Christmas Day Dinner is possibly my favourite meal to plan and make every year. I love the elegant and grand feeling of it. The fact that family is all around and we’ll be up late chatting, eating, and sipping wine … perhaps a bit too much of all of those. 😉 Recent years and this year will have me serving a big roast on Christmas Day. I love turkey and ham, but I also make them frequently enough during the year that we don’t feel as though we’re missing out. A great way to create a show stopping centre piece for the main protein is to leave the bone-in. This Holiday Rosemary Garlic Pork Roast will wow guests with its crispy exterior and succulent interior. And you’ll be feeling grand from as little hands on work as possible!
I know that handling a piece of meat of this size can be daunting. What does “Frenched” mean?! How do I know I’m not serving raw meat? All of these questions are pretty normal – and I’ve had them myself. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer (even a very inexpensive instant read one will work wonders) to ensure the meat is properly cooked. And any questions surrounding cuts of meat or how to do anything is easily answered by any butcher – including the ones at major grocery store chains. Don’t be afraid to ask any of these questions, usually butchers are pretty into their jobs and would love to share their knowledge with you. By the way, “frenched” means that the meat is cut away to expose the bones.
This roast is incredibly easy to put together. A bunch of garlic and herbs are shoved into slits of the skin. The great thing about pork is that it can dry out, but it takes quite a bit to get there. This specific cut is nice in that it has a layer of fat between the skin and meat which keeps the meat moist throughout the cooking as it renders down and it soaked up by the meat in the resting phase.
Any of the usual side dishes can be served with this type of roast: mashed potatoes, carrots, salad, stuffing, etc. As I mentioned before I know a pork roast is a bit a-typical, but the flavours with the rosemary really bring the piece back into the holiday or at least winter feel. The skin is very reminiscent of porchetta which most people love – it’s hard to turn away for the crispy salty exterior that’s laden with herbs and garlic.
Succulent pork loin with an addictive crispy exterior.
5 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 bone-in pork loin (about 4-5 lbs, around 8 bones), Frenched by butcher
- 24 very thin slivers of garlic, cut from 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Using a sharp knife, create small 1/2" wide slits in the skin of the loin, all over including sides and ends. (If the butcher has ties on the meat, leave them intact and create slits around them).
- In each slit place 1 sliver of garlic and a pinch of rosemary and fennel.
- Generously coat the loin with salt and pepper.
- Place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, checking the temperature after 45 minutes (in the thickest part of the meat). For a juicy slightly pink loin remove from oven at 140° F and allow to rest for 10-20 minutes (temperature should rise to 150°). If the thought of any pink freaks your out, leave the loin in the oven until it reaches 150° F, remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- To serve, slice the loin so that 1 bone equals one chop.