This recipe is a slight adaptation of one I recently found in Bon Appetit Magazine. Their recipe called for making the salad with farro, but as I had a rather large bin of wheat berries, I used them as a substitute. The original also called for using raw red onion and parsley in the salad, but in deference to my wife's sensitive stomach I nixed the onion, and for personal preference used cilantro instead of the parsley. We served the salad warm along side the pork roast, then had it again cold as left-overs later in the week, and we loved it both ways. This is definitely a grain salad that would serve you well over the course of the week if you made a big batch with a roast for Sunday dinner. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
As for the pork, it is such a perfect little recipe that I didn't dare make a change. The mustard crust is delicious, and the cooking method; starting at a high-temp to sear in the flavor, then lowering the temp to finish cooking serves this dish very well. It really is critical that you not cook the roast to more than 145℉ internal temperature. Pork is raised so lean these days that over cooking it by just a few degrees will result in a dry, chewy piece of meat….ugh. Cooked to the proper temperature, and allowed to rest for 10-15 minutes under tented foil, will yield a slightly pink, juicy and flavorful roast.
In order to achieve 145℉ perfection you'll need to use an instant read thermometer, or better yet, do as I do and use an electronic "stay-in" thermometer that takes all the guess work out of the cooking entirely (if you need one you can find one here Polder Digital In-Oven Thermometer ). By inserting the probe prior to cooking, and connecting it to a digital display outside the oven, you run NO risk of waiting too long to check the meat, or slowing the cooking time by constantly opening the door to poke the roast with a probe for fear of over-cooking. A thermometer like this is absolutely essential to properly cook roasts of all sorts, whether they be pork, beef, lamb, or even poultry
Cheers – Steve
Mustard Roasted Pork with Wheat Berry and Carrot Salad
- 1 3-3 1/2 pound boneless pork loin
- 1 cup whole grain mustard
- 1/4 cup mustard powder (we use Coleman's)
- 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey (or more to taste)
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots, thinly sliced into ribbons on a mandoline
- 2 cups wheat berries
- 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Quick soak the wheat berries by bringing 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the wheat berries and give a quick stir, then remove from the heat and cover the pan. Let the berries soak for 1 hour.
- Place pork on a wire rack set inside a large rimmed baking sheet; season all over with salt and pepper. Whisk the mustard, mustard powder, and 1/4 cup of the oil in a small bowl. Rub over the pork and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Cook the wheat berries by taking the lid off the pot and putting the pan over heat and bringing it back to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender, and a grain cut open is a uniform color throughout, about 30-40 minutes. Drain any excess water away, then return the berries to the pan, cover and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 425℉. Roast the pork until beginning to brown, 25-30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350℉. Cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 145℉, 25-35 minutes longer. Pull from the oven, place on a cutting board and tent with foil for 10-15 minutes to rest.
- While the pork is resting, whisk the vinegar, caraway seeds, honey, and remaining 1/4 cup of oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add wheat berries and carrots and cook, tossing often until the carrots soften slightly and the wheat berries are warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl, toss in the balance of the vinaigrette and the chopped cilantro, taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Slice pork and serve with wheat berry salad.