meat in this recipe, with such a high-quality cut, should never be over done

- Remove the meat from the pan and reserve

- Add bourbon.  It will immediately reduce, so before it does completely, add the cream, sour cream and mustard.  Scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir and mix the ingredients.  This will assure that all the good bits of meat and thyme are integrated into the sauce.  Taste for ingredients.  At this point you can add and adjust all.

- When the meat has cooled for about 20 minutes, cut it into 2’ pieces, place in the sauce, add the prunes, and heat over low-medium heat to warm up the mixture.  Do not cook, just warm.

- Serve

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