By Chef Peter Webster of Bouquet Garni Catering
I was visiting my sister last week. She asked me to prepare dinner (of course). She had a frozen pork loin roast and some red skinned potatoes. So while the family was sitting around, sipping wine, I checked out her cupboards for different spices and went to work. I defrosted the roast in the microwave on the defrost setting.
The loin roast has a small fat cap on the outside but little marbling in the meat. Therefore it will dry out if overcooked. I combined regular mustard with some grainy Dijon mustard and liberally coated the outside of the roast. Using what she had on hand, I used freshly cracked black pepper and a low sodium pork rub mixture and sprinkled them on the mustard. I then roughly chopped an onion, two carrots and an apple and placed them on the baking sheet. I laid the pork roast on top of the vegetables.
The oven was preheated to 400ºF. I placed the roast in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. At the end of the 15 minutes, I lowered the temperature to 325ºF and finished the baking. I calculated one hour of cooking time per kilo of meat. To save time, I cut the 2 kilo roast in half and was able to finish the cooking in 1 hour.
For the gravy, I transferred the roast to another roasting pan and kept it warm in the oven. I put the vegetables in a pot and covered them with water and white wine and brought it to a boil. I added some salt and pepper and some dried herbs. While this was simmering, I heated up the original baking sheet, added some white wine to it and scrapped up all the browned bits and added it to the pot. I strained the liquid off into a bowl and added some cornstarch diluted in a little white wine and heated it until thickened.
For the potatoes, I washed and cut them into chunks. They were put into a pot with cold salted water, brought to a boil and simmered until soft. I drained the potatoes and using a potato masher, smashed them with some butter, salt, pepper and a little milk. I like the red skin in the smashed potatoes
The pork roast was sliced and I gave two slices per plate. The smashed potatoes were scooped on the side and I ladled the gravy on top of all.
You may notice the roast is pink on the top and white in the centre. This is just the colour of the meat. If you see the roast is pink in the centre, then the meat needs to go back in the oven to finish cooking.
Judging by the clean plates, it was a tasty meal.