Sally requested a recipe for a small dinner party, and I suggested this roast loin of pork that I made for New Year's Eve dinner for friends. It is really not all that different than a roasted chicken. You put everything in the pot and let it roast in the oven.
It's a great Sunday family supper, but nice enough to serve guests. The house smells great, and you can enjoy a cocktail while the roast rests before slicing. And, as roasts go, pork is one of the bargains, especially compared with beef. I bought a lovely 3-pound pork roast, enough to feed 6 people, for about $8.
Roast Loin of Pork with Fennel
Makes 6 servings
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 3-pound boneless pork loin, trimmed and tied
3 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
10 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced on the diagonal
10 small potatoes, quartered
2 onions, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons good olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. With a mortar and pestle, or in the bowl of a small food processor, grind together the garlic, salt and thyme. Add the mustard and combine. Spread the mixture over the loin of pork and allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cut the fennel bulbs into thick wedges, slicing through the core. Toss the fennel, carrots, potatoes and onions in a roasting pan with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes. Add the pork to the pan and continue to cook for another 30 to 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads 138 degrees. Remove from the oven, cover and allow the roast to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thickly. Arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties (Potter, 2001)