A couple of days ago, we had a cool front move in. It brought below freezing temperatures for lows and relatively cool daytime temps. I was wanting comfort food and I was wanting to use my oven. Knowing I had a couple of lean pork loin roasts in the freezer from a “buy one get one for a penny” sale at Brookshire’s, I decided to make us a lean Pork Loin Roast with the World’s Best Gravy.
My late MaMaw was quite fond of a good Pork Loin Roast. When baked, it comes out browned to somewhat crispy on the outside, but the meat is tender, juicy, and lean.
Simple seasonings are best: salt, pepper, bit of garlic powder, and, because I have it growing in abundance, some fresh rosemary are all you need.
While many recipes call for baking pork loin roast at a higher temperature for a lower period of time, I prefer to bake it for longer at a lower temperature — 325F – 350F will do the trick.
My favorite part of this dish is the gravy — I always think of it as the world’s best gravy. What makes this gravy so good? It’s a combination of reduced chicken broth, wine (I typically use white, but red would do), and beef broth (or a beef bouillon cube or beef gravy packet, if need be) combined with the juices exuded from the roast and vegetables. After some experimentation, I’ve learned that this dish comes out best when I bake it in the lid to a stainless steel roaster that I have, as I can then use the lid as a skillet to make the gravy. Doing so lets me incorporate the fond into the gravy. (Fond is the cooking vocabulary word for the flavorful crusty bits in a skillet or roasting pan. There, you learn something every day, don’t you? 😉 LOL!)
My MaMaw was a teetotaller and so would have made her pork roast without any wine, but I don’t see any need to let her know I’m using wine, do you? 😉
This smells — and tastes! — so yummy, you’ll find yourself kissing the pan to make sure none of the fond gravy goes to waste! 😉
Pork Loin Roast with World’s Best Gravy (Number of servings depend upon size of roast and size of appetites you’re feeding )
- Lean pork loin roast (I usually use a 2 1/2 to 3 pound roast)
- Desired vegetables: Suggest onion, potato, carrot, celery, rutabaga — whatever sounds good to you (I used potato, carrot, onion, celery, and mushrooms, ’cause that’s what I had on hand!)
- Couple cups of chicken stock (eyeball it)
- Healthy dose (around 1/2 cup or so) white wine (you could also use red wine)
- Healthy dose (3/4 cup or so — eyeball it!) beef stock (or add in a beef bouillon cube or a beef gravy packet)
- Sea salt to taste
- Coarse-ground black pepper to taste
- Sprinkling of garlic powder
- Olive oil (2 or 3 tablespoons)
- Leaves from a sprig or two of fresh rosemary, chopped (optional)
- Parsley to taste
- All purpose flour (3 or 4 tablespoons) mixed with water
- Dry pork roast with paper towels. Rub entire roast with olive oil (allow any remaining olive oil to drip into pan). Season all sides to taste with coarse ground salt, coarse ground black pepper, chopped rosemary leaves (optional), and a sprinkling of garlic powder. Pour some chicken stock in around the roast. (NOTE: You can add in the wine now, too, if you like, but as it cooks away so much, I like to add the wine in when I add in the vegetables). Bake at 325F – 350F for an hour or so.
- Scrub desired vegetables thoroughly and prepare for the roast. Remove roast from oven (see how much the liquid as already reduced?)Arrange vegetables around roast (I like to try and coat them in the pan juices). Pour in some wine. Season vegetables with some coarse ground salt, coarse ground black pepper, and a sprinkling of parsley. Return to oven and bake until roast is done and vegetables are desired tenderness (anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 hours). (NOTE: If roast gets done before vegetables are tender, remove roast and keep warm while vegetables continue to cook, and vice versa if vegetables get done before roast is done. Total baking time will depend upon the size of your roast, the temperature at which you bake it, and the vagaries of your oven.)
- Remove roast and vegetables to a platter and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
- Make the world’s best gravy: Add in beef broth. Bring pan juices — including the fond 😉 — to a boil. Cook until reduced to desired amount. If need be, add in another splash of wine to help deglaze the pan and loosen up the fond. Mix equal parts flour and water together until smooth (I shake mine together in a small, lidded jar I saved just for this purposed). Pour flour/water mixture into the boiling liquid, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer until desired thickness is achieved. Gravy will thicken upon standing. (Note: Amount of flour needed for gravy will depend upon how much cooking liquid you have and how thick you like your gravy; I usually start off with 2 to 4 tablespoons of flour, seeing as I can always add in a bit more flour/water mixture — or liquid — if need be.)
- Enjoy! Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.