Update 19: New Year's Goal: Become an "official" Gourmess by August 2010

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

The first Demonstration for Session 11: Methods of Cooking Meat: Poêle, Breading and Sautèeing, Cooking Pork was Carrè de Porc Rôti Choisy (Roast Loin of Pork Choisy).

I started with a bone-in center cut pork loin (about 2.5 lbs). I trimmed some extra fat off of it and then manchonnered the ends of the ribs.  That took a bit of time, but ended up looking great -- it really does change the presentation.  I secured the pork with kitchen twine to hold it together, and then browned it on all sides in a rondeau with vegetable oil and butter, and then removed it from the pan. I added any pork trimmings or bones I had from the prep part, and also added carrot and onion mirepoix and a bouquet garni. The vegetables were stirred and then the pork went back on top. I added 3 TBS of butter to the top of the pork, put the lid on the pan and put it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and fifteen minutes, until my thermometer registered about 150 degrees and the juices ran clear when I pricked the meat with the tip of a knife.  I also basted the meat every 10-15 minutes with the pan juices, and for the last 10 minutes, removed the lid, so I could get a bit of a browner color.

While the meat roasted, I made the choisy garnish which included two heads of Boston lettuce, carrots cut in very small dice (brunoise), finely diced onion (ciselè), and lean bacon with the rind removed, also finely diced. I also tourneed (ugh!) some russet potatoes in château style, which is about an inch longer than the cocotte size.  

For the Boston lettuce, after washing thoroughly, I blanched the two heads in boiling salted water until they started to wilt and then removed from the pot, drained and refreshed in a bowl of ice water. Then, I shook off the extra water and lightly pressed each with a towel to remove extra water.  In another pan, I added added some butter and then the carrots, onion and bacon -- this trifecta is called a matignon -- and then the lettuce heads went on top, with some chicken stock added until it was covered by half.  I added some salt and pepper and then made a parchment lid, and that went into the oven with the pork for about 30 minutes, until the lettuce core was tender.

I boiled the potatoes until they were tender, then covered in some butter and put those in the oven to roast a bit as well. (The book just says to use cooked potatoes, so I was on my own as how to prepare them. I think this worked fine.)

When the meat was ready, I removed it from the pan, cut off the twine, and tented with some aluminum foil to keep warm.  Then, I put the rondeau back on the stove (it is so great to have such versatile cookware that goes from oven to stove and back again--definitely worth the investment), added some white wine and some thickened veal stock (homemade!) and simmered for about 15 minutes until it had a wonderful flavor of the pan drippings and the mirepoix. Then, it went through the chinois and back into a sauce pan where I removed any fat that was on the surface.  I added some salt and pepper, and reduced a bit more so it was more like a sauce and set aside.

The pan with the choisy came out of the oven. The book said to cut each lettuce head in half lengthwise and fold each half into 3 inch packets. My lettuces were pretty small, so I took all of larger leaves, doubled them up and then folded them into packets (hold lettuce by stem end, smooth out the leaves and then fold the top end of the leaf back toward the stem. I warmed the lettuces up with the potatoes with some stock and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Then, I assembled the dish. I carved the roast, added equal portions of lettuce and potatoes (the book says to nestle them) with a piece of the meat (I made my pieces thick cut), sprinkled with parsley and chervil and that was it. (Sauce was on the side.)

Chris said that mine looked just like it did in the book -- score!

Really lovely meal for a really lovely day.


Roast Pork Loin on Foodista