French Potato Salad with Roast Pork

Début de l'été 2016
food and drink

BY: Jennifer MacKenzie

On that first warm summer night, plan to dine en plein air with this simple main-course salad that makes leftovers more than fit for company. The classic vinaigrette, savoury with sautéed shallots and garlic, soaks into creamy potatoes and is the perfect foil for thin slices of rich Provençal Pork Roast. If you can find fresh-picked French radishes, add a few to the salad or, better yet, serve them on the side with small dishes of softened butter for dipping. To serve the pork warm rather than cold, wrap the thin slices in foil and warm gently in a 350°F (180°C) oven or on a medium-lowbarbecue for a few minutes, but be sure not to heat too long to avoid a rubbery texture.

½ cup (125 mL) olive oil, divided
¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped shallots
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
⅓ cup (80 mL) red or white wine vinegar
2 lbs (1 kg) baby potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 oz (125 g) haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
8 thin slices leftover Provençal Pork Roast (recipe follows)
Butter or leaf lettuce
½ sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh chives or green onions

1 Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in mustard and vinegar. Gradually whisk in remaining oil. Set aside.

2 Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and let cool just until cool enough to handle.

3 Cut potatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Add ⅓ cup (80 mL) of the vinaigrette to warm potatoes and toss gently to coat; season with salt and pepper and let cool slightly.

4 Meanwhile, blanch haricots verts in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes or just until bright green and tender-crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water; refrigerate until serving.

5 Stack pork slices and cut into wide strips. Line plates with lettuce, top with warm potato salad, haricot verts, red peppers and sliced pork roast. Drizzle with remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with chives.

Serves 4


Garlic, mustard and herbs reminiscent of the south of France add a succulent flavour to this roast and work well in a variety of dishes that take full advantage of the leftovers. Contrary to leaner pork cuts, which should be cooked to medium doneness or less, this well-marbled shoulder cut is best cooked just to well-done for the most tender texture, and don’t worry, it stays nice and moist, even with this less typical dry-roasting technique. A probe thermometer inserted in the meat before roasting and left in is best for avoiding opening the oven door too often to check for doneness—which will cool off the roast. Be sure to insert it into the meatiest part, rather than the fat, to get an accurate reading. You should feel firm resistance when you push the probe into the cold meat. The shape/thickness of your roast as well as how it is tied accounts for the widerange of cooking time in step 5.

1 boneless pork shoulder blade (butt) roast, 6 to 7 lbs (2.7 to 3.15 kg) tied
4 cloves garlic
1½ tsp (7 mL) salt
1½ tsp (7 mL) freshly ground pepper
½ cup (125 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh sage
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp (5 mL) dried lavender flowers, crumbled (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

2 Pat roast dry and place on a rack in a large roasting pan. Cut garlic lengthwise into quarters. Using the tip of a sharp paring knife, cut 16 slits in roast, inserting 1 piece of garlic into each slit as you cut. Rub salt and pepper all over roast.

3 Roast pork for 30 minutes. Turn oven down to 325°F (160°C) and roast pork for 1 hour.

4 Combine mustard, sage, thyme, rosemary and lavender, if using, in a bowl (see TIP).

5 Working quickly, remove roast from oven and spread mustard mixture over top, sides and ends of roast. Return to oven and roast for 1½ to 2½ hours longer, or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (73°C). Tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes (the temperature will continue to increase about 5°F/3°C).

6 Cut across the grain (removing string as you slice) to serve warm or let whole roast cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 8 hours to serve cold. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Serves 8 with leftovers

TIP If you prefer to use a dried herbes de Provence blend, use 4 tsp (20 mL) in place of the fresh sage, thyme, rosemary and dried lavender. Add the dried herbs to the mustard 2 to 4 hours ahead of the time to spread on the roast to let herbs soften and the flavours bloom.

What to Serve