There must be a rule of cooking magazines that if you have one, you are required to post a pork roast recipe in it. In case you think I’m exaggerating, consider this; I’ve gone through 8 magazines (2 in process) to date. So far I’ve made the Chili- and Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Honey-Lime Glaze, Pork Tenderloin with Pears and Shallots, Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Fennel Wedges, and now the Garlic Pork Roast.
And, for the record, the April 2010 issue of Bon Appetit that I’m also going through has a Rosemary and Mustard Pork Loin with Baby Artichokes, Shallots and Vermouth Jus, but I’m not making it….at least I don’t think so….as I type, it just sounds SO good. Well, that’s five for eight, but for all I remember, there may have been a pork loin recipe in the other three but our family just needed a break from pork roast. Who knows.
What I do notice from this list is that the day of the chutney must be at an end. It used to be that anytime someone made a pork roast, there was an apple or mango chutney alongside it. It’s interesting how preparation methods ebb and flow in the culinary world.
Back on track, I’m here to talk about the Garlic Pork Roast that the folks at Cook’s Country set their minds to making perfectly for us. In order to do that, they felt the need to include twenty-two, yes 22, cloves of garlic in this recipe. It’s a unique way of preparing the roast, I’ll have to admit that, and does indeed infuse the pork with garlic flavor.
The uniqueness comes in first, the marinade, which includes garlic, olive oil and salt. The loin is then butterflied (I personally was grateful for the step-by-step pictures of how to do this that were included in the back of the magazine), a paste spread over, the loin rolled back up and tied, then roasted at a lower temperature than I’m used to (it works though) and finally finished with a brushing of butter that has been infused with garlic and a hint of sugar.
Other than the butterflying technique, this is a simple recipe to pull together and looks quite nice when cut, as though it’s taken more time than it really does. Unfortunately, I think that even with the methods that are used to reduce the overpowering flavor of the garlic, it still overpowers the pork too much. It even overpowers the herbs that are suppose to provide accent. The loin simply becomes a vehicle for serving garlic.
Of all the ones I’ve made so far, the Fennel-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin is up top. This one hits the bottom. Sorry Cook’s Country. I just don’t like it.
Garlic Pork Roast
from Cook’s Country Magazine, April/May 2010
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
22 garlic cloves (10 peeled and crushed, 12 unpeeled and left whole)
Salt and pepper
1 boneless pork loin roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), fat scored lightly
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Combine 1/2 cup olive oil, crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon salt together in a large zip top bag. Butterfly pork roast. Transfer roast to bag with marinade, seal and turn to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 1-4 hours.
Toast unpeeled garlic cloves in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant and the color deepens slightly, about 8 minutes. Set aside. Peel cloves when cool enough to handle. Mince 10 cloves and place in a small bowl. Mash minced garlic with 1 tablespoon oil, red pepper flakes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove roast from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Spread surface of meat with garlic paste, leaving 1/2-inch border on all sides. Roll tightly, then tie roast at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Season with pepper.
Heat remaining oil in an empty skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the loin until the thickest part of the roast registers 140 degrees, 50-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince remaining 2 cloves toasted garlic and place in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add butter and sugar and microwave until garlic is golden and butter has melted, about 1 minute, stirring halfway.
Transfer pork to a cutting board, brush with garlic butter, tent with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Slice and serve.