Rosemary Encrusted Pork Loin

This is one of those Mom-recipes that I have very fond memories of. And, as is traditional in my family, the recipe evolved beyond what she wrote on the card. My mother always added much more rosemary than was originally called for, creating more of a “crust” than a rub. Basically, if you could see pork underneath the rosemary, you weren’t using enough. I’ve added my own touches, embedding the garlic (to spread the flavor all throughout the meat), and using a slightly healthier oil for the initial cooking process. The result is a kitchen filled with the wonderful aromas of rosemary and roasting pork, and a tender, moist, flavorful roast suitable for all occasions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16-ounce) pork loin – you can buy pork loin in bulk and cut your own, if you like. I like to do this because it saves money, and I always have a freezer full of meat!
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the garlic cloves vertically into quarters.

With a sharp knife, make eight vertical slits into the top of the pork loin, approximately 1 inch deep.

Into each slit, insert a wedge of garlic clove.

5-rub_with_salt_and_pepper

Rub the outside of the pork loin with the pepper and salt,

and press a thick layer of rosemary onto all sides of the pork loin.

This is what the pork loin should look like, covered in rosemary.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and brown the pork loin on all sides for 3-4 minutes, or until the rosemary becomes a nice light brown, as shown below:

Don’t worry if some of the rosemary falls off during this process. Most of it will stick, and form a nice herbal crust, as shown.

Place the browned pork loin in a roasting pan (I find that a loaf pan works particularly well for smaller loins), and add the water to the bottom of the pan.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and make a few holes to allow steam to escape.

Roast the pork loin in the oven at 400 degrees until done: 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes before slicing.

Slice into 1 inch slices and serve with side dishes of your choice. I chose mashed turnips with brown gravy and roasted cauliflower, because we’re eating low-carb and my SO loves those particular vegetables :)

This recipe serves 4, but scales up excellently. If you do choose to roast a larger loin in order to feed more guests, I recommend cooking for the standard 25-30 minutes per pound. When in doubt, check the internal temperature with a quick-read thermometer (or just cut into the center and look at it, like my mom did). Enjoy!

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