Monday, 22 December 2014

BLOGMAS Day 22: Cooking With Gem: Garlic, Rosemary & Thyme Pork Loin...

I love to cook from scratch at home and one of mine and Si's fave things to eat is garlic, rosemary and thyme pork loin. I cooked it the other day and thought I'd share with you how I make it :). I can't remember when I first discovered a recipe for pork loin or the cut of meat in general, but it was some time ago now as I was making this dish back when we were living at mom's house. The main part of the meal is the pork loin. I always prepare and season this the same every time, as it's just too yummy not to. The sides that I serve it with tend to differ, but you will see what I chose to serve it with this time, below.

Before I start anything, I pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

This is the cut of pork loin after I've removed all the sinew. I'm really fussy with meat, so I like that there is no fat on a pork loin. The way I cook it ensures that it isn't dry either, so it's still really enjoyable. I cook the loin in a ceramic baking dish as I like to scrape off the bits at the bottom after cooking to create a lovely gravy (as you will see later on). Using this ceramic dish to do that means I won't scratch up a normal baking dish/tray.

Here I have massaged garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, a little salt and pepper into both sides of the loin. I add a drizzle of oil (I just use vegetable oil) to the loin to ensure all the seasoning sticks to the loin. I cook it for 50 minutes. When 50 minutes is up, I cut through the thickest part of the loin and if it isn't pink any more then I know it's done.

I peeled and cut up my potatoes for the mash and put them in a saucepan of water, with a little salt, on the hob ready to be boiled, along with the peas (in a separate saucepan of course). I don't put the heat on until there's about 20 minutes to go on the loin. I put them on a medium heat. Obviously when the potatoes are soft, they're done. I drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan, adding a little milk, a knob of butter, salt and pepper to taste and then I just mash them with a regular mashing utensil.

Above is the batter mix that I made for home-made Yorkshire puddings. I have a four hole large Yorkshire pudding tin, so wanted to make four. I looked online for the amount of ingredients I'd need. I used 70g of plain flour, 2 eggs, 100ml of milk, salt, pepper and some oil for cooking. I put the flour and eggs into a bowl and mixed them together, then I gradually added the milk until it looked like it does in the image above. I also added some salt and pepper to taste.

I wiped some vegetable oil around each hole in my tin to stop the Yorkshire puddings from sticking. I then popped the tin in the oven, so the oil heated up whilst I was making the mix. Leave the tin in the oven until you are ready to cook the Yorkshire puddings.

The Yorkshire puddings take about 20 minutes to cook, so I put the Yorkshire pudding mix into the holes in the tin and start cooking them five minutes before I start cooking the potatoes and peas. This will mean that the meat, potatoes and peas will be cooked at around the same time and the Yorkshire puddings will have a few more minutes whilst you're preparing the meat. They are fine to be cooked at the same temperature as the pork loin.

This was the first time I'd made Yorkshire puddings this big and by using my own ingredients, instead of a packet mix. They soon puffed up. I took them out at just the right time, when they were nice and browned on top. They look quite dark in the image, but they weren't burnt. They were the perfect size to fit all the other parts of the meal in.

When the pork loin is done, turn the heat for the potatoes and peas down to the minimum, whilst you're preparing the meat. The image above shows the pork loin when it's cooked, after 50 minutes. The bottom of the dish looks burnt but it's actually gooey, gorgeous flavour that makes for a flavoursome gravy!

I normally leave the pork loin to rest for a couple of minutes (with foil on the top) and then cut it up. I use a knife to hold the meat down and a fork to cut and pull away at the meat. It's so succulent and cuts really easily. I boiled the kettle with fresh water, sprinkled some gravy granules into the dish and poured a little boiled water on top. Add the water gradually until the gravy reaches your preferred consistency. You can then let the meat soak up some of the juices and scrape away at the bottom of the dish to add the extra flavour to the gravy. I love doing gravy this way, it's just so tasty! Whilst I'm preparing the mashed potatoes, I put the foil back on top of the pork, which keeps the heat in.

Mmmm! Succulent, gravy soaked pork loin!

This is how I served up our meal. The Yorkshire puddings are on the bottom, filled with mashed potatoes, peas and the gorgeous pork loin. I poured over any gravy left in the baking dish.

Like I said, me and Si love this meal and I've been making it for some time now. Sometimes I leave the Yorkshire puddings out completely and sometimes I serve with boiled potatoes instead of mashed potatoes and wilted garlic spinach instead of peas. It just depends what we have in or what we fancy. Any of these combinations are lovely though!

If you have a go at making this meal, let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter @GemsGemz86 :). I'd love to see pictures too!

Don't forget to like, comment and follow to keep up to date with the rest of my Blogmas posts :).

Thanks for reading lovelies!
Gem XxOo

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