This early fall weather has made me want to cook hearty meals and recently, my gut told me that I needed a hunk of meat with gravy, ahem ... “pan sauce” on it. I guess it's time to put on my winter spare tire.
The smell of sage, thyme and cracked pepper permeated my house. Below is a brief explanation of how to cook a pork loin and make pan gravy.
The first step in making a pork loin is to “caramelize” the top. "Caramelize” simply means "to turn brown." I liberally coated the loin with salt and pepper while my pan heated up. In a hot pan with 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil, I browned the loin. When the browning was almost done, I added about 2 Tbsp. of butter and flipped the loin over.
I put the loin into a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes and then added about 3 Tbsp. of flour to the brown bits and oil in the pan, making a roux. I also added sage, cracked pepper and thyme leaves and let the herbs bloom in the hot roux. Then I added cold milk to the pan and stirred quickly for about a minute, breaking up the clumps and scraping the bottom of the pan. Remember: cold liquid into hot roux or cold roux into hot liquid. Never hot into hot or cold into cold or you'll get lumps.
The thickened mixture was a “pan sauce” or gravy. Mmm … pork chops and gravy.