Back when The Food Network was a new experience for us, we watched a lot of cooking shows, and Curtis Stone’s was among the ones we really liked.
That was a long, long time ago. When the cooking shows turned into reality shows, we gave up on The Food Network. Curtis Stone’s herb-crusted pork, however, remains a family favorite. My husband, Speedy, made this for lunch on a Sunday.
It starts with browning a slab of pork loin (not tenderloin!) in olive oil. The meat is transferred to a baking dish, the oil in which it had browned is drizzled over it and the meat goes into a preheated oven where it cooks for 20 minutes.
The roast pork loin is laid on a cutting board, slathered with mustard and chopped thyme is patted on the entire surface. The pork is allowed to rest, covered loosely with a foil tent, while the asparaus side dish is prepared.
Baby asparagus is cooked shortly in olive oil, vinaigrette is drizzled in and the vegetables finish cooking in the liquid.
Note that when making the vinaigrette, you’re making a thin emulsion, same technique for making mayonnaise, but since the vinaigrette is added to the pan and then to the sliced meat later, a very thin mixture won’t really ruin your masterpiece.
The cooked asparagus is arranged on one side of a serving plate. The roast pork loin is cut into slices and laid beside the asparagus.
To serve the herb-crusted roast pork with baby asparagus, allow one to two slices of meat per person. Accompany each serving with a generous amount of asparagus. Spoon the liquids from the serving platter over the meat and asparagus.
Roast pork loin with mustard and thyme
- 800 grams pork loin with a thin layer of fat one one side (not tenderloin!)
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves or twice as much if using fresh
- 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 300 grams baby asparagus
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Roast the pork
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Rub the pork loin generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat about two tablespoonfuls of olive oil in a pan, add the pork, fat side down, sprinkle with the rosemary, and cook until lightly browned. Roll the pork in the hot oil for even browning.
- Transfer the pork to a rack set over a baking dish (to catch drippings).
- Take the oil in the pan (with the rosemary) and brush all over the browned pork.
- Roast in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.
- When the pork is almost done, strip the thyme leaves off the stalks and chop the leaves.
- Take out the pork out of the oven and place on a cutting board.
- Spread the mustard evenly all over the hot meat and press the thyme evenly into the mustard.
- Cover the pork loosely with a foil tent and allow to rest.
Cook the asparagus
- In a bowl, whisk together the garlic and balsamic vinegar.
- Pour in the about 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a slow thin stream while whisking continuously.
- Heat a tablespoonful or so of olive oil in a frying pan.
- Add the baby asparagus in a single layer.
- Cook, tossing or stirring lightly, to coat each spear with oil (baby asparagus will cook in five minutes or less; larger spears will cook in 10).
- Drizzle a few tablespoonfuls of the vinaigrette and cook a few seconds longer.
Assemble the Roast pork loin with mustard and thyme, and baby asparagus
- Transfer the asparagus, with the liquids, on one side of the serving platter.
- Cut the roast pork into about ¾ inch slices.
- Arrange the pork slices beside the asparagus.
- Drizzle all the remaining vinaigrette all over the pork.