Years ago when I lived in France I was amazed at how such a pedestrian menu item could be so delicious. I can still remember eating my first Steak Frites dinner in Paris and I can still recall the incredible flavor. Steak Frites (steak and fries) is a very common and popular dish served in Brasseries throughout France. It is considered, by many, to be the national dish of both Belgium and France, which both claim to be the places of its invention. In honor of Bastille Day I’m sharing the perfect Bastille Day recipe.
This spice mixture rubbed onto the pork is a classic French combination of warm spices called Quatre-Épices which literally means four spices. Once the pork begins roasting, the aroma of the Quatre-Épices will fill your kitchen and make you dream of being in France.
1 Trimmed Boneless Pork Loin Roast
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
2/3 Cup Chicken Broth
Preheat your oven to 350º F. Pat your pork dry with paper towels. In a small size bowl combine the kosher salt, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and cloves. Mix well and then rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Put the pork roast onto a rack that fits into a roasting pan. The smaller the roasting pan the better. Place into the oven and roast for about 1 hour. The center should read 155º F when you insert a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warm serving platter. Let stand for 15 minutes. This will set the juices and the meat will continue to cook a bit more and should reach 160º F. Letting it stand makes it easier to slice as well. While the pork roast is resting place the roasting pan over a burner and turn the heat up to a high heat. Add the white wine. Bring to a boil and stir until the browned bits are loosened from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken broth and let boil for another 2 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from the heat and skim off the fat. Pour the pan juices into a gravy boat or pitcher and serve along with the pork roast. You may want to also serve this dish with applesauce. Serves 6
I’ll bet you counted more than four spices in that ingredient line-up didn’t you? Here is a bit about Quatre-Épices:
Quatre-Épices or “Four Spices” usually includes four or five spices and are commonly used in French cuisine. In many French households the combination of spices are mixed in advance and kept on hand. This is a great idea as it gives the spice combination a chance to really meld together.
Hey, it’s Bastille Day! Don a beret and some tricolor clothes and make a croquet monsieur to celebrate.
4 Slices French or Italian Loaf Bread
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 Cup Grated Gruyère Cheese
2 Slices Ham
2 Tablespoons Butter
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of the Dijon mustard over each slice of the bread. Place 1/2 cup of the grated Gruyère cheese on top of the two slices of bread. Next, place the ham on top of the grated cheese. Finish with the remaining cheese on top of the ham. Place the other slice of bread on top. In a large skillet heat the butter over a medium heat until the butter is foaming. Carefully add the sandwiches and fry for 2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Transfer the sandwiches to a baking sheet and put into the oven for 5 minutes until the cheese has fully melted. Remove from the oven and place the sandwiches on a serving plate. Slice each sandwich in half and serve immediately. Serves 2
Celebrate All Things French!
Tomorrow is Bastille Day so I made these Banana Nutella Sliders. A combination of French and American…think banana and peanut butter sandwiches. Elvis would have loved these. Seriously, these sliders are addictive.
13 Ounces Nutella Spread
2 Sliced Bananas
On a serving plate carefully slice the 4 croissants horizontally. Set the tops aside. Heat the Nutella spread until it is warm, but not piping hot. Divide the Nutella between the 4 croissant bottoms. The best that you can evenly spread the Nutella so that it covers the croissant. Arrange the banana slices on top of the Nutella. If you want more bananas then slice an additional banana. Carefully place the croissant tops on top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Serves 4