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Roast Pork Loin with Tarragon, Mustard and Cream

Roast Pork Loin with Tarragon, Mustard and Cream
Pork is inherently sweet, a characteristic intensified by roasting. Cream is faintly sweet, also. An off-dry white wine is the ideal partner for this combination, particularly if the wine has a nice counterbalance of acidity, which matches the tartness of the mustard and carries just a hint of herbal flavor to echo the tarragon. Accompany the pork loin with sautéed apples and fried or roasted potatoes. Dependable: off-dry American Riesling. Daring: medium-bodied Merlot.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4 Serves 4.


  • 1 bone-in pork loin, 3 to 4 lb.
  • 3 large garlic cloves, slivered
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. strong Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon


Preheat an oven to 400°F.

With the tip of a sharp knife, cut 3/4-inch slits all over the pork loin. Insert the garlic slivers into the slits. Season the meat with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan.

Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 140°F for medium, 50 minutes to 1 hour; 150°F for medium-well, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes; or until done to your liking. Transfer the pork to a carving board and let rest while you make the sauce.

In a sauté pan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot and sauté slowly until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 2 Tbs. of the mustard and the cream and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 Tbs. of the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more mustard or tarragon. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Carve the pork into chops with the bone and arrange on a warmed platter or individual plates. Spoon the sauce over the slices and serve immediately.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Food & Wine Pairing, by Joyce Goldstein (Time-Life Books, 1999).