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Pork Loin with Pesto
Along with the usual harvesting of garden vegetables and herbs that I’ve been telling you about, I’ve been foraging for autumn’s wild edibles.
The autumn olive berries are ripe and perfect for jelly. I’m drying some in my dehydrator for granola, as well.
Add to the harvest wild fox grapes and spice bush berries and you’ve got some good eating.
Not only do these simple country pleasures allow for exercise, there’s a satisfaction in knowing I’m feeding my family with Mother Nature’s bounty.
Time goes by so quick when I’m in the woods or along fence rows.
That’s when the freezer comes in handy.
Like today, thawing pesto frozen earlier this year to smear on a pork loin roast. With a simple green salad and a side of rice with vermicelli noodles, supper was easy to make and very delicious.
Pork loin roast with pesto and pan sauce
Roast starts out with a high temperature of 475 and finishes on a low 250 degrees. This method helps keep pork loin juicy.
1 boneless pork loin roast, 2-3 pounds
Salt and pepper to taste
Pesto – up to 1/2 cup – I used almost 1/2 cup for a 2-1/2 pound roast
1 cup white wine or chicken broth or little more if needed
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Pat pork dry and place in roasting pan. I leave the fat cap on, but you can pare a little off if you want.
Cut slits a good 1/2” or so down through the fat, about 1-1/2” long and 1” or so apart. Depending on the roast, you’ll make 2-3 rows with pockets for stuffing in pesto.
Season all over with salt and pepper, then stuff pesto into slits. It will look messy.
Spread remaining pesto on top.
Pour wine or broth around bottom.
Roast for 10 minutes, then turn temperature down to 250 degrees.
Continue to roast until internal temperature in middle reaches 140-145 degrees.
Mine took about 45 minutes. Start checking after 40 minutes.
Remove meat from pan, tent with foil and let rest while making sauce.
Put pan on burner over low heat, scrape up brown bits, adding a bit more liquid if necessary. After it comes to a gentle boil, swirl in 2-3 tablespoons or so butter or heavy cream. Taste and go from there.
You won’t get a lot of sauce, but enough to drizzle over each serving.
A variation of my classic freezer pesto.
No real recipe, just put 2 cups basil leaves in food processor with about 2 tablespoons pine nuts, walnuts or pumpkin seeds and 1 large clove garlic. If you have a handful of parsley, throw that in. Process until minced. With machine running, slowly pour in 1/2 cup olive oil.
Finish with a generous 1/2 cup Parmesan and blend. Taste and go from there, adding more of any ingredient.
Freeze up to 6 months.