Saturday, November 1, 2014

Alice and Jacques

I think it was Alice who suggested laying my pork loin roast on top of thin slices of lemon before roasting. I'm pretty sure it was Jacques who thought garlic and thyme would be great smeared on top. They both suggested salting and peppering well ahead of roasting, even days ahead, but I didn't have that kind of time, so I skipped that part and just salted and peppered before roasting.

When I am in doubt about how to prepare a particular meal, I often use these two go-to sources, Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Cooking" and any one of several books by my hero, Jacques Pepin. Both are well indexed to make finding ideas easy, and both suggest reliably killer preparations. 

It roasted at about 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes, as it was pretty small. I checked with my instant-read thermometer after 25 minutes, and it was nearing perfection. I pulled it from the oven just short of the perfect temperature and let it rest while I prepped and cooked the veggies.

The lemons did their magic with the juices from the roast - that made a lovely, light "jus" to ladle over the slices. The jus is easy to make, you just pour off most of the fat from the roasting pan (there wasn't much from this lean little roast), add a little water to the pan, and stir it around for a few minutes to mix in the caramelized meat juices in the bottom. 

The thyme and garlic were almost crisp after roasting, and their flavors had seeped wonderfully into the roast. 

I can't go wrong when I have mentors like these two to consult.


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