Happy Valentine's Day, dear Kitchn readers. I know some of us love to hate this Hallmark holiday, but it can also prompt us to take a moment to acknowledge and be thankful for the ones we care for. I can't think of a better way to show my love than in the kitchen. After all, food is love.
My beloved and I unceremoniously decided to share our Sunday together — a celebration of "us" with nary a paper heart or pink cupcake in sight.
Our day started as many weekend mornings do: with my fluffiest cottage cheese pancakes, a side of crispy bacon (dunked in maple syrup!) and a latte or two. Next it was straight to the couch, laptops in hand, where I caught up on my favorite food blogs while he checked out the latest sports gossip. Not a word was spoken between us. Not a word had to be.
As the hours passed on, I headed into the kitchen to put together a lazy "Sunday supper." I threw our doors open and let the unseasonably warm air pour in. Robert Johnson serenaded me from the stereo. I peeled and chopped the vegetables and let the marinated pork come to room temperature. And just like that, into the oven it all went. Talk about easy! An hour and a half later we were feasting on an herbaceous bone-in pork loin and sweet, caramelized vegetables. Sweet tea vodka rounded out the delicious meal.
Bellies full, we headed back to the couch for a marathon session... of Star Wars! We sighed and cooed in stuffed contentment, only getting up to grab a beer. (Much to our disappointment, the "force" was not powerful enough to float them to us). Ah, what bliss. But it was somewhere late in the evening when our stomachs began to growl, not ever really fully satisfied. What could make our gluttonous evening complete you ask? Delivery pizza, of course. Two slices of barbecue chicken later, I officially declared it the perfect day. I think my loved one might agree.
How do you spend time with those you love? What meals do you share?
Bone-in Pork Loin with Dijon Sauce
Serves 4 to 6
For the pork loin
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary needles
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (4 pound) bone-in pork loin, frenched
For the sauce
1 and 1/2 cups red wine
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
Pan drippings from roast
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the pork loin
Process garlic and rosemary needles in a mini food processor (but you can do this by hand!) until minced. Add olive oil, salt, and pepper and continue pulsing until well combined. Rub the marinade on both sides of the pork loin and refrigerate overnight, or for at least two hours.
Remove pork loin from refrigerator about an hour before cooking. Add a little more olive oil and salt to pork if desired.
Preheat oven to 375°. Place pork loin fat side up in baking pan. Cook until an instant-read thermometer reaches 135° (approximately one hour and fifteen minutes). Remove from oven and tent with foil. Allow to rest while making pan sauce. (The internal temperature will continue to rise to about 145°.)
For the sauce
Whisk together wine, mustard, soy sauce, and pan drippings. In a large sauté pan bring the wine mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Allow mixture to reduce (it should be bubbling away) until it coats the back of a wooden spoon, approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in heavy cream until well combined.
Slice the roast crosswise between the bones. Serve with Dijon-red wine sauce and a side of roasted root vegetables.
Related: How to Roast Any Vegetable
(Images: Nealey Dozier)