Roast Pork Loin and Baby Asparagus
Thyme-flavored roast pork loin smothered with mustard and fresh thyme served with asparagus cooked in a special vinaigrette, based on a recipe by Curtis Stone.What makes this dish very tasty? The combination of the the sourness of mustard and the sweetness of the thyme leaves. And the incomparable flavor of the balsamic vinegar in the dressing. Amazing.
- 800 grams pork loin with a thin layer of fat one one side
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary leaves or twice as much if using fresh
- 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared mustard
- handful of fresh thyme
- 300 grams baby asparagus
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 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.
- Roast the pork loin, with the oil and rosemary, in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.
- When the pork is almost done, finely slice the fresh thyme.
- Take out the pork from the oven. Spread the mustard evenly all over the hot meat and press the thyme evenly into the mustard. Allow the meat to rest.
- Prepare the asparagus. Start by making the vinaigrette. 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. You’re making a thin emulsion, same technique for making mayonnaise, but since the vinaigrette will be added to the pan then to the sliced meat later, a very watery dressing won’t really ruin your masterpiece.
- Heat a tablespoonful or so of olive oil in a pan. Add the baby asparagus in a single layer. Cook (baby asparagus will cook in five minutes or less; larger spears will cook in 10), tossing or stirring lightly, to coat each spear with oil.
- Drizzle a few tablespoonfuls of the vinaigrette and cook a few seconds longer.
- 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.
- To serve the herb-crusted roast pork loin 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.
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