I have a confession to make: I have never, ever cooked a roast before tonight. I’ve never been completely comfortable cooking large cuts of meat. The fear of wasting a perfectly good roast beef, veal, pork or lamb due to undercooking or overcooking would simply make me steer away from trying. But this changed on Sunday Night.
Both my mother and father have mastered the art of cooking the perfect roast. Either one can provide excellent insight. I called up my father. After wishing him a happy birthday (he just turned 55), I asked for some advice on how to prepare a pork loin roast. He told me to use basic ingredients such as Dijon mustard, garlic cloves and chicken stock. In other words… nothing too complicated regarding preparation. According to my father, the most important thing is the cooking.
For a small to medium sized roast, he recommended cooking it at 350 °F for about an hour. My father also specified to keep the meat covered for ¾ of the cooking time and to uncover it for the final 15 minutes, this crisps up the top ever so slightly. The important thing when cooking a pork loin roast is to make sure the meat isn’t pink nor overcooked and dry.
With this in mind, it was time to take the advice to kitchen. I filled my Creuset Dutch oven with potatoes and carrots mixed with a bit of onion and leek. I then laid the pork loin roast stuffed with a couple of garlic cloves and covered with Dijon mustard, salt and pepper and sprigs of rosemary. I then added a bit of chicken stock and white wine.
It could be that the oven didn’t heat enough or the roast may have been a little larger than I thought, but after an hour, it wasn’t quite ready… Too pink. The roast returned in the oven about an extra half hour (maybe it wasn’t a small cut of meat after all). My bad!
I then strained the drippings and broth mixture and added a touch of corn starch to thicken it to make the sauce and then served with the roasted spuds and carrots and some sautéed rainbow chard.
And voilà: a first in the Tarnished Spoon kitchen: a pork roast for dinner. The ice was finally broken! Hurrah.