Published September 1, 2002.
Perfumed with rosemary and garlic, this simple roast can turn out dry, tough, or bitter. We made more than 40 roasts to perfect this classic Italian recipe.
For such a simple roast, problems abound. The meat can be dry, tough, and unevenly cooked; the crust can be absent, causing the roast to look pale and unappealing; and the rosemary and garlic flavors can be either too bland or too harsh.
Roast pork loin flavored with rosemary and garlic, served boneless, sliced thick, and often accompanied by pan juices. When properly made, the meat is succulent and the crust crisp. It works well as a showpiece roast or as an inexpensive family supper.
Choose a bone-in, center-cut pork rib roast. Its protective cap of fat and muscle made it the tastiest of all the cuts we sampled, and its rack of bones help to protect the meat during roasting. Brine the meat in a mixture of water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, and rosemary to ensure juiciness and impart flavor. Brown the meat on all sides in a heavy skillet, then use the same pan to make a basting liquid with white wine. Butterfly the pork loin, then rub the meat with a garlic, rosemary, and olive oil paste for even more flavor (olive oil helps heat and cook the paste, which, in turn, boosts flavor). Roast the meat, basting with pan drippings during cooking. Use the flavorful pan drippings to make a pan sauce.list of recipes