A few weeks ago, when I was still stressing about taking the Step 1 exam, my roommate and I had some friends over for dinner. One of them is in Cambodia for the summer, another is in Miami working for a law firm, and another is currently in Europe on a two week "tour" with his grandparents...so we knew if we wanted to get together before the summer, it had to be soon. Months ago I bought a pork loin while it was on sale and put it in the freezer. The size that my grocery store sells is not the little ones that you often see Rachael Ray use...they are quite sizeable, so they aren't really practical for two people to make. I decided that this was the perfect time to do pork loin. The recipe I use is from Southern Sideboards and is what I have grown up on. It always comes out moist and delicious, unlike the typical college cafeteria pork loin (so have no fear if that is what you think of when you hear pork loin!). This recipe does take some time in the oven but is quick to prepare with hands-on time. It's great for a Sunday lunch, as you can leave it in the oven while you go to church, etc.
This recipe uses several different spices and herbs. One of my favorites is thyme. When I looked up thyme, I saw that the proper name is Thymus vulgaris. This made me laugh because, being in medical school, it made me think of a skin condition called pemphigus vulgaris. Okay, enough of that...back to thyme! Thyme mainly contains phenol and carvacol in different percentages based on the time (!) of year. Thyme originated in Southern Europe and is now grown all over Europe and the US. One of my favorite ways to use thyme is on squash...SO good! In addition to tasting good, thyme is apparently an antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, and carminative (apparently refers to an antispasmodic used against consipation and flatulence - here's a list of others if you're interested). Well, that may be more than you wanted to know about thyme, but you have it if you want it! In addition to thyme, this recipe uses dry mustard, ground ginger, and garlic. With all of these spices and herbs this is a perfect entry for this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging being hosted by Kalyn. Stop by on Sunday and see all the other entries. Now to the recipe....
Marinated Pork Roast
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon thyme
1, 4-5 pound pork loin roast, boned, rolled and tied (I just use what Kroger sells - already boned and round)
Combine first 6 ingredients. Place roast in large clear, plastic bag. Pour in marinade and close bag tightly. Marinate 2-3 hours at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator (Both work equally well). Remove the meat from marinade. Place on rack in a shallow roasting pan or a baking dish that the roast fits in - I don't have a rack and it cooked fine without one. Roast COVERED (This is a change from the original recipe - this keeps it tender and moist) at 325 degrees F for 3 hours or until meat thermometer registers 175 F. (I cooked for 3 hours and it was perfect). Baste occasionally with marinade during last hour of roasting time (Well, I didn't do this). You can use the juice in the pan for gravy if you want. My family usually serves this with potatoes au gratin, veggies, and fruit. This night, we had sweet potatoes, green beans, and rolls.