The Zen lab is busier than usual as we prepare a new series of 5 minute prep recipes for all of our spice blends.
The evolution of all of our recipes begins with a conversation and the herb crusted pork with prunes using our Daube Provençale (soon to be renamed simply “Provençale”) is no different. I struck a cook’s block with this one and the 5 minute pot roast, while tasty, just just didn’t generate the “wow” factor during our extensive testing.
I turned to my trusty partner, Meg, who was back in her kitchen pulling out all her condiments and emailing me with her ideas. Pork with prunes was the suggestion that stuck with me, and then the real testing began.
By following our basic principles we hit upon a simple methodology. We agreed that a starting point was to try using the Provençale blend as a crust. The next layer of flavor was incorporated by spreading mustard on the outside of the pork loin and sprinkling the herbs, with a little salt, on top to create the crust. We didn’t need to look beyond that initial methodology because it worked like a charm. The pork was easy to slice with sufficient liquid to keep the dish moist and gently braise the prunes. The creamy finale comes at the end to ensure that it doesn’t separate during cooking. It’s a perfect way to enjoy a delicious Sunday supper and with a 5 minute prep offers you plenty of time to make the most of the day.
An additional note from me…
As many of you know Meg takes the first “inspirational” post of the month, and I follow up with recipes for the slow cooker. We plan our months together and have been doing so since our first blog post in October of 2012. While this week is no different from usual I also wanted to take this opportunity to shine some light on my friend, mentor, and business partner. For Meg is the recipient of the Specialty Food Association’s 2018 Leadership Award for creating positive impact through Business Leadership. Meg will receive her widely respected industry award at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January 2018.
Since the moment we met in 2011, I was struck by Meg’s broad vision to do good in the world, and her faultless dedication to making it happen. I was happy to become her culinary sidekick, and we’ve been on a wild ride ever since. I’ve learned from Meg that, rather than jumping directly to the execution of a task, we could allow ourselves time to slow down, consider all the options and trust that the right decision will rise to the surface. Over the years, I have noticed the effects from paying attention to the smallest details within our business and the ripple effect which has followed.
An analogy that comes to mind is from an article I read in The Independent 10 years about how we could literally save the planet one light bulb at a time. When I learned that artificial light accounts for one fifth of the world’s energy use, it made sense that we could collectively make a difference.
In that spirit, we hope that by encouraging people to slow down and slow cook we will be positively impacting one individual, one family and one community at a time.
- 1 1/2 lb pork loin
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Provençale blend or 2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
- 7 oz / 20 ready-to-eat pitted prunes
- ½ cup / 4 fl oz white wine / chicken broth
- ¼ cup / 2 oz sour cream
- spread the dijon mustard on the outside of the pork
- sprinkle the herbs and the salt onto the mustard coating
- transfer the pork into the slow cooker
- add the prunes and white wine to the slow cooker
- cook on LOW: 8 hrs or HIGH:3 ½ hrs
- remove the pork and slice to serve
- stir the cream into the juices in the slow cooker and spoon over the pork
- serve over creamy mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli / buttered spinach
“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.”