I’ve been trying to look for the occasional recipe that isn’t in the slow cooker, so I can develop my cooking skills. Susan recommended the Food TV site as a likely place to find doable recipes (things that don’t require very unusual or endless lists of ingredients), where I found this recipe for Herb Roasted Pork Loin with Parsley Shallot Sauce. It’s from a show I’ve never heard of, but then we don’t have cable anymore, so that’s probably not too shocking.
I had to make some adjustments to this recipe. This is par for the course, though, since I have never been good at following a pattern exactly as written. To start out with, I minced the garlic, but probably not small enough. My knife skills are sorely lacking. Perhaps I can convince my bro-in-law to give me a lesson on how to handle the best pocket knife sometime when we’re visiting. Anyway, that made mashing the garlic and salt into a paste a little bit challenging. I probably also ought to have had a mortar and pestle on hand, but that didn’t occur to me. First I tried using a fork, then a semi-rigid spatula thingie that came with the rice cooker, and then turned to Susan who recommended using a spoon. That worked decently, though I’m pretty sure this never formed what I would actually define as a paste.
I didn’t do too badly at rubbing the paste onto the pork, though. Once again I used plastic baggies on my hands – I’m really going to have to buy some rubber gloves or something, at least until I stop worrying about contaminating everything in the kitchen. I wish I’d had fresh herbs on hand instead of dried, but it seemed to work out well enough.
Shortly after I put the pork into the oven to cook, I realized that I had meant to cook some potatoes and carrots along with it. D’oh! So I grabbed another pan (I am on a quest to get some roasting pans for our oven, but haven’t found any non-non-stick ones the right size yet, so in the meantime we’re using recyclable ones. Happily I did discover the day after making this that we have a glass roasting pan I’d forgotten we owned.) and chopped up some veggies and sprinkled on some of each of the same herbs in the pork paste.
Despite not having a meat thermometer yet (another item added to the shopping list), we did okay! We cut into it after the short end of the recommended cooking time, and saw that it wasn’t quite there yet. So we squished it back together and let it cook a little longer, which then seemed to have done the trick. I was really paranoid about not cooking it enough since they always freak out about undercooked pork on cooking competition shows.
The veggies turned out a bit dry – that would’ve been fixed by cooking them in the same dish as the pork, I think, and maybe chopping them into larger bits. I’m still getting the hang of knowing how long things take to get done. I originally planned to make the parsley shallot sauce as well, but unfortunately the store was sold out of shallots, so I decided to skip it this time. It still tasted good even without the sauce.
This dish earned my and Karl’s approval. Huzzah! Another recipe added to the arsenal.