June McCallister is the kind of character you love to hate. At first because she simply seems too good to be true, but as the tale of Mercy Snow unfolds in Tiffany Baker’s novel, it’s June’s underlying self-serving nature that makes her unlikable. It was her need for perfection and desire to maintain a certain image as the small New Hampshire town mill owner’s wife that inspired me to create this dish. It’s just the type of frou-frou entree she would force upon her husband and son at the dinner table, along with her green bean amandine and a lavish dessert, when they’d probably rather have fried chicken and mashed potatoes with milk gravy and corn straight from a can. But it was Mercy’s miracle-working that made me want to allow her magical ingredients from the earth to outshine June’s imposing gestures, even when they included a budding affection for Mercy’s little sister, Hannah. And so my simple roast pork loin with maple syrup, fancy dijon, and wildflower mead was born to marry the two women’s ideas.
Maple Dijon Glazed Roast Pork with Wildflower Mead
1 (5lb.) pork loin
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup wildflower mead, or white wine
2 T dijon mustard
2 T pure maple syrup
1/2 c. water
Heat oven to 350F.
Combine the maple syrup and mustard in a small dish.
Season the entire surface of the pork loin with salt and pepper.
Heat a large Dutch oven or roasting pan over high heat. Sear the roast in the pan to brown it on all sides.
Deglaze the pan with mead.
Spoon or brush the maple dijon glaze over the entire exposed surface.
Place the entire pan, uncovered, into the hot oven.
Roast the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145F and the glaze has browned to golden, approximately one hour.
Transfer the pork roast to a platter or cutting board and allow it to rest for a few minutes so it will retain it’s juices when sliced.
Place the roasting pan on a burner over medium to high heat. Add water to the pan drippings to deglaze. Whisk and reduced the liquids in the pan until they are glossy and slightly thickened.
Thinly slice the pork and serve it with the juice from the pan.
The sliced pork can be held in the pan with its juices in a warm oven.
Yield: approximately 12 servings