As is the tradition in my family, I made pork roast for New Year's Day dinner last week. (Although the spread above was from our pre-Thanksgiving meal at Christian's apartment in Brooklyn. Since Stephan was traveling to India for Thanksgiving--he was working on a wedding in Jaipur--we decided to have a pre-holiday meal before he left. We opted for pork over turkey since most of us would be enjoying a traditional turkey dinner in PA on Thanksgiving Day.)
When my mother makes pork, she roasts it in the oven and does so to perfection. For some reason, I prefer making it on the stove. So the recipe below is a combination of my mom's method (jabbing holes throughout the roast and shoving chunks of garlic inside) and a stove-top technique from an old French cookbook. While I typically just serve it with a gravy from the garlicky juices at the bottom of the pot, I also made a large bowl of Tomatillo Sauce to go along with the roast above as I know how much my boys love it. I served it with mashed potatoes topped with chives (recipe tk). And in Pennsylvania, we wouldn't have a New Year's Day pork roast without sauerkraut, as well. Happy 2018!
Ingredients for Pork
- Two 3-lb. pork loins
- 10-12 large peeled garlic cloves, half left whole and half cut into large, vertical chunks
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 oz. butter (or more olive oil, if you prefer not to use butter)
- 6 tablespoons white vermouth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 12 tablespoons water
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Season pork with salt and pepper on all sides. With knife, make 1" deep holes all around meat and insert vertical garlic chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large oval pot in which the roasts will fit comfortably. Add half the butter and the whole garlic cloves, and brown the meat on all sides.
- Remove the meat and garlic and discard the cooking fat. Add the vermouth and sugar, and boil over high heat until slightly reduced, scraping up burned bits with a wooden spoon. Return the meat to the pot and turn int over in the liquid. Add the garlic and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 45-60 minutes, turning the meat over twice.
- When the meat is cooked (I like an internal temperature of 185°F), transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest while you make the gravy.
Ingredients for Gravy
- Liquid from bottom of pan (at least 2 tbsps.)
- 1 1/2 cups stock (or wine or water)
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1/4 water
- Salt to taste
- First crush the garlic at the bottom of the pot into the liquid to get as much of the flavor as you can into the gravy. Then strain liquid into a separate pot and add stock (or wine or water). Bring to a boil.
- In small bowl, combine 1/4 cup water with the flour and mix until smooth.
- Stir flour mixture into the pot and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce and so the sauce thickens.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add a ladle of gravy over the platter of sliced pork and serve the rest along side the pork.