What images do you come up with when you think of Sunday dinner? Family? comfort food? grandma’s chocolate cake? afternoon naps? coffee? conversation? My memories of Sunday dinner take me back to roast beef and gravy, whipped mashed potatoes, and green beans. I loved that day of the week the best. I do not recall ever having anything else for Sunday dinner. So, it comes as no surprise to me that to this day, when I make the moist roast and gravy, my oldest daughter always comes back home for that meal. After she eats and has had her fill, she heads straight to the couch for an afternoon nap. Just like I did when I was a young girl.
When I attempted to recreate the same feelings in a French way, I found this recipe “Roasted Pork with Milk” which comes from the Les Halles restaurant out of the cookbook Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook-Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking. Chef Anthony Bourdain of Les Halles, gives me his “signature” charm and off the cuff humor while teaching me how to cook all the classic French bistro fare. So I felt like this was a down home Sunday kind of dinner thing. I hope you might think so too. Bon Appétit!
3 lb boneless pork loin roast
salt and pepper
2 tbls. olive oil
1 tbls. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped,
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbls. flour
2 cups whole milk
1 bouquet garni-(1 sprig of parsley, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, and one bay leaf, tied together with string and used for flavoring. Tying the bundle in cheesecloth makes it easier to retrieve from the pot.
Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a dutch oven. When the oil is hot, add the butter. Brown the roast on all sides and set aside in a large plate. Add the onion, carrot, leek, and garlic and stir over high heat until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stirring constantly, add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add the milk and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Add the pork and any juices that have collected on the plate. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, making sure to periodically rotate the pork (the sugars in the milk can cause sticking and scorching). Remove the pork and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Strain the cooking liquid into a small pot and bring to a boil. Using a hand blender (or a mashed potato masher), puree the sauce (as best as you can with the masher) until foamy. Adjust the seasonings as needed. Carve the pork and arrange on a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over and around and serve immediately.