Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall Dinner -- Herb Roasted Pork and Gravy

The weather in central Virginia has turned decidedly chilly -- it's almost like we went right from summer to winter! Now that things have cooled off around here, it's easier to think about heating up the kitchen with roasting and baking.

I always cook a nice dinner on Mondays, because I think that Monday is a tough day for almost everyone, no matter what you do! If you are working a 9 to 5 grind, then it's back to the old routine, after a leisurely weekend of football and family. If you are a kid, getting up early and heading off to school after a day or 2 off can be tough. Even if you are a full time or part time stay at home mom (like me!), Monday means laundry, cleaning up lots of messes and at my house, fixing a nice dinner to say, "Here's to a good week, Family!"

This Monday, it's Herb Roasted Pork, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Cabbage and Red Onions and Ann's Apple Crisp (recipe here). Yummy! Try the pork and apple dessert with your favorite sides and enjoy the taste of fall!

Herb Roasted Pork

1 3 - 3.5 lb. pork roast

2 cloves garlic

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 - 2" stems fresh rosemary

fresh ground black pepper

1 medium onion, peeled and thickly sliced

1 T. Worcestershire Sauce, for gravy

Water or beef broth, for gravy

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Now, prepare your herbs:

Wash and dry the thyme and rosemary. Remove the leaves from the stems. I am lucky enough to still have lots of herbs in my garden, especially these 2 which will withstand the cooler weather and continue to produce.

Chop the garlic thyme and rosemary. Grind in some fresh black pepper and continue to work this mixture together until it is well blended. With a small sharp knife, cut the garlic cloves into slivers. Push the knife into the pork roast and insert a sliver of garlic into the roast. Do this several times so that the roast is studded all over with garlic cloves. 

Place your pork roast, fat side up, in a heavy, deep roasting pan. Score the fat with knife making 3 or so slashes across the roast. Rub your herb mixture over the surface of the roast, making sure it gets down into the slashes. Scatter the onion slices over the top of the roast, and along the sides. Sprinkle the whole thing with salt.

Put the roasting pan (uncovered) into your preheated oven. Set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer sounds, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cover your roast. Set the timer for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The internal temp. should be 180 degrees. Remove the roast and let rest 10 - 20 minutes before carving. Occupy your time making gravy, while you wait for the roast to cool.

Here's how I make gravy: To the drippings in the pan, stir in a 1/4 c. flour (a scant 1/4 c., not packed, just lightly spooned), and mix that into the juices with a wire whisk, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan, getting up all the brown bits and onion.

Make sure all of the flour is absorbed by the juices, that way you won't get lumpy gravy. Put the roasting pan on the stove --you may need to "straddle" it over 2 burners, depending on your stove and your pan -- and turn the burner(s) on low. Pour in 2 1/2 c. water or beef broth if desired, and continue to whisk, making sure your flour is dissolving and the gravy is blending well, continuing to scrape the bottom and sides of the roasting pan. Add the Worcestershire sauce, it gives great flavor and color. Turn up the heat, and keep going until it starts to boil This takes about 10 min. but you can do this while your meat is cooling. . Add a little salt and pepper, after tasting, if necessary.

1 comment:

The Cook said...

Beautiful pictures, Beth!