Since Rob & I have cut down on the red meat in our diet, I’ve had to adapt in the kitchen. That doesn’t mean we don’t still have the occasional juicy steak (I am from Texas), but we try to limit it to only a few times a month. As a Texan, cutting out red meat from your diet is basically an abomination.
Without the crutch of red meat in my meal rotation, I started to rely heavily on chicken. I was surprised at how quickly I got sick of eating chicken. I always thought chicken was the superior protein, one that I would never grow tired of. Boy, was I wrong. There’s only so much you can do with chicken before you get really bored of the stuff. I’ve been eating more fish, more seafood (shrimp, scallops, crawfish) and also experimenting with pork. Pork tenderloin is a favorite, along with slow-cooked pork shoulder (for carnitas or pulled pork), and thick-cut pork chops.
While planning out my Easter menu this past weekend, I decided to make a pork roast. I remember my mom would make a pork roast on Sundays for us to have for lunch after church. She would put a million garlic cloves in it and the house would smell so fragrant when we got home. I wanted to try something similar, but I wanted an herby twist as well.
The pork roast I picked up from the grocery store was HUGE. It was two pork tenderloins tied together, weighing close to 3 pounds. I toasted some breadcrumbs and mixed them with a bunch of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley) and slathered dijon mustard all over the pork roast so that it would hold the breadcrumb mixture in place. I’ve found that Dijon mustard is the best to smother a pork tenderloin with; it kind of infuses the pork with that delectable mustard flavor.
Um, and can I mention how amazingly tasty homemade honey mustard tastes?! How had I not tried this sooner?! I could basically bathe in the stuff, it tasted that good. Sauces are definitely needed with pork tenderloins or roasts, because a lot of people overcook the pork. Don’t do that! You only need to cook pork to a minimum temperature of 145 degrees, 160 maximum. It’s okay if it is still a little pink inside! Tender pork is much better than overcooked pork.
Herb & Garlic Pork Roast with Honey Mustard Sauce
Pork loin roast covered in toasted breadrcumbs, fresh herbs & garlic and served alongside a honey mustard sauce.
- 1-3 lb. boneless pork loin roast
- salt and pepper
- 2 TBS. olive oil
- 2 TBS. butter
- 2 TBS. fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 TBS. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 TBS. fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup plus 2 TBS. Dijon mustard
- 2 whole heads of garlic, each cut in half
- 3 TBS. honey
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season pork (on both sides) with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned. Transfer pork to a plate to cool.
- Meanwhile, return skillet to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add thyme, parsley, and rosemary, stirring until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add panko and a pinch of salt; cook and stir until panko is golden brown and toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer herb and breadcrumb mixture to a piece of parchment paper and spread out into an even layer.
- Brush the pork with the 2 TBS. of Dijon mustard and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Return the coated pork to the cast-iron skillet and add halved garlic heads to the skillet as well. Roast until internal temperature of the pork is between 145-160 degrees, about 45 minutes. Transfer cooked pork roast & garlic halves to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- To make the honey mustard sauce: In same skillet pork cooked in, heat skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Add honey, remaining 1/3 cup Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup water and stir until combined. Simmer until the mixture is pretty thick, about 2-3 minutes. Serve sauce alongside sliced pork roast and garlic.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and sear, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Melt butter in same cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add thyme, parsley and rosemary; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the panko and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, until the panko is golden and toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer the toasted herb and panko mixture to parchment paper, spreading into a thin layer.
Brush pork with 2 TBS. of Dijon mustard.
Roll pork in breadcrumb mixture until it is well coated. Return the coated pork to the same skillet, along with the halved garlic heads. Roast until an internal temperature of 145-160 degrees, about 45 minutes.
Transfer pork and garlic to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Using same cast-iron skillet, heat over medium heat. Add honey, remaining 1/3 cup of Dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup water and stir until combined. Simmer until the mixture is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve sauce with sliced pork and garlic.