Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Apr 4, 2011

Pork Loin with White Wine, Fennel Seed and Mustard Sauce

Libations used: 1 cup white wine
Libations left over: pretty much the whole bottle, so serve that Chardonnay to your guests
I never liked pork growing up - I hated the texture, taste, everything about it.  In fact, an allergy test proved that I was slightly allergic to it.  Well, thank goodness I outgrew that, and my palate changed.  When I went home for the Christmas holidays, the Lush Chef's dad made this delicious and simple pork loin with a heavenly mustard sauce (I definitely licked my plate).  Two days later, we had a fancy prix-fixe dinner out, where they served a crown roast.  We all took a bite, looked at my dad, and agreed his version put theirs to shame.

The original recipe comes compliments of the Barefoot Contessa, but we took some liberties with the recipe to make it simpler - we cut out the chicken stock and the green peppercorns.  Even though we had this in the winter, this dish is perfect to make any time of year.  There's also something about a pork loin all Frenched and tied up that makes you look like a better cook than you really are - it's a surefire way to impress your dinner guests.  I served this with some spring roasted vegetables from the Farmer's Market, and included fresh fennel (both bulbs and fronds) to tie it in with the fennel seeds for the pork loin.

Pork Loin with White Wine, Fennel and Mustard Sauce - serves 6-8

  • 1 pork loin, bone in, Frenched and tied (I had 6 bones for 6 people)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard, divided - the one I bought from Trader Joe's had white wine in it.  Lush Chef score!
  • 4 tsp whole-grain mustard, divided 
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed - time to break out the mortar & pestle!
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup white wine - I used La Finca Chardonnay - it's inexpensive and tasty, so it's perfect for cooking
- Allow the pork to stand at room temp for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400.
- Place the pork, fat side up in a dutch oven or roasting pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbs of each mustard, the ground fennel seed, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Rub the mixture on top of the pork and roast for 1 - 1 1/4 hours, or until the temp reads 140.
- Have yourself a glass of wine.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil, allowing it to rest for about 20 minutes.
- Remove all but 1/4 cup fat from the dutch oven.  If there isn't that much fat, then add enough butter to make 1/4 cup.
- Over medium heat, whisk 2 Tbs flour into the fat and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the wine and be sure scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Add the remaining mustard, 2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened.
- Remove the strings from the pork, slice between the bones, and serve warm with the hot sauce.