Enchaud Perigourdin: Pot-Roasted Pork Loin with Carrots and Parsnips

<i>Enchaud Perigourdin</i>: Pot-Roasted Pork Loin with Carrots and Parsnips

Having read about Enchaud Périgourdin in in an old cookbook, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to taste it in Périgord. Then I discovered how simple it is to make. The pork is spiked with garlic and then roasted en cocotte with a small amount of broth in a covered casserole, keeping the meat moist and tasty. Carrots and parsnips are added halfway through, so they cook to just the right tenderness. The pork is also excellent cold: place thin slices on country bread, spread with the jelled cooking juices and add cornichons for a robust sandwich.

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds (900 g) boneless pork loin
4 or 5 garlic cloves, cut into slivers
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons (30 g) lard or vegetable oil
2 cups (500 ml) veal broth, more if needed
1 bunch fresh thyme, about 3/4 ounce (20 g)
3 or 4 carrots, about 12 ounces (330 g) total, cut into slices 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick
6 parsnips, about 1-1/2 pounds (675 g) total, cut into slices 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick

Prepare the pork at least 6 hours before cooking. Poke evenly spaced holes in the meat with the tip of a small knife. Insert a garlic stick in each one. Roll the pork, tie it in a neat cylinder and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours (or as long as overnight), so the garlic permeates the meat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the lard in a flameproof casserole over medium heat. Add the pork and brown well on all sides, about 20 minutes. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) of broth over the pork, add the thyme and cover the pan. Roast in the oven, turning the meat occasionally, for 30 minutes. At this point, the pan juices should be brown. If not, remove the pork and boil the pan juices on the stove top until reduced to a glaze that will add color to the carrots and parsnips.

Stir the carrots and parsnips into the remaining broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set the pork on top. Cover the pan and continue roasting until the pork is very tender and the vegetables are done, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer. A skewer inserted into the center of the meat should be hot to the touch when withdrawn after 30 seconds, or a thermometer should register 160 degrees F (70 degrees C). Baste and turn the meat 2 or 3 times during cooking, and add more broth if the pan seems dry.

(The meat and vegetables may be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat the pork and vegetables in the casserole on the stove top over low heat, allowing 20 to 25 minutes.)

Transfer the meat to a carving board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Lift out the vegetables with a draining spoon and spread them on a platter. Cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan, and skim off any excess fat. Boil the juices to reduce and concentrate if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Discard the trussing strings from the pork, carve into thick slices and arrange atop the carrots and parsnips. Moisten both pork and vegetables with a little of the pan juices and serve the rest separately as gravy.

This recipe was published in The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan.

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