What a wonderful way to cook a pork roast! The meat, even an inexpensive cut, is moist and tender and flavorful. And the sauce - oh, the sauce - is deep and dark and yet slightly sweet, thanks to rich spices and wine. Wonderful with Garlic Mashed Potatoes!
This recipe looks long and complicated, but I promise, it’s not! It cooks in one pan and requires only four steps. 1) Rub the pork roast with herbs and garlic, then refrigerate. 2) Brown the meat. 3) Chop and sauté for the sauce. 4) Stick it all in the oven!
Making the dish for the first time, my reaction was, “THIS is why we eat at home.” An inexpensive cut of meat. Easy preparation. Rich flavors. Perfection!
For a special fall meal, serve the pork roast with homemade garlic mashed potatoes.
GARLIC MASHED POTATOES For four servings, allow a pound of russet potatoes, those are the ones with rough skins mostly used for baked potatoes. Peel them if you like but I like the rustic texture the skins add. Cut the potatoes into quarters or if the potatoes are different sizes, make sure the cut pieces are about the same size, this ensures even cooking. Arrange the potatoes in a saucepan with just enough cold water to cover. Drop in four peeled cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup milk. Cover and bring to a boil, cook for 25 minutes or until soft. Drain the potatoes but reserve the liquid. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or an electric mixer (not a food processor!), adding another 1/4 cup milk, 4 tablespoons butter (the butter is wonderful but also optional, the milk provides enough moisture and flavor for my taste) and if needed to reach the right consistency, splashes of the reserved cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
WINE-BRAISED PORK ROAST
Hands-on time (day of serving): 20 minutes
Time to table: about 90 minutes or up to 3 hours
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 2-1/2 pounds boned pork loin roast, rolled and tied
(night or morning before serving)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large onions chopped (about 3 cups)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped in large pieces
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup canned beef broth
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
MEAT RUB In a small dish, combine rub ingredients. Tear aluminum foil large enough to wrap meat. Wipe meat dry and place on foil. With fingers, press rub mixture into meat, covering all sides. Wrap foil tightly around meat and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
BROWN the MEAT Heat a Dutch oven on medium-high, add olive oil and heat til shimmery. Brown the pork roast on all sides, about 10 minutes total, letting each side brown without moving. Transfer to a plate and cover.
SAUCE Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Nestle the roast amid the vegetables, fat side up, pour in any meat drippings from the plate. Cover and bring to a boil.
While the pot comes to a boil, preheat oven to 350F. Transfer the covered pot to the oven.
ROASTING OPTION ONE: For firm slices, roast for about 40 minutes or until roast’s internal temperature reaches 140F - 150F.
OPTION TWO: For tender slices, cook for 2 - 3 hours.
OPTION THREE: For tender slices, on Day One, cook until the internal temperature reaches 140-150F, then refrigerate overnight. On Day Two, bring to a boil on the stovetop, then bake again at 350F for an hour. If needed, keep warm at 200F for an hour or more.
Once the meat is done, transfer the roast to a platter, cover with foil and let stand 15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. If you like, uncover the Dutch oven and cook the sauce on the stovetop on medium high until reduced to about four cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, slice the pork and top with sauce.
Inexpensive pork roasts can be a little tough (okay, a LOT tough) when cooked only until done. So I nearly always cook the pork roast using either Option Two or Option Three in the recipe.
I cut the red pepper in such large pieces to give the plate color and substance. But if you chop them small, the sauce has a more refined appearance. Your choice!
This recipe was originally published in print in 2003 and published online for the first time in 2010.
More Pork Recipes for Fall Suppers
What's Your Favorite Fall Supper?
Let me know in the comments! I'm 'hungry' for new ideas for future columns!
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