Last Sunday we threw my dad a party for his 94th birthday, and after mentioning the pork loin roast I served, I had some people ask me exactly how to do that roast. Pork loin is a pretty lean meat, and a big problem with cooking it is that it can easily be overcooked and dry. It's also something I don't cook a lot of around here, but is/was a big favorite of both my parents.
When it comes to family parties at our house I'm always safe with the picky eaters if I serve Italian food, and since my family on both sides hails from Tuscany, (except for that Frenchman, and the Irish dame who got mixed up with the family back in 1850) that's the way they like to eat. So, about twice a year I find myself making this pork loin roast with herbs.
I stumbled across the recipe several years ago via the Epicurious website. It's attributed to Maggie Ruggerio but I've tweaked it a bit to make it fit the Gori familys' taste. One thing I like about this recipe is that it's easy to make and it also cooks at the same temperature as the clay pot polenta I always serve it with. Two dishes with one oven. Always helpful.
Herb Crusted Pork Loin
Here's What You Need:
One 4lb boneless pork loin
1/2 cup of chopped shallots
2 Tbs of olive oil
8 sprigs of sage
8 sprigs of thyme
6 sprigs of rosemary
3 Tbs of whole grain old fashioned Dijon mustard
Here's What to Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, with a rack in the middle.
Pat the pork loin dry, Sprinkle it with 1 and 1/2 tsp of salt, and a few grinds of pepper to taste.
Heat a skillet (I use cast iron) and when it's hot add in 1 Tbs of olive oil.
Sear the pork loin on all sides until it's browned (I cook it about 3 minutes per side on a medium high heat.)
Take the roast from the pan and put it on a plate, to cool.
Put a rack in a roasting pan.
Lay 3 rosemary sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs and 4 sage sprigs lengthwise on the rack.
In a small bowl mix together the finely chopped shallots, Dijon mustard and 1 Tbs of olive oil.
Mix this together well.
Spread this mixture on the top and sides of the pork loin.
Lay the roast fat side up on the bed of herbs in the roasting pan.
Roast the pork loin on the middle rack in the oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, take the rest of the herbs, put them in a bowl with 1 Tbs of olive oil and coat them.
After an hour take the pork roast out and lay the oil coated herbs on top of the roast.
Pop it back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or so.
The roast is done when the meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
Let the meat rest for about 25 minutes before cutting it.
The meat will be moist due to it's little coat of mustard and herbs.
I wish I had a picture of the finished roast to show you but it tends to disappear.
Meanwhile, I leave you with this iris.
Coming up next, I really am going to stuff that cauliflower like a chicken. Promise. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori