Having read about Enchaud Périgourdin in an old cookbook, I was so happy to actually taste it when I was in Périgord. Once I’d tried it, I never looked back—it’s so simple. The pork is spiked with sticks of garlic, and roasted en cocotte with just a bit of broth in a covered casserole, so the meat keeps moist and tasty.  Carrots and parsnips are added halfway through cooking so they cook to just the right tenderness as accompaniment.  The pork is also excellent cold: thin slices, spread with the jelled cooking juices and topped with some cornichons, makes a robust sandwich between slices of country bread.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2-pound/900-gram boned pork loin
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves, cut in sticks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons/30 grams/1 ounces lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups/500 milliliters/12 fluid ounces veal broth (see glossary), more if needed
  • 1 bunch of thyme (about 3/4 ounce/20 grams)
  • 3 to 4 carrots (about 12 ounces/330 grams), cut into 3/8-inch/1-centimeter slices
  • 6 parsnips (about 1 1/2 pounds/ 675 grams), cut into 3/8-inch/1-centimeter slices
  • Thin string for tying; medium flameproof casserole

Starting at least 6 hours ahead, poke evenly-spaced holes all over the meat with the point of a small knife. Insert a stick of garlic in each one. Roll the pork, tie it in a neat cylinder.  Wrap a long piece of thin string lengthwise around the meat and tie it. This stops it from curling in the oven’s heat. Tie a string around the center of the meat, knot, and trim it. Repeat with a length of string near each end of the roll. Fill the gaps between the ends and center with more strings, pulling them tightly where there is more flesh and more loosely where the roll is narrow, so the meat forms an even cylinder. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Chill it least 6 hours, or overnight so the garlic permeates the meat.

The next day, heat the oven to 350˚F/180˚C/Gas 4. Heat the lard in the casserole and brown the pork on all sides over medium heat, taking about 20 minutes. Pour over half the broth, add the thyme and cover the pan. Roast, turning the meat occasionally, for 30 minutes. The pan juices should be brown, but if not boil them on top of the stove until reduced to a glaze that adds color to the carrots and parsnips.

Stir in the vegetables with the remaining broth, salt and pepper, cover and continue roasting until the pork is very tender and the vegetables are done, 45 minutes to an hour more. A skewer inserted in the center of the meat should be hot to the touch when withdrawn after 30 seconds, and a meat thermometer will register 160˚F/70˚C. Baste and turn the meat two or three times during cooking, and add more broth if the pan seems dry. Enchaud reheats well and can be refrigerated up to 2 days.

To finish, if necessary, reheat the pork, carrots and parsnips in the casserole on top of the stove, allowing 20 to 25 minutes, over low heat. Transfer the meat to a carving board and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Lift out the vegetables with a draining spoon and spread them on a platter.  Cover with foil to keep warm. Strain the jus from the casserole into a small saucepan, and if necessary boil to reduce and concentrate it. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Discard strings from the pork, carve it in thick slices and arrange it overlapping on the carrots and parsnips. Moisten with a little jus and serve the rest separately.

photo by France Ruffenach
by Anne Willan, Chronicle Books, 2007.