Just the name invokes images of sweet desserts and savory dishes with a hint of something extra. This natural sweetener has been used for thousands of years (take that, HFCS) and can be substituted for other sweeteners in holiday and entertaining recipes. Like the honey lavender pork recipe below, of course. I served this dish last evening at a dinner party and was rewarded with thumbs-up all around. Isn’t it nice when recipes just work?
To develop this recipe, I dug into my trusty Flavor Bible (one of my five most influential cookbooks) for foods that pair well with honey. I quickly discovered that honey is the chameleon of the culinary world: the list of compatible foods went on for two pages. Good luck narrowing down that list, Jessie!
‘Tis the season for fresh herbs, however, and with the knowledge that we had an abundance of lavender growing two steps from the kitchen, I put together the following recipe without too much trouble. I will admit it was rather
brave foolish unusual of me to serve this dish at a dinner party without having made it before, but I needn’t have worried. It was a hit.
The recipe looks complicated, but fear not! The length is due to the two different ways you can prepare the recipe: roasted or sous-vide. Either cooking method will produce delicious results. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ll know which method we chose.
Honey Lavender Pork Loin with Caramelized Bananas
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 min (roast), 2 hours 15 min (sous vide)
Keywords: roast sous-vide entree pork honey lavender
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 1-1/4 lb. pork loin
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lavender leaves, mashed
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lavender leaves, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large bananas, sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter or coconut oil (optional)
Roasted Pork Version: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil. Once butter or oil melts, sear pork loin on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes total). Removed loin and place into foil-lined baking pan. Add chicken stock to skillet and deglaze by scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lavender and stir. Pour over pork loin and bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or internal temperature is 145 degrees F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Proceed with sauce and caramelized bananas.
Sous Vide Version: Vacuum seal pork loin in bag with butter/oil, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 tablespoon lavender. Cook sous vide for 2 hours at 135 degrees F. Remove pork from bag and reserve liquid. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and sear loin on all sides, 30 seconds a side, using additional 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil if necessary. Set aside. Proceed with sauce and caramelized bananas.
Honey Lavender Sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons honey, 3/4 cup chicken broth (if sous vide version), 1 tablespoon lavender and salt. Add roasting pan juices (roasted pork version) or reserved sous vide liquid (sous vide version). Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
Caramelized Bananas: While sauce simmers, add butter/coconut oil to medium skillet over medium heat (if using nonstick skillet, can skip oil). Add banana slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until slices soften and turn golden brown.
Finish: Slice pork loin into 1/2-inch slices. Spoon banana slices on plate and arrange pork medallions over banana. Drizzle sauce over all. Garnish with additional lavender leaves and serve immediately.
Q: What’s your favorite way to use honey?