Roast Pork with Herb Rub


The most bang for your buck of any roast you can make.
TIME 1½ to 2 hours, mostly unattended
MAKES 6 to 10 servings
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herb leaves or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 boneless pork loin roast (2 to 3 pounds)
1½ cups dry white wine, chicken or vegetable stock, or water, or more as needed
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces, optional


Method
1 Heat the oven to 450°F. Combine the salt, pepper, herbs, sugar, and garlic in a small bowl; rub the roast all over with the mixture. Put the meat in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. Roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.

2 Lower the heat to 325°F and pour ½ cup of the wine over the roast. Continue to cook the roast, checking every 15 minutes or so and adding ¼ cup of the remaining liquid to the bottom of the pan each time. Once the pork’s exterior has crusted a bit, start brushing the meat with these pan juices whenever you check on the roast.

3 After 1 hour at the lower temperature, check the roast with a quick read thermometer; insert it into the center in a couple different places to make sure you get an accurate reading. When the roast is ready is will read 140°F for medium rare. Remove and transfer the meat to a platter to rest (it will rise another 5 degrees as it sits).

4 Put the roasting pan on the stove over 1 or 2 burners over medium high heat. If there is at least about 1 cup liquid in it, leave it; if the pan is almost dry, add 1 cup liquid. Bring the juices to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the sauce is reduced to about ¾ cup, stir in the butter if you’re using it.

5 Slice the roast crosswise into slices as thick as you like and serve the slices drizzled with the sauce.

Variations
  • Roast Pork Tenderloin: Prepare two tenderloins since they’re much smaller than a loin roast; put them on a rack in the roasting pan. Roast for only 5 minutes at 450°F, followed by 15 to 25 minutes at 325°F. Check for doneness frequently because these are lean and will start to dry out as soon as they’re cooked.

Tips
  • Pork roasts are usually cut from the loin. Boneless cuts are extremely convenient, but they dry out a little more quickly than the bone-in kind, so look for a piece that has a layer of fat on the outside to help keep the meat moist while it cooks.
  • If the roast comes tied with string, great. If not, don’t worry. It’s fine to roast it untied.
  • Choose a pork-friendly herb like rosemary, parsley, mint, thyme, oregano, or sage. Or use a combination; garlic is a must.

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