Here’s an easy pork roast recipe that’s simple enough for a weeknight and fancy enough for company or the holidays. Herb crusted pork loin with a homemade pan gravy and lots of caramelized vegetables is an easy one-pan meal the whole family will love.
This week is back to class for most of the students in our area and I think a nice family dinner is a great way to start off the new school year. This spiced pork loin is easy to make and best of all, the oven does most of the work. You’ll have no problem getting the kids to the kitchen when herb crusted pork loin with pan gravy hits the table.
This herb crusted pork roast is a busy parents’ best friend because it’ll feed the whole family, delivers big flavor and (usually) there’s enough for leftovers, not to mention, pork loin is a really economical cut .
Spice Blend For
Herb Crusted Pork Loin:
The crust for this spiced pork roast is a savory blend of fresh herbs and dried spices. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Rosemary
- Mustard Seed
- Dried Fennel Seed
- Kosher Salt
- Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Rub the pork with olive oil and then coat it with the herb/spice rub. This can be done at the last minute or if you really want those flavors to soak in, let it marinate all day or overnight. The key to this herb crusted pork loin recipe is the VERY hot oven temperature. 500°. Yep – scorching. The hot oven quickly seals in the juices and helps develop that golden crust.
While the pork is roasting, prep the vegetables. I used onions, potatoes and carrots, but any kind of root vegetable would work well. Try it with butternut squash or acorn squash, parsnips, or rutabaga.
Toss the vegetables with a little olive oil and the remainder of the herb rub, then transfer them to the pan with the herb crusted pork loin. They’ll roast with the pork and pickup some of those flavors along the way.
Remove the spiced pork roast when the internal temperature reaches 140° and transfer it to a cutting board. Tent the herb crusted pork loin with foil while it rests. There is some controversy as to whether or not to tent your meat. I choose to tent mine, because my air conditioning vents blow cold in my kitchen (this is South Florida) but do what works for you.
The vegetables need to cook a little longer and get more caramelization, so as the spiced pork roast rests, cook the vegetables for about 10 more minutes in the hot oven. While the veg finishes in the oven, the roast rests and will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout your herb crusted pork loin.
Pan Gravy: The Secret Ingredient…
One of my family’s favorite things is homemade pan gravy. It’s a simple lush sauce that naps a perfectly cooked piece of meat. So, despite how tender and juicy this easy pork roast recipe is, I knew a good pan gravy was a must, and it didn’t take longer than 5 minutes to make. The key to a good pan gravy, IMO, is the acid. If you simply add flour and stock to the drippings, you’ll get a flabby, one-note sauce, however just a few shakes of red wine vinegar adds a whole new dimension. I ALWAYS add it — and it’s ALWAYS a hit.
Slice the spiced pork roast into 1/3″ – 1/2″ slices and transfer to a serving platter.
Spoon the oven roasted vegetables around the pork and serve with the pan gravy on the side. Prepare yourself for the “oohs” and “aahs” and general accolade that’s usually reserved for a holiday meal. This easy pork roast recipe with roasted vegetables and pan gravy is sure to be a hit in your house.
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Herb Crusted Pork Loin with Pan Gravy
- 2 1/2 pounds center cut pork loin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
- 1 pound yukon gold or other white potato
- 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 large onion cut into small wedges
For Pan Gravy:
- 2 tablespoons pan drippings
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Wondra flour (or all purpose)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove the pork loin from the refrigerator half an hour before cooking to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 500°.
- In a mortar and pestle, combine the fennel and mustard seed. Crush them until they're evenly mashed. Transfer to a small bowl and add the salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Mix to combine and set aside.
- Place the pork loin in a roasting pan and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Spread the olive oil over the surface and sides of the pork. Sprinkle with about 2/3 of the spice mixture, pressing into the flesh so that it adheres.
- Place the pork loin in the hot oven and roast for 20 minutes. While the roast is cooking, add the potatoes, carrots and onions to a large bowl. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the potatoes and add the remainder of the spice blend. Toss to coat.
- After the pork has roasted for 20 minutes, shake the pan to make sure it hasn't stuck to the bottom. Pour the vegetables around the pork roast in an even layer. Roast the pork and vegetables for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140°.
- Remove the pork from the oven and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Tent with foil and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Continue to roast the vegetables for an additional 10 minutes until tender and golden. Transfer the vegetables to a serving platter with a slotted spoon, draining off any excess fat back into the roasting pan.
Make the Pan Gravy:
- Place the roasting pan on the stove top and heat to medium high heat. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and stir until the flour and fat are incorporated. Stir in the chicken broth, stirring constantly and bring the sauce to a boil. Cook for one minute, until slightly thickened. Stir in the dijon and vinegar until well blended. Taste for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Carve the roast into 1/4" - 1/3" slices and transfer to the serving platter with the vegetables. Serve with the pan gravy.
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