Years back I wasn’t a big fan of pork. It always seemed chewy and tough and flavorless to me. Then my mom tried a new recipe for pork tenderloin and it opened my mind to world of pork. Now I think it’s safe to say that it’s one of my favorite meats to prepare and eat at home. Just as versatile as chicken and when it’s prepared correctly, and not overcooked, the result is tender and juicy, the perfect vehicle for a huge variety of flavors.
Knowing that I was going to be making the Lemon Garlic Potatoes for a side dish, I added just a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese to the crust. Not only did it add a nice flavor to the pork, but it also gave the crust a beautiful golden brown color. The inside of the pork was juicy and even though the crust was on the outside, the herb and garlic flavor was infused into the pork. Really a simple dish you could throw together for company. Or if you’re in the position I was in, pack while it’s cooking, plate and photograph, then eat on the floor surrounded by half full boxes. Whatever fits your needs.
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
1 Tbsp kosher salt (scant 1/2 tsp if using table salt)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2-3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp dried thyme)
2 tsp chopped fresh basil leaves (1 tsp dried basil)
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried rosemary)
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Place the pork in the bottom of a roasting pan. In a small bowl combine the salt, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, garlic, thyme, basil, and rosemary to form a thick paste. Spread the mixture over the entire surface of the pork, massaging it into the meat with your fingers.
Roast for 25 minutes at 475 degrees. Then reduce the heat to 375 and roast for 45-60 minutes, using a meat thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature. *Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 degrees (Fahrenheit), remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.
*When it comes to cooking meat it’s always best to go off of temperature. 30 minutes into the second roasting start checking the temperature every 5-10 minutes. You may find your pork has reached 145 degrees in less than an hour. You should also note that these times and temperatures have been adjusted from the original recipe from which I made my adaptations. My research has shown that 145 degrees is now the standard for cooking pork and in my experience 155 degrees will yield dry, overcooked pork.
Adapted from Paula Deen via Foodnetwork.com