Herb-and-Garlic-Crusted Pork Roast
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- 8 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 center cut, boneless pork loin, approximately 3 to 3-1/2 pounds
- 3 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 4 slices Black Forest bacon or other thick-sliced bacon, cut in 1-inch pieces (uncooked)
- 1 tablespoon apricot preserves
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1. For brine, in a very large bowl dissolve salt and sugar in 8 cups cold water. Transfer pork to brine, making sure to submerge it fully. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 2 days.
- 2. Remove loin from brine and blot dry with paper towels. In a nonstick skillet heat oil, then brown roast on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside for 5 to 30 minutes to cool slightly.
- 3. In a food processor puree uncooked bacon to a smooth paste. (This amount of bacon is necessary for blades to process. Use the remaining puree to make appetizers: spread on baguette slices then broil until golden. Serve with Plum Compote.) Transfer half the bacon to a bowl. Stir in apricot preserves, chopped garlic, and 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary.
- 4. Position oven rack in lowest position. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place cooled pork loin on waxed paper. Spread with bacon mixture. In a separate bowl combine the bread crumbs, parsley, remaining rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and the melted butter. Toss well to mix. Press an even layer of the crumb mixture on the roast (except the ends), applying enough pressure for the crumbs to adhere to the bacon layer.
- 5. Transfer roast to a wire rack in a foil lined baking pan or roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast for 45 minutes more or until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees F. (If crust begins to brown too deeply, tent roast with foil.) Remove roast from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. Temperature of roast will rise approximately 10 degrees F as it stands.
- from the test kitchen
- * If you are not able to find a natural pork roast, skip the brining step.
- ** If you don't let the crumbs stale overnight, spread them in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake, uncovered, in a 300 degrees F oven 10 minutes or until dry, stirring once or twice. Crumbs will continue to dry as they cool.