Friday, 8 February 2008

Pork Loin in a White Wine and Mushroom Sauce

Homer: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Lisa, honey, are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad! Those all come from the same animal!

Homer: [Chuckles] Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

The wonderful, magical pig: it bequeaths us luscious sausages, the tantalizing smell of bacon, the versatility of ham. And yet - and yet pork in its natural state can be a difficult thing to cook well. I've had more tough pork chops than I've had tender ones, and there's not much that's appetizing about a square of gray, dry meat on the plate. A lot of it comes down the the quality of the meat, which is the result of the pigs that are being bred and farmed (there's a very interestin
g article about this amusingly called 'The Swine of Our Times'). It also comes down to the cut of the meat, with some pork being more easy to work with, and for this reason my favorite cut is the loin.

Mr A&N had a flash of inspiration when we last had pork loin, and so I left him to it. Or, I tried to leave him to it as best I could. I asked questions ("What are you making it with?" "How are you going to cook it?" "Are you sure you want to add *that* to it?"), made noises ("You are? ...Oh." " you think...eer...never mind"), and trie
d to pretend I didn't want to interfere in the process at all. Finally, I had to leave the kitchen and just enjoy the results - which I enjoyed immensely since Mr A&N is a very good cook even despite my meddling. The accompanying sauce was so flavorful in its own right that I was torn as to whether to award the pork or the sauce as the star of the show. This should produce enough sauce so that you can be greedy with.

Pork Loin in a White Wine and Mushroom Sauce

  • 1 - 1 1/2 k pork loin (about 2 - 3 lbs or pork)
  • olive oil for frying
  • 6 - 7 closed cap mushrooms, or 1 1/2 portabello mushrooms, chopped quite finely
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 1 medium bunch of thyme
  • 1 large glass dry white wine
  • 1/2 Tbs flour
  • splash of cream or milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 360 F.
  2. In a small saucepan with a splash of olive oil, briefly sautee the mushroom, onion, and garlic until the onion softens slightly.
  3. In an oven-proof dish large enough to hold the pork, pour in the mushroom mixture. Add to this the mustard, thyme, and white wine, and stir.
  4. In a heavy-bottomed pan or pot, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over a medium heat.
  5. Brown the pork briefly on all sides.
  6. Pour any pork juices into the mushroom mixture, then place the pork on top of this. Lightly salt and pepper it.
  7. Spoon some of the sauce onto the pork so that it's covered on the top and bottom.
  8. Cover the dish with tin foil, and place in the oven.
  9. Cook for 35-45 minutes or until the pork is done when tested with a meat thermometer.
  10. Pour out the mushroom mixture and all juices into a medium-sized sauce pan. Keep the pork in the oven dish and re-cover to keep warm.
  11. Dissolve the flour in the cream or milk by stirring well, then add this to the saucepan with the mushroom mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste
  12. Heat over a medium heat, stirring, until the sauce has thickened a bit.
  13. Serve the pork in slices, with the sauce poured over it.


tammy said...

Mmmmmmm, does that ever look good. Wonderful, magical animal, indeed.

Gigi said...

Great recipe! Mr Gigi Cakes loves pork tenderloin and he will definitely welcome this recipe. Thanks!

Peter M said...

...and don't forget...

"You don't make friends with salad"!

Those that can cook pork without drying the swine out exhibit talent, me says.

Kevin said...

That pork with mushroom sauce looks really tasty!

Lore said...

I just love it that you used pork juices in the mushroom mixture! Looks incredibly tasty.

Brilynn said...

I love that episode... and pork, and bacon... mmmm bacon... so magical.

Angi said...

Ha! Though, as you know, I don't dig on swine I had to guffaw at the Simpsons quote. A magical animal indeed!

jasmine said...

Oh yum.

I do a very similar thing with pork chops.

Yum yum yum...maybe tomorrow night...


Annemarie said...

Hi Tammy - :)

Hi Gigi - Hope Mr Gigi did, indeed, enjoy it

Hi Peter - The Simpsons contain some of our greatest life lessons. I agree about the not drying out - that's a rare talent that, if I weren't alredy hitched, I'd marry someone based on.

Hi Kevin - thanks!

Hi Lore - thanks, it really was.

Hi Brilynn - those lines I quoted are some of my favorites of the entire show's history.

Hi Angi - indeed, I had to double take when I saw you commenting on this. Thanks for being my friend despite my carnivorousness. :)

Hi Jasmine - I'm thinking this has more applications than with just loin, and pork chops may be the next use for me, too.

Floatykatja said...

Ooh, pig - mmmmm ...

My brother farms organic Gloucester Old Spots and they are delicious. Happy pigs really are tastier pigs.

One of my favourite quick supper recipes is a Nigel Slater one for pork chops which involves cooking with fennel seeds and white wine, and semi-steaming the chops so that they stay deliciously juicy and yummy.


Joe Horn said...

Hey guys, love the site and the pork looks great. The pictures are wonderful as well. I just did a Pork Tenderloin myself with a Romesco sauce. If you have the time please come by and take a look and let me know what you think.

Thanks so much, I'll be back for sure!!!


Alexis said...

The sauce really is exquisite and I haven't even cut the pork yet!
I will most definitely be trying some of your other recipes.
Keep up the great work!