March 12, 2012

Roast Pork Loin

2-3 pound pork loin
1 teaspoon salt
3-5 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
freshly grated zest of one lemon
3/4 Cup vermouth
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

At least two and a half hours before you want to eat, tie the pork loin with kitchen string so it keeps its shape when roasted. Mash together the garlic and salt to make a paste. Mix in the oil, rosemary and lemon zest. Rub the mixture onto the pork loin (all sides) and let it sit in a bowl in your fridge for at least an hour. Longer is fine.

When you are ready to cook it, let the pork sit out on the counter while you preheat the oven to 375. Roast it in a heavy oven safe pot, turning once or twice until a meat thermometer reads 145. Roasting will take between 45 minutes and an hour depending on what container you are baking in, whether your oven maintains its temperature and how big a piece of pork you are using. I like to use a medium sized Le Creuset dutch oven that just fits the length of the loin. Use a pan you can comfortably move to the stovetop, since you'll do that at the end.

When the meat is hot enough, transfer it to a cutting board to rest. Reserve everything else in your pan. Add the vermouth and vinegar to the pan. Bring it to a simmer on your stove top over medium high heat, scraping up whatever is stuck to the bottom, for a few minutes to reduce it.

Remove the string. Slice the pork. Add any resulting juices to the sauce and serve with the pork.

Variations: You don't need to be too precise about the amount of garlic, citrus and rosemary. If you have other fresh herbs like oregano or thyme, you can use those too. If you have an orange instead of a lemon, that's fine. If you want to save the juice of the lemon to use instead of the vinegar at the end, that works too. If don't have vermouth then use white wine.

Leftovers: This preparation makes a lot of meat for a family of just three. Having leftovers of this pork is fine by me. The lunch I send with  my son to preschool is invariably composed at least partly from leftovers from the night before and I don't mind having more the next day myself. With that in mind, when I have cooked the loin I slice up just as much of the meat as we anticipate eating immediately and leave the rest of the meat in a more versatile hunk for leftovers. Tomorrow when I want more, I can easily cut very thin slices from the cold meat for sandwiches. Or I can cube it to cook in a quick soup or curry.

No comments:

Post a Comment