Although its Spring, the weather has been chilly for the past few days. Add into that the dreaded "Temple Test" (psychology class) and I was in need of something warm and comforting. Hence why I am posting this dish, a very Autumn-y dish that is really just a basic format for any meat and root veg combo.
Pork Loin is one of those cuts that everybody eats, but nobody really cares about. You've got your chicken breast lovers, your filet mignon devotees, your sushi fanatics, but Pork Loin hasn't really got a cheering section. And that's a shame, because its a lean affordable cut of meat that when treated right, can be a juicy, tender, and dare I say, comforting dinner.
Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel Seed and Curry, Root Vegetables
-2-3 lbs pork loin (bring to room temperature for even cooking)
-2 Tbs fennel seed
-2 Tbs curry powder (store bought or homemade)
-assorted squash and root vegetables
1) Heat a pan in a 375 degree oven with a light layer of oil. Once the oil is hot (about 10 minutes) add your vegetables and coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and some curry powder. Place in the oven. (Here, the preheated oil will ensure the starchy veg doesn't stick and develops a nice crust) Set timer for an 1 hour 15 minutes.
2) After the veg are in the oven, heat a pan over high heat until searing hot. Apply salt, pepper, fennel seed, and curry powder to the outside of your room temperature pork. Add some oil to the pan and sear on all sides until a golden crust is made.
3) Now your veg should be at about 45 minutes, so take them out and flip everything. At this point add your seared pork loin to top of the veg in order to finish roasting in the oven. Pork should be done at the same time as the veg, but may take up to ten minutes longer. Roast until desired doneness.
This is an easy way to cook big chunks of meat (and in my opinion, one of the bests). If you have the time, brineing the pork would be great. But then again I still got that test...