Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Garlic and Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Like everywhere else in my life, in the kitchen I've had successes and failures. And, while I generally cook tasty meals, the one I made for our friends this past Sunday was out of control with deliciousness and seasonality. You see, last week the very first signs of Fall suddenly blew through New York in the form of gusty rain storms and chilly air. I was in the midst of planning a menu for a small dinner party and my perspective immediately switched from fresh stone fruits, fish and crisp vegetables to stewed beans, a pork roast and, as I wrote about yesterday, Molasses Spice Cake.

Today, I'll cover the pork roast and then tomorrow, I'll let you in on the stewed beans. Add a green salad to this week's posts and you'll have everything you need for a dinner party that serves six. This also makes an incredible family meal. Baby girl, who isn't keen on meat was all over the pork eating it like, well, a little piggy-pie.

Roasted Pork Loin with a Garlic and Herb Crust
(If you can find it, I highly recommend a center cut pork loin with the bones cut away and reattached with string. The bones provide a great juice and flavor and you won't have to deal with them when serving. Plus, the hubby discovered that the bones were like herb crusted spare ribs and he made a meal of them the next day!)

What You'll Need:
4 pound center cut pork loin
1 head of garlic separated into cloves and sliced
5-8 sprigs of sage with stems discarded
5-8 sprigs of rosemary with stems discarded
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste
4 Paula Red apples cored and sliced
4 large onions skinned and cut into quarters

Two and a half hours before you plan to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the pork roast, pat dry and place in a roasting pan. Salt it generously.

In a food processor, puree the garlic, rosemary, sage and olive oil. With a small spatula spread it over the pork roast covering as much of the pork as possible. Put the pork in the oven.

After 45 minutes, take it out and insert a heat proof digital thermometer if you have it (these are great because you can insert it and leave it while it cooks). Add the apples and onions and cook the pork for another hour or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees. Take out the pork and let it rest for 15 minutes. Test the apples and onions and if you'd like them softer, return them to the oven for 10-15 more minutes.

To serve, place tomorrow's stewed beans on a platter and layer half inch slices of pork overtop. Or, if you aren't making the beans, put the apples and onions on the platter and layer the pork on that. Either way, this roast is going to blow your mind.

Approximate Dinner Cost
• Groceries - $28.00
• Leftovers – Expect 6 meals at $4.66 per serving!

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  1. I am "the hubby" and, yes, this was probably one of Peggy's most amazing meals. My favorite part (which is hard to say because the versatile beans, the decadent cake and my applesauce were also great) was the treat hiding underneath the pork loin - an incredibly meaty and flavorful rack of baby back ribs. Delicious. Now that I think of it, I should have saved a few ribs for "baby girl" to gnaw on.

  2. This is the hubby's first comment! Thanks, sweetie.

    PS- baby girl would've loved those ribs

  3. this dish looks very delicious. Am sure it tastes so tender and juicy. Love it.

  4. I was one of the friends who was fortunate enough to enjoy this meal - and wow! It was truly delicious and well balanced. At one point, I looked up and said, "hey, look how quiet we've all gotten," as we ate. With this group of people, that is quite telling

  5. Can't wait to try this over the weekend. I used to make a similar dish in France, with prunes, rather than apples. Slow-cooked pork tastes so melt-in-the-mouth!

  6. wow this looks amazing and great flavors love your blog thanks for visiting mine Rebecca

  7. Prunes! What a great idea. I'll have to try that over the winter when dried fruit is my mainstay.

    Thanks, Rebecca - I love your blog too! Such great ideas and recipes.

    And Andreas! Such a fun dinner.

  8. Peggy, You certainly have a way of making me very hungry...and I don't even eat pork!

  9. A perfect meal for the approaching Autumn. Comforting fresh flavors, yet not heavy. The pork was juicy and savory with herbs. And, who knew beans could be so tender and flavorful? Balanced with the snap of the apples and onions, I wasn't sure which part of the meal liked better. The whole meal was such a treat. So, I had to go in for seconds!

  10. That looks fabulously delicious. I can't wait to try it.



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