A tedious work project has kept me away from the blogosphere for a few weeks, but I am trying to catch up. There are just so many items I want to run by you. But last night I stumbled on a cool sauce, something I really just whipped up at the last minute, but I think is definitely worth sharing.
I roasted a boneless pork loin for dinner last night. It was about 3.5 lbs. and I had marinated it overnight in a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and dried Italian blend herbs. I roasted it in a 425 degree oven for just under 90 minutes, which allowed me to also roast a pan of potatoes, onions and parsley tossed in olive oil at the same time. After I removed the roast from the oven, and let it stand, loosely covered in foil, I pondered whether to make a sauce for the meat. There was a lots of attractive browning on the pan, and so I drained the fat from the pan and wondered what I could use to deglaze the pan.
Now I have a glut of my favorite beer, Sierra Nevada Celebration; in fact, I have some quantities of the last 3 years of the stuff in my DBR. So I grabbed an '07 SNCA, fired up the roasting pan on my stove top, poured the beer into a pint glass and took a sip. Just fantastic, hops forward, tinge of sweetness, more hop bite, dry, slightly nutty finish (what? I never pass up an opportunity to taste an SNCA!). As the browning in the pan started to sizzle, I poured the orange-colored Celebration in and began to scrape the pan. When all of the brown bits were incorporated into the simmering beer, I let it boil until reduced by about half. The "sauce" was now a nice shade of chestnut brown. I swirled 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard into the sauce, reduced the heat to medium high, added a little bit of water, about 4 oz. or so, and stirred to blend the mustard in. A couple cranks of pepper mill, a dash of salt, and I poured the sauce into a small saucepan and let it sit, covered, on very low heat, while I stir-fried some sugar snap peas and red pepper strips for a veggie side dish (Ben and Sophie especially love these two veggies).
Ladled the sauce over slices of the pork on my plate and wow! It really brightened the herby crust on the pork nicely. Ben immediately wanted to try it, and he liked it. Sophie, who loves an occasional sip of hoppy beer (she's daddy's girl alright), liked the sauce but didn't care for the pork! Well, you can't win 'em all.
Try this "sauce" the next time you roast some pork or even, I think, a nice eye round or rib roast. Now if you don't have an obsessive collection of SNCA in your fridge, you can easily substitute another hoppy ale such as Victory Hop Devil, Troegs Nugget Nectar, or any good IPA, I would think. Just let me know if you do. Here's to simple sauce!