Roast Loin of Pork Is a Family Favorite for Easter

BY Diane Rossen Worthington TIMEMarch 21, 2023 PRINT

Roasted loin of pork is my family’s most requested Easter main course, served either for lunch or dinner. While I love my glazed spiral honey baked ham, this dish is not only a unique take on pork, but also more economical in this crazy time of inflation we are all living through. This entrée may become your family’s favorite too.

The recipe has three parts, but it really is Seriously Simple. Find a chunky applesauce at the market and flavor it with mustard to serve alongside the meat. A mustard coating is applied to the pork loin (plastic gloves are helpful here), and the loin is roasted, creating a lovely crust. Finally, a simple savory cognac and mustard sauce complements the moist pork.

Today pork is 30 percent leaner than in the past, so it is important not to overcook it. In the past, it was thought that pork had to be cooked until well done to avoid the risk of trichinosis. That isn’t true anymore now that we know about “carryover cooking.” Make sure you cook the pork 5 to 10 degrees lower than you want it to be, because it continues to cook as it rests. It’s OK if it is slightly pink inside.

I like to slice the pork and overlap a few pieces, drizzle the savory sauce over, and spoon a few tablespoons of the mustard-flavored applesauce on the side. To complete the meal, serve this with braised spinach or Swiss chard and crusty oven-roasted potatoes.

I have a couple of suggestions for a complementary beverage. For a white wine, consider an off-dry riesling from Washington state. For a red wine, a California zinfandel would be my choice. Since there is a fruity component to the main course, I would suggest a chocolate dessert to end the meal. Happy Easter!

Roasted Mustard Pork Loin With Cognac Sauce

Serves 6 to 8

  • 1 (3 1/2 pound) pork loin roast, tied
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped, for garnish

For the Mustard Apple Sauce

  • 2 cups favorite apple sauce (Trader Joe’s chunky-style is good)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

For the Mustard Coating

  • 1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon favorite seasoning salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • Pinch coarsely ground white pepper

To make the Applesauce:

Combine the apple sauce with the mustard in a small serving bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

To make the Mustard Coating:

Combine all of the mustard coating ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Using plastic disposable gloves helps spread the mustard coating evenly all over the roast.

Roast the pork for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 140 degrees F. Remove from the oven and transfer the roast to a carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes. Place the roasting pan on the top of the stove.

To make the Sauce:

Add the cognac and stock to the roasting pan, and increase the heat to high. Bring to boil, scraping up the brown bits. Boil until the alcohol has burned off and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Whisk in crème fraîche and mustard and bring to a boil. Cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add pepper and whisk well. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Strain the sauce into a gravy boat or bowl.

Remove the string from the pork and slice the pork. Arrange the slices on a platter and spoon over some of the cognac sauce. Garnish with parsley. Serve with the remaining cognac sauce and the applesauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

Advance Preparation: The applesauce mixture and mustard paste may be prepared one day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

You can also make this dish using pork tenderloins; figure 3 (1 1/4 pounds) tenderloins and make sure not to let them touch when baking. Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 140 degrees F. Pork tenderloin is very tender and the sliced pieces will be smaller than the loin.

Try the mustard crust on leg of lamb.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including "Seriously Simple Parties," and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at Copyright 2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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