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Enjoy gluten-free slow cooking

Slow cooking has become popular for a variety of reasons. Many busy men and women have embraced slow cooking because it allows them to begin cooking dinner in the morning and then, when they arrive home at night, a flavorful dinner is ready for the whole family to enjoy.

Another growing dietary trend is the gluten-free diet. Though the gluten-free diet isn’t for everyone, such a diet does allow those with diagnosed intestinal issues to enjoy some of their favorite foods without the fear of getting sick. Those who want to enjoy slow cooking but need to eat a gluten-free diet may want to consider the following recipe for Dijon Pork Roast With Brandied Mushroom Sauce from Kimberly Mayone and Kitty Broihier’s “Everyday Gluten-Free Slow Cooking” (Sterling).

Dijon Pork Roast With Brandied Mushroom Sauce

Serves 6

2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

1 leek, halved lengthwise, washed well, and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 1/2 pounds sliced white mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 tablespoons good-quality brandy

2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin roast

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free seasoning salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Finely chopped parsley for garnish

1. Sprinkle the tapioca and leeks into the slow cooker crock; set aside.

2. Warm the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir mushrooms for about 10 minutes (they will give off a lot of liquid and brown up nicely). Add the brandy and cook about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the crock in an even layer. Do not stir.

3. Place the pork into the crock on top of the mushrooms.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mustard, olive oil, seasoning salt, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to coat the top and sides of the pork with the mustard mixture. Cover and cook 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high.

5. Transfer the pork to a plate. Scrape away any mushrooms from the bottom of the pork and return them to the crock. Tent the roast with foil and let it rest 10 minutes before slicing.

6. Stir the cream into the mushrooms and sauce. To serve, spoon the sauce over top of the sliced pork. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Note: For a dairy-free variation, replace the butter with olive oil and omit cream from the recipe.

Technique tip: Keeping kitchen knives sharp is important for a couple of reasons. First, it makes work easier and neater. For example, part of the pork tenderloin is covered with a tough, pearly membrane called the silverskin, which should be trimmed off before cooking. The sharper your knife, the neater the trim job will be (and the less waste you will have). Secondly, sharp knives are actually safer than dull ones. Sharp knives slice through things easily, so you don’t need to put much pressure on the knife in order to make it cut. Pushing a dull knife through food, on the other hand, can result in slippage and cuts. Whether you sharpen your own knives or take to a cookware or knife store to have the job done, it’s a good idea to keep your knives sharp all the time.

This story was posted on December 12, 2013.