Braised Pork with Bay Leaves, an herbal primer

Did I mention that I finished my outdoor fall chores?

That included trimming, cleaning and thinning our laurel tree….  Better known in culinary circles as a bay tree.

When I was growing up bay leaves were only used to flavor tomato-based dishes – chili, Bolognese, and so on.

One bay leaf would be added to the pot during cooking then carefully removed before serving.

After becoming the proud owner of my very own, huge laurel tree I decided I could be a little more free with the herb.

We can actually taste the bay in this roast and it’s quite lovely.

You can use either fresh or dried.

I like to toss a few branches on the fire, as well….

Braised Pork with Bay Leaves (Laurel)

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 pork loin roast, 32oz (960gr)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 12 bay (laurel) leaves
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) of white wine
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Braised Pork with Bay Leaves


  • In heavy pot or oven with tight-fitting lid, brown pork in olive oil.
  • After turning pork, add sliced onions to brown as well.
  • Add remaining ingredients, turn heat to low, cover and braise for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove pork and keep warm.
  • Strain juices, then return to pan.  Reduce pan juices over high heat until slightly thickened and syrupy.
  • Slice pork, pour pan juices over and serve.

Print Recipe

I’m going to be updating older recipes from time to time – to make them compliant with Google requirements.

But only the good ones….

When I was exploring the past I found this post from a few years back.

A little refresher never hurts….

 Reprint (or would that be Reposted?)

Herbs and spices….

They define cuisines, make meals memorable and take dishes from the boring to the sublime.

Most of us know to put oregano on pizza, basil on tomatoes and chives in scrambled eggs.

Many of us would like to be more adventuresome, more daring, more creative….

But are a little uncertain what works well together.

We have all of these little jars, bags and pouches….. Time to put them all to use.

Well, maybe not all in the same dish….

Herbs are leaves, either fresh or dried.

Spices are the rest of the plant: seeds, stems, roots, bark, buds, berries; and are most often dried.

Here is some starting information on the most common herbs:

Balm, Lemon: Best used fresh.  Goes with poultry, fish and in green and fruit salads.  Combine with rosemary, mint, thyme.

Basil:  Goes with tomatoes, pasta sauces, summer vegetables (beans, zucchini, squash), and green salads.  Combine with marjoram, oregano, parsley, paprika, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

Bay Leaves: Goes with tomato sauces, soups, stews, braised meats.  Combine with basil, oregano, paprika, rosemary, sage, thyme.

Chervil:  Goes with eggs, mild cheese, green salads, potatoes.  Combine with basil, chives, coriander, parsley.

Chives:  Goes with eggs, white sauces, potatoes, green salads, poultry, fish, seafood.  Combine with basil, chervil, parsley.

Coriander (leaf), aka: Cilantro: Goes with green salads, Asian and Indian cuisines, curries, Indian.  Combine with basil, curry leaves, dill, parsley, lemon grass, fenugreek.

Dill (leaves or weed): Goes with white sauces for chicken and fish, eggs, potatoes, fish, cucumbers, yogurt or sour cream, salad dressings, vinegars.  Combine with basil, chives, fennel fronds, parsley.

Marjoram: Goes with fish, vegetables, poultry, eggs, salads.  Combine with basil, bay, oregano, paprika, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

Mint (spearmint): Goes with peas, tomatoes, yogurt, salad dressings.  Combines with marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

Oregano: Goes with pizza, Italian pasta dishes, roast meats and poultry, meat loaf.  Combine with bay, marjoram, paprika, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

Parsley: Goes with eggs, potatoes, soups, pasta dishes, fish, poultry.  Combine with  basil, bay, chives, chervil, dill, oregano, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme.

Rosemary: Goes with breads, pork, lamb, game, dried beans, summer squash.  Combine with basil, bay, marjoram, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme.

Sage: Goes with breads, game, duck, goose, pork, turkey, soups, pasta dishes with sausage or pork.  Combine with basil, bay, chives, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme.

Savory, summer: Goes with green beans, peas, lentils, eggs, pork, veal, poultry, fish.  Combine with basil, bay, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme.

Tarragon: Goes with sauces, salad dressings, fish, poultry, eggs, some sauces.  Combine with bay, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme.

Thyme: Goes with soups, stews, most meats, sausages, salads and salad dressings, sauces.  Combine with basil, bay, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon.

If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count

7 thoughts on “Braised Pork with Bay Leaves, an herbal primer”

  1. Oh once again – you’ve posted a recipe that is making me DROOL on my keyboard. Not only that – I’m going to kill a few trees in printing up your notes about what the other herbs can be used for. Flinging you an air kiss from across the pond – as you are always making me a much better cook all the time!!!
    Now – wonder if pork loin roast is on special this week in Montreal ….. \\^,,^//

  2. Have you tried adding a couple of bay leaves to the water when cooking broccoli and cauliflower? I also add a leaf when I am cooking lentils.It makes a difference. I have a smallish bay tree here and an enormous one in France and other basic herbs which I use regularly.
    The pork loin looks and sounds delicious – yet another recipe to try out.

  3. Katie – I use many fresh and dried herbs in my cooking – Bay Leaf being one of the – delicious. I also make a lovely refreshing lemonade with lemon balm…it is making me miss summer already!

  4. One thing I do use Bay leaves for – and not just for cooking – is to keep little bugs out of my flour, etc. According to a friend of mine who lived on a sailboat for many years – it kept them out of her flour. So far, so good, but you have to repack flour from paper bags ASAP – otherwise – defeats the purpose of the bay leaf (thank goodness for the invention of Zip lock bags).

  5. Anna, glad you like the info… and thanks for the tip on the bay leaves and bugs. If you need any, let me know – I have a HUGE tree.

    Gill, I always put them in beans and lentils, but haven’t in other veggies…. Thanks for the tip. I planted one in my herb garden at our last house – before I realized how big they get – and that there was already one near the woods. LOL

    Ina, I had lemon balm at my last house but haven’t been able to find it here… I miss it. (and summer)

    Zoomie, yes, ‘Recipe View’ requires certain code and all sorts of stuff… as well as proof of authorship and so on and so on 😉

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