Here is a warming dish for fall, uncomplicated enough for a simple family dinner yet flavorful enough to serve to discerning guests. Reminiscent of classic French bistro cuisine, the succulent roast pork and the sweet caramelized carrots are beautifully offset by a tangy, kicky mustard sauce. The fact that the whole meal only dirties one pot is just icing.
I buy my pork roasts at a local butcher, where they come neatly tied up with twine, all ready to go in the oven. You want a nice, round loin roast (not tenderloin, which dries out too quickly for this preparation), preferably with a little bit of fat on the sides to keep everything lush. If yours doesn’t come already trussed, you can do it yourself by tying two or three lengths of butcher’s twine around the roast at regular intervals. Be sure to remove the twine before serving.
Just as no Parisian bistro table is complete without a jar of spicy mustard, no bistro meal is complete without some good bread and a few leaves of lettuce as a nod to salad. This one is no different.
1 pork loin roast, about 1¾ pounds or 800 grams
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
24 carrots (about 2 pounds or 900 grams), peeled and cut into 1-inch (2-centimeter) pieces
2 medium onions, julienned
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons flour
½ cup white wine or chicken stock
splash of verjus or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon crème fraîche or heavy cream
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C), and season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown the meat all over, about 3–4 minutes per side. Remove the pork to a plate.
3. Add the carrots, onions and bay leaf to the pot. Stir to pick up any browned bits on the bottom and to coat the vegetables with the juices. Make a nest in the center of the pot and place the roast back in, with the carrots and onions around it. Place the pot in the oven and roast, basting once or twice during roasting, until it registers 140°F (60°C), about 30–40 minutes.
4. Place the pot back on the stove. Place the meat on a plate or cutting board and tent it with foil. Remove the vegetables to a serving bowl and keep warm while you make the sauce.
5. Sprinkle the flour over the juices in the pot. Turn the heat to medium and stir to combine. Cook a few minutes, until the flour starts to smell toasty, then whisk in the wine and verjus (or stock and vinegar). Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the mustards, honey and any juices that accumulated under the pork. Return to a simmer. Taste, adjust the seasoning as necessary and finish with the cream.
6. Slice the pork and serve with the carrots on the side and a generous spoonful of sauce. Pass any extra at the table.
Camille Malmquist is an American pastry chef living and working in Paris. In her spare time, she cooks and bakes at home (believe it or not), as well as tackles the difficult task of trying out as many restaurants and bakeries as possible, then she blogs about her food and travel adventures at Croque-Camille.