Pork Charcutière (and a giveaway!)

Pork Charcutière (and a giveaway!)


A few posts back, I documented the three day epic of demi glace. The technique I used was adapted from one of my culinary idols, James Peterson, writing in Saveur magazine. In the same article he provided a handful of sauce recipes using demi glace, including a derivation of the classic pork Sauce Robert, called Sauce Charcutière.

I wanted to try this with some mustard and herb crusted roast pork tenderloin, and man was it a good match. Read to the end for our next giveaway!

Most pork tenderloins come with plenty of fat and silverskin, so I trimmed off each until there nothing was left but a nice hunk of lean pork.

After the pork was cleaned, I made something of a fines herbes with minced fresh thyme, parsley, chives, tarragon, along with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

I have to say, now that I look at that chives picture, it makes me cringe because it looks like I'm about to chop off my index finger. I've recently changed my knife technique toward a more professional method specifically because I shaved off a good chunk of my index nail recently. The good thing is, it's a 2D illusion -- my finger is obviously down a centimeter or so of chives and I'm mincing them pretty finely, so there's no real danger. Still, my finger should be tucked in, not pointing forward like that.

So, knife technique aside, I mixed the herbs, salt, and pepper together, then spread a tablespoon or so of dijon mustard on the pork. I rolled the mustard coated pork in the herbs to get a nice flavorful crust over the length of the tenderloin.

I heated a pan very hot, and added oil, swirling around until it was almost smoking. I added the tenderloin and seared each side until nicely browned. The browning technique is purely to extract complex flavor from the pork, the mustard, and the herbs.

The pork is now nicely flavored on the outside, yet raw on the inside. So, into a preheated 350 degree oven to roast for about 30 minutes, until the center is lightly pink and juicy (around 160F in the very center).

Meanwhile, I deglaze the pan with 6 oz of white wine to scrape up the mustard, herbs, and pork drippings that are just sitting there, waiting to make a sauce.

Once the wine reduces to about a teaspoon, with all the goodies mixed in, I take the pan off the heat until later. I get out a smaller pan, heat it up and add some olive oil, and a nice, sliced shallot.

Once the shallot has browned slightly, I add some more white wine, then the reserved deglazed herbs, wine, and pork.

This will simmer lightly until reduced by half or so.

I added two to three tablespoons of my frozen demi glace, along with a half cup of veal stock left over from making the demi.

This simmers and reduces a bit more to concentrate flavor. Then, I turned the heat off and added two tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of dijon mustard.

This mixture shouldn't simmer or boil, or everything might separate out. If the sauce is warm (warmer than, say, blood temperature), it's right where it should be.

Meanwhile, the cornichons. Cornichons are tiny pickles, much loved in France. They're about 2 inches long, and typically pickled with tarragon and a bunch of other spices like mustard. They're very hard to find in the States, and the ones I've found that are labeled "authentic French recipe" all taste different. To make things more difficult, there are several American versions of tiny pickles (Mount Olive and Vlassic, for example) that are more typically kosher/dill than what would be found in France. Still, Sauce Charcutière calles for julienned cornichons, and I chose to use American Mount Olive kosher dills. The point to the sauce is to add some vinegar and bright herbs to the mustard, wine, and butter, and I think this worked well. I also cut my pickles a little thicker than julienne, but I like a bit of crunch.

I strained the sauce, then added the sliced pickles, and a little more of my fines herbes (minus the salt and pepper)

The pork was done about this time, so after five or so minutes of resting, I sliced it on a strong bias.

We plated some pork, drizzled with sauce, and some cheesy mashed potatoes (also drizzled with sauce), and added some pickled onions and cucumber slices on the side.

Deconstruction: Overall, this was really tasty. If there was anything I would change, I would have crusted the pork with twice the herbs/salt/pepper, as a lot fell off during the searing process. The bit that was left, ringing the slices, was tasty, and could definitely have been increased. Next time I do this (and there will be a next time), I'll just massively coat the pork in herbs.

Giveaway: Once again sponsored by A Cork Above, we are pleased to offer three separate flavors of Garden Fresh Marinated Garlic. That's right, we're giving away garlic! Specifically, Italian Style, Mediterranean Style, and Cajun Style. These flavors are nicely bold -- I like making an aioli with them for a rustic, flavored mayonnaise that goes well with beef, chicken, or seafood.

Leave a comment, and we'll randomly select a winner on Friday February 26th by noon Eastern Time!

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