- Course: Main Course
- Skill Level: Easy
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 5 Times
This is the most delicious braised pork because of the combination of ingredients: mustard, brown sugar, and prunes. The pork loin is larded with prosciutto, which gives it a terrific flavor. I learned this recipe 40 years ago from the classic French cookbook by Simone Beck, Simco’s Cuisine. Beck served it with Boston Lettuce Gratinée because the combination is perfect, and I always do, too.
- 2 cups beef broth
- 18 medium-size pitted prunes
- One 5- to 6-pound pork loin, boned, rolled, and tied (ask your butcher to do this)
- ¼ pound prosciutto, cut into 3- to 4-inch-long × ½-inch-thick strips
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2/3 cup bourbon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 bunch watercress, stems removed, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Heat 1 cup of the broth in a medium-size saucepan. Add the prunes, remove from the heat, and set aside.
3. Using a sharp knife or long skewer, push the prosciutto strips into the center of the loin lengthwise. Do this from both ends, as they won’t go the whole length of the loin. When you slice the braised loin, you will have prosciutto in each slice.
4. Paint the pork loin with the mustard. Place the brown sugar on a plate and roll the pork in it to coat evenly.
5. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the canola oil. Brown the meat on all sides, taking care not to let it scorch. Pour the bourbon over the meat. Using a long match and being watchful of hanging hair and loose sleeves, light the bourbon and let it burn out. Add the remaining 1 cup broth, cover, and place in the oven.
6. After 1 hour, turn the meat and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the thyme, sage, and parsley in a piece of cheesecloth to make a bouquet garni and add to the pot. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, cover, and cook for 1 hour more. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the prunes and their soaking liquid.
7. Transfer the pork loin and prunes to a warm platter and set aside. Strain the juices through a fine-mesh strainer and place in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
8. Slice the pork loin and return to the platter with the prunes. Decorate the edges of the platter with the watercress. Make sure to include some of the watercress when serving the pork and prunes; it’s a cold and crunchy addition. Serve the gravy on the side.
Some butchers will lard the pork loin with the prosciutto for you; ask them to cut the ham into finger-sized strips. It’s a great help if they do.
Allow the meat to cook slowly. If you try to rush it using high heat, it will be tough.
© 2003 Ellen Wright
Note from Cookstr's Editors
Nutritional information is based on using a 5-pound pork loin, and includes 1 teaspoon of added salt.