Garlic-stuffed pork roast was one of my mom’s go-to dinner favorites. She would often call me or my sister, Suzanne, after school and tell us how to prepare it. Getting the garlic stuffed in the roast was the most important thing. Even if she was working late, as she often did hostessing at our family’s restaurant, she made sure our dinner was taken care of and we learned how to cook along the way.
I love a pork roast in the fall, when the days are getting shorter and cooler. I served this one with some homemade applesauce I made from delicious Gravenstein apples, fresh from my good friend’s orchard, mashed potatoes, and Apple Hazelnut Salad.
Garlic-Stuffed Pork Roast
(about 6 servings)
One 3 – 4 pound pork roast, bone in or out (look for a shoulder blade roast or pork loin roast)
5 – 6 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon coarse or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
Season the roast (instructions follow) and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Firmly press down on each clove of garlic with the flat side of a large chef’s knife to loosen the garlic peel and remove it from each clove.
Slice each clove, lengthwise, into four to five thin, but sturdy, slices.
Mix together the salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary in a small bowl.
Use a small, sharp paring knife to cut a slit into the pork roast that’s as long as the garlic slices. Insert a slice of garlic and press it all the way into the roast. Repeat this process, leaving about two inches between each slit, all over top, bottom, and sides of the roast.
(You may have leftover garlic; refrigerate it for another use)
Rub the olive oil over the entire roast, then apply the salt/herb mixture and rub it all over the roast as well.
Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan or pyrex baking pan.
Put it in the preheated 450 degree F oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast reads at least 145 degrees F (I prefer it at about 160 degrees F). This should take about 2 hours, give or take 30 minutes depending on your oven and the size of your roast.
Remove the roast from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for about twenty minutes before slicing.
Slice and serve with your favorite sides.
“Cooking, I found, gives us the opportunity, so rare in modern life, to work directly in our own support, and in the support of the people we feed. If this is not “making a living,” I don’t know what is. In the calculus of economics, doing so may not always be the most efficient use of an amateur cook’s time, but in the calculus of human emotion, it is beautiful even so. For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”Michael Pollan