Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Herb Crusted Pork Roast

I totally thought I had posted this earlier when I posted last night's recipe, but then I realized I hadn't because I wasn't 100% sure what I was going to make tonight. I was so confident I had posted it, when I was getting out the recipe for the potatoes I made to go with it I thought, "Oh shoot I forgot to post the potato recipe with the pork roast recipe." Pregnancy brain, I tell ya.

This has been on our menu for I think three weeks now and kept getting pushed back for whatever reason. I don't know why, it's super easy to make and really tasty. Of course my lack of cooking recently probably accounts for most of the reasons why I've been pushing it back. I bought the potatoes last week for the potato recipe I wanted to make with it, and I wanted to get them used up, so tonight was the night.

Herb Crusted Pork Loin

1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, fat side up, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.


I buy three or four pound pork loin roasts when they're on sale and cut them up into one pound increments, so the roast I used was roughly one pound. Honestly for the three of us, it was the perfect size. The leftovers of this recipe don't taste nearly as good as when it's fresh out of the oven, so I try to use a smaller roast and avoid having leftovers. The only pieces left tonight were two skinny end pieces. Woo hoo! Since I use a much smaller roast than what's called for, I reduce the cooking times by half, so I do 15 minutes at 475 and then 30 minutes or so at 425. When I put my meat thermometer in it, it registered 170 after the 30 minutes, so that was perfect. I forgot to scale back the ingredients for the herb crust, but I think it was a good amount, gave the roast lots of flavor.

My side dish with this were Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Smashed Potatoes from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, although the recipe is also on the Food Network website. I don't remember what the original occasion was that I wanted to make these for, maybe my anniversary at the end of October? No idea. But since I heart all things Ina, I kept moving them on the menu with the pork roast (or the elusive whole chicken I kept meaning to make last week but never actually got around to taking out of the freezer). I didn't use quite the whole three pounds of potatoes that it called for, so I scaled back all the other ingredients, too. These were AWESOME. There was just enough parmesan to give the potatoes a little oomph and zing of flavor without overpowering them. I was worried they were going to be really gummy when I was adding in the half and half, butter, and sour cream, but they weren't at all. The recipe calls for you to mix them up in the bowl of a stand mixer, but that was going to just be one more pan I'd have to wash, and frankly I had enough pans to wash tonight without adding one more to the pile. So I mashed them up in the pot I cooked the potatoes in and added everything to that.

Overall this was a really yummy down-home, good for cooler fall weather type dinner.

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