Pork Loin Roast
- 3-4 pound center-cut boneless pork loin roast
- 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
- Olive oil
- Ground cardamom
- 1 large garlic clove
- Salt and peper
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided, 1 cup and 1 cup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- The Brine: Optional step that some find necessary to achieve a certain desired consistency. If you are unsure, try both methods and make some mental notes. If you don’t have time to wait for 24 hours, then skip this optional step. Dissolve the sugar and salt into the boiling water. Add it to the cold water. Add the pepper and stir to combine. Chill the brine completely in the refrigerator before adding it to the pork. Submerge pork in the brine solution and chill for 24 hours. Note that thick, gallon-sized freezer bag is great for brining; if you use one, you probably only need half as much brine solution. Even if you are using a bag, place in a bowl just in case the bag leaks. Rinse the roast thoroughly of the brine solution before cooking, pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Purée 1/2 cup chopped onion (reserving 1 cup), 2 tablespoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons ground cardamom, and garlic in a food processor or blender.
- Spread another 1/2 cup chopped onion in center of large roasting pan; top with pork. Sprinkle pork generously with salt and pepper; coat with onion purée.
- Combine mushrooms, remaining 1/2 cup onion, and 4 tablespoon olive oil in bowl; sprinkle with salt and pepper; arrange around pork.
- Roast pork 30 minutes at 450°F, then turn oven temperature down to 325°F for another 30 minutes Remove from oven after one hour and remove the mushrooms, placing them into a large saucepan. Add 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water to roasting pan. Return roast to oven and roast pork until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 140°F-145°F, about 15-20 minutes longer. Transfer pork to platter; tent with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Scrape the juices from the roasting pan into the saucepan with the mushrooms. Add the cream, remaining cup of broth, and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom to pan; bring to boil. Blend flour and butter in small cup; mix into mushroom sauce. Cook sauce, stirring often, until reduced enough to coat spoon. Season sauce with salt and pepper; serve with pork.
- The Sauce: Building a sauce to accompany the sliced roast pieces is also an optional step, but given that pork loin is actually quite lean, it is often important to a sauce handy on the table to moisten for some that don’t prefer lean meats, as well as to provide some additional flavoring to an otherwise dense cut of meat. Pan sauces are the most delicious and easiest to make. Gather some broth (chicken or turkey is often best), apple juice or cider, white wine, small bits of water, or any other liquids that you prefer. Slowly heat and scrape the roasting pan of all juices and bits left in the bottom of the pan as you apply liquid. Once you have it heated and mixed, reduce a bit to concentrate the juices. Thicken further by adding small bits of flour (create a water/flower paste in a small bowl for this purpose) or arrow root or other thickening agent. Add some final flavoring elements, such as salt & pepper, Dijon mustard, herbs, etc.