You know it’s funny, when I first started cooking I was never intimidated by roasting a whole chicken or even a turkey, but a pork loin was a whole ‘nother story. I’ve talked to lots of people who don’t like the idea of cooking either one, but a lot of the time, our conversations are dedicated to whole poultry. I don’t get a lot of questions about roasting large pieces of pork or beef, and I’m guessing this is because most new cooks are just plain intimidated by the idea. I get it – trying something new can be scary, especially when messing it up results in a loss of dinner and an often expensive piece of meat.
That was how I felt when we first moved into our house – there were so many projects we wanted to tackle, but where to begin? And what if we made a major mistake and couldn’t fix it? It’s the pork loin principle – being so afraid of screwing up that you just skip it all together. There were certain things we couldn’t avoid fixing in the house though, so we did our research, talked to people who had done the projects before, and then blundered through the best we could…and guess what? Nothing was irreparably damaged. In fact, a lot of it came out great. In the three and a half years we’ve lived here, we have learned so much about how to do things for ourselves, and do them well.
You know, just little projects.
So why am I telling you all this? You may have noticed a major slacking on my part in terms of blog posting, and that’s because we sold this house that we’ve poured so much blood, sweat and tears into. Things have been in an uproar as we moved halfway across the country and are just now getting settled in.
So. Yikes. It was scary to be staring down this huge move halfway across the country, out of the house we’ve lived in since before we were married. And into a much smaller kitchen. *sigh* That’s the one downside of our new place – the kitchen space. I’ll have to post about the adjustment!
I promise I’m getting to the roast pork loin. I love to buy these giant pork loins at the store – they are massive, but relatively affordable, and they make a million meals. Serve the roasted garlic alongside crusty bread for dipping. I typically freeze some of the leftovers for later use and use the rest to make Cuban sandwiches with.
Roast Pork Loin
10-12 pound boneless pork loin
3-5 pounds potatoes (red, gold, fingerling, blue, whatever you like), washed and roughly chopped
2 heads garlic
4-6 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
6-8 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
dried thyme, rosemary, sage
salt & pepper
First, let’s prep the garlic. Take one head of garlic and slice the top off. Pour a little olive oil into the open top, then wrap tightly in tinfoil. From the other head of garlic, remove 10 or so cloves. Peel and slice them in half, then set aside.
Use a paring knife to cut slices in the pork tenderloin. Push the knife straight in an inch or so, then stuff a piece of garlic into the slit. Repeat on all sides of the pork until garlic is gone.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a roasting pan, toss onions, carrots, and potatoes with olive oil to lightly coat. Season with salt, pepper, and dried spices. Position the pork fat side up on the roasting rack and drizzle with olive oil. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and dried spices.
Roast at 450 degrees for ten minutes. Add the chicken broth and cover pan with foil. Reduce heat to 250 degrees for an hour, or until the meat registers 150 on a meat thermometer. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.