Published January 1, 2007.
A fresh herb crust seems like a good way to enliven a boneless pork roast—but not if the crust has little flavor and falls off.
A boneless center-cut pork roast comes from the leanest part of the pig, and it's very bland. To be flavorful, it needs adornment.
A fresh herb crust provides the extra flavor a boneless pork roast needs—as long as the crust stays attached and delivers maximum herb flavor in every bite.
Prior test kitchen research had proved that brining and browning were essential for keeping a lean pork roast moist. But coating the roast with herbs and even brining it in an herb-salt solution didn't create flavor throughout the meat. The solution was to cut a single horizontal pocket across the middle of the roast, making an easy pocket that could hold a good quantity of herb paste. With our internal flavor guaranteed, we went to work on the external crust. We used the same herb paste we had used to fill the pocket, but to keep it attached to the outside of the roast, we found we needed to score a crosshatch pattern into the fat cap, giving the paste something to grip.list of recipes