Here’s our 2018 Holiday Meal!
No but seriously. I’m going to make this once a week until February.
How was your weekend? Our was….well, let’s just say that I’m really excited for the holidays but also am feeling the exhaustion and the feelings and the business and WHY ARE YOU PUKING ON ME AGAIN, in a very hard way. The week before Christmas feels like packing for vacation to me…once we get it done and onto the main event everything will be fiiiiiine.
In our planning, though, is this! I’m thisclose to convincing my dad that we should have this pork for our Christmas dinner. It is super easy to make but feels fancy because of the crust, which is really just garlic, mustard herbs, and some easy flavors. There is salt and sugar in the crust, and trust me on the amounts – you need that much to flavor the entire roast, and the crunch from the sugar and salt is just SO good. There’s no sauce to mess with either, the pan drippings from this are all we need. Simplify your life, people.
You’ll need a boneless pork loin, about two and a half pounds for 4-6 people. You can of course make a larger version of this, just double or even triple the garlic crust mixture. I like pork with a little bit of fat on it but not too much – if there’s a thick layer of fat that gets cut off during eating then all the flavors we add to the outside will go to waste, so trim the pork to your preference before you start to work with it.
For the coating, we have butter, garlic, thyme, grainy mustard, salt, and sugar. I go coarse for the salt and sugar, but use anything you have. Mix this into a paste using a fork, and smell or taste it: it is SO good and definitely worthy of using on other proteins like fish, chicken, or tofu.
Now, preheat the oven to 425F and coat the bottom of a small baking dish with some olive oil. Arrange the pork in the dish and rub the garlic mixture all over it – use it all up!
Roast the pork for 15 minutes at 425F then reduce the heat to 300F for the last bit of cooking – this lets the pork cook all the way through but won’t burn the garlic herb coating. After 15 minutes more (30 total at this point), take the pork out of the oven and check the temperature right at the center of the meat. When the pork is 140-145F internally, it’s done! If it’s not there yet, keep cooking it for about 5 minutes at a time until it comes to temp.
Remove the pork from the dish and cover it with foil for about 10 minutes. While the pork is resting, swirl a pat of butter into the pan drippings. Slice the pork and place it back into the roasting pan because PAN DRIPPINGS. This is why it’s nice to use a small dish, so that the pork is right in the drippings and nothing is burning on the edges. I like thinner slices here since holiday meals tend to be large and this allows for more PAN DRIPPINGS, but cut the pork however you like for serving.
The flavors here are so delicious and special, but the method is simple and no-fuss, perfect for any holiday meal. I’m all about a turkey at Thanksgiving, but I like doing different main dishes for the rest of the year. This is a perfect switch up and will come out wonderfully every time.
Because garlic herb butter crust.
The perfect holiday main course for casual dinners or larger events. Garlic herb butter crusted pork, done in just 30 minutes or so. Huge flavor and minimal effort. This comes out perfectly every time!
- 1 boneless pork loin roast, about 2.5 pounds
- 3 tablespoons softened butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt (it sounds like a lot, it’s not!)
- 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (or brown sugar)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 475F and pour the olive oil in the bottom of a small roasting pan or baking dish, large enough to fit the roast but not much larger.
In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter with the salt, mustard, thyme, sugar, and garlic to form a paste.
Place the pork roast in the baking dish and rub all over with the garlic mixture, covering the top and ends of the pork.
Roast the pork for 15 minutes at 475F then reduce the heat to 300F and roast for 15 minutes more (leave the pork in the oven during this time, just adjust the temp at the 15 minute mark).
Remove the pork and test the temperature using a digital or other meat thermometer right at the center of the pork. When the pork reaches 140F internally, remove from the oven. If it needs more time to cook, continue to cook at 300F, checking the temperature every 5 minutes or so.
When the pork has reached 140-145F, remove from the oven and place on a plate or carving board to rest, covered in foil (pork is safe to eat in the 145-155F range, and will continue to cook slightly as it rests out of the oven). While the pork rests, whisk the final tablespoon of butter into the pan drippings.
Carve the pork as desired and return to the baking sheet with the juices and spices. Serve with extra thyme leaves on top. Enjoy!