You may not think this is such a family friendly recipe at first, but my kids love mustard and they love olives so this made them quite happy. And guess what? If your kids DON’T like the crust, it’s a very easy thing to just leave on the side of the plate – the pork itself doesn’t get much flavor from the crust, but it keeps it nice and moist. Brining the pork also helps in this department.
- 1 3-pound center cut pork loin, brined if desired (see Note)
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2/3 cup pitted green olives
- 4 tablespoons coarse Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup less-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels and season it generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat heavy, ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil then sear the pork loin on all sides, turning it four times, for about 3 minutes per side, until the outside is all nicely browned and a bit crusty.
- While the pork is searing, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, olives, Dijon, garlic and pepper in a food processor and puree.
- Remove the pork loin to a plate and use your hands to smear the paste over the top and the sides of the pork. Place the pork in the middle of the pan and add the chicken broth.
- Transfer to the oven and roast for about 50 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes (the cooking time largely depends on the thickness of the pork loin), until it reaches a 145°F internal temperature in the thickest part of the roast.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before thinly slicing.
The most basic reason for brining is to add moisture and flavor to meat, especially lean meats that tends to get dry when cooked, such as turkey or pork loin. The most basic brine is just water with salt and sugar dissolved in it. And then you can add whatever you like in terms of seasonings, from simple peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves, to lemon grass, herbs, and citrus zest.
- 8 cups water, divided
- 1/3 cup sugar (I used a smoked brown sugar I was given as a gift for this recipe, and it did add just a little bit of lovely smoky sweetness to the meat)
- ½ cup kosher or coarse salt
In a large container, pour in 1 cup of very hot water. Stir in the sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt are pretty well dissolved. Add 7 cups of very cold water and stir to combine. Submerge the pork loin in the mixture. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for 4 to 16 hours, then take it out and pat dry with paper towels before proceeding with the recipe.