It’s been a busy cooking weekend. FINALLY a weekend where I can just “relax” (ha!!!) and be a maniac in the kitchen all weekend.
For breakfast, I made that delightful smoked salmon and cheesy dill omelet with the horseradish cream sauce and capers…seriously, that’s a new hit in the house.
Later for dinner, we were having company over, a delightful man we met when he lost a coin toss and became our real estate agent a few years back. He’s a genuinely good, kind human being, super into church stuff (my skin doesn’t even smolder when I’m around him, though, so it’s confusing), and I think the worst word he says is “darn”, but he’s delightfully tolerant of my foul mouth, so it’s all good.
Wanted to do something nice, keto-friendly (duh), and not steak or chicken (no particular reason, I just wanted to do something different).
So I picked up this sexy-ass pork loin. Guys, I didn’t used to love pork loin too much because there’s not much fat in it and it’s super easy to overdo. And, while I know dry, powdery pork leather is some people’s jam, it’s not mine.
But then, I finally learned how to cook it. WHAT A BIG DIFFERENCE IT MAKES WHEN YOU DON’T COOK IT TO GODDAMN DEATH.
So with that…
SLUTTY PORK LOIN WITH COGNAC AND MUSHROOM CREAM SAUCE
3-4 lb pork loin, preferably not devoid of that top layer of fat that some folks trim off
1 tbsp dried rosemary, chopped a little finer than how it comes in the jar ( chopping optional)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
A few cranks of fresh black pepper (or 1/8 tsp regular black pepper if you don’t have a cranker)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Crush garlic with rosemary, salt and pepper, and olive oil together in a bowl.
Pretend this meat has wronged you in some way and pierce it with a sharp knife in several places.
Rub this newly stabbed meat down with the garlic mixture making sure you get a bunch of the mixture into your meat holes.
Place pork loin into oven and start working on sauce (see below).
Roast until the pork registers 145 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Remove roast to a platter, reserve pan drippings for sauce.
For the sauce:
- 1 lb button mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 Cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 Cup Cognac (I used Remi Martin XO) (+ more to drink…or to add more to sauce, whatever)
- 1 Cup chicken stock
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream (plus more in reserve to alter consistency to your liking)
- 1 tsp kosher salt (+ more to taste)
- A few cranks of fresh ground pepper
Ok guys, I’m not going to lie, this was a make on a whim, “fly by the seat of my pants” sauce (not to be mistaken with ‘pants-sauce’) that accidentally turned out amazing.
I started by browning my mushrooms, careful not to crowd the mushrooms (we talked about this on another recipe, Julia Child told me not to crowd mushrooms, and I listen to motherfucking Julia Child because she knows what’s up), and once they’re about browned to your liking but JUST SHY of that point, toss in your chopped onions and minced garlic and sautee until they are fragrant, being careful not to burn your garlic.
At this point, everything should be just about cooked to death but not too much.
Add your cognac. YAY BOOZE!
Sautee until the cognac has been mostly cooked down and absorbed by your mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
Add your chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the cream cheese: Since we’re Keto Slutting this up, we’re relying on this cream cheese to help thicken your sauce without the aid of cornstarch or flour for obvious reasons. And it works SO well.
Stir until melted and all mixed in.
Add your heavy cream and stir in your paprika and white pepper and keep cooking at about somewhere between low and medium low. Simmer until your sauce is at about the consistency you desire. You can add a little more cream cheese if you’re having some trouble getting it to thicken up, and then simmer a while longer. Be patient, and keep an eye on it so you don’t overdo it, taste along the way. You can also add a little more heavy cream if you think you went a little TOO long and it’s thicker than you like.
At the end of cooking, I added a little splash of Cognac to the sauce because, while it had the richness from being cooked down, I wanted a little Cognac oomph added.
Salt and fresh ground (if you have it) pepper to taste.
At this point, you have removed your meat from the oven, or you will soon. Let it rest for a bit, and then dump the drippings from your pan into your sauce and mix into your sauce well.
Transfer the pork loin to a cutting board and slice into 3/4″ or so pieces, your preference.
Plate your pretty meat. And then, to serve, spoon some of your ridiculously tasty sauce over the pork loin and, as I will NEXT TIME, maybe add a little chopped parsley for garnish so it doesn’t look like barf in pictures.
If you’re like me and you like your pee to smell funny a bit later, serve with steamed or roasted asparagus.
SLUTTY CHEF’S NOTE:
If you have like $35 bucks lying around and you think, man, I’d like to spend this on something that will REALLY COME IN HANDY when I want delicious meat in my mouth…
It’s one of those jobbers that has a probe to stick into your meat (….heh), but the read-out stays outside the oven so you can watch what’s going on without opening the oven and fucking with the oven temp, which, in turn, fucks with how your meat cooks.
Also, this is programmable to what kind of meat you’re cooking and the temp you want it cooked to, i.e. rare, med. rare, medium (and I won’t say “and so on” because if you overcook your meat, we can’t be besties).
HOWEVER: I had to use the “beef” setting because this thermometer is of the old-school mind that you have to cook pork to death. You don’t have to. Don’t do it. A good tenderloin that isn’t past its pull date should be cooked just shy of medium, i.e. about 145 degrees or so. It should have a tinge of pink in it.
Unless you like dry meat in your mouth then…well, cool. Go for it. And say hi to your grandpa.
I loved doing keto. It’s just SUCH a committment