mustard sauce

One of the most essential concepts I’ve been studying in culinary school is the art of sauce making. Jax Past would scorn at the very idea of a sauce, believing that taking short cuts would yield just as good a product. Jax Present knows better. Jax Present understands that a sauce deserves as much attention–or perhaps more–than the thing with which it will be paired. Many sauces require time to develop each layer of flavor that will eventually come together as something else entirely.

I recently prepared pork loin with a grainy mustard sauce. Unfortunately, the pork was too dry for my taste, but thankfully I had lovingly nurtured several raw ingredients into a sauce that made up for the protein failure.

In a large saucepan, brown roughly chopped carrots, celery and onions over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables have caramelized, pour stock (homemade is preferred, but in this instance I was only able to use store-bought, low-sodium chicken broth) into the pan and reduce over medium heat. (At this point, you can add any herbs you’d like, as well as crushed garlic.)

Once the sauce has reduced by about half, strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or a colander lined with paper towels or cheese cloth). Wipe down the sauce pan and add a pat of butter. Sprinkle in finely minced shallots and cook gently to avoid any color development. Add a generous splash of white wine and reduce until it has almost completely evaporated. Pour the reduced stock into the pan, stir in grainy mustard and a touch of heavy cream and reduce further, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Season with S & P to taste.

Jax Future will absolutely make this sauce, and so should you. Serve over any protein you’d like (but I think pork works particularly well, so long as it’s not mutilated), preferably without pants.

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