My boyfriend and I seem to be on a roll with home cooked dinners for Valentine’s Day. I mean, they’re pretty sweet. We cook regularly in the house so it is not a huge departure for us, however we tend to make something we wouldn’t ordinarily cook on a week to week basis. Cooking for Valentine’s Day is a way to not drop a boatload of money, not feel like we’re in a romantic fish bowl with all the zillion other fish couples, and ultimately, more comfortable because I don’t have to wear tights or heels and we can sit more comfortably instead of 4 feet away from each other in a dining room.
This year I made dinner. He made dinner last year and the year before that he took charge of the meat and I the veg. The year before that was the first and only time we didn’t cook. We went out to a swanky bar, had a couple appetizers and a couple of super crazy stiff (and delicious) drinks, and on our way home picked up sushi which we proceeded to eat 3 bites of before passing out.
So why am I talking about Valentine’s Day in March?! In the middle of VDay dinner this year my boyfriend exclaimed, “You need to make this for your parents when they come to visit!!” Fast forward to this past weekend, my dad came to town so my boyfriend eagerly reminded me of our agreement for me to make a rosemary garlic pork loin.
I have never made a pork loin prior to Valentine’s Day, though I have eaten one trillions of times at my grandparents house growing up. This rosemary garlic stuffed pork loin is inspired by my grandmother's garlic pork loin. (I might have actually outdone her with this, but shhhh, don’t tell her I said that).
IT IS SO GOOD. My dad kept raving about it and my boyfriend was super pleased that I remembered how I made it in the first place so that it turned out just as great.
Disclaimer: You will reek of garlic after consumption. Make sure that everyone eating enjoys garlic and that your significant other also consumes this meal or else they will not want to sit next to you, let alone kiss you, for the next few days.
For the loin
1 pork loin (mine was under 1 pound)
2 large heads of garlic, sliced in slivers (like the size of slivered almonds from Trader Joe’s)
about 8 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon high heat oil (coconut oil, or avocado oil)
For the marinade
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt -- 1/4 freshly ground, 1/4 flaked sea salt
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
For the veggies
2+ pounds chopped veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and/or zucchini)
1/2 sliced yellow (or red!) onion
1 large minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil (or coconut oil or avocado oil)
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
generous pinch of salt
These veggies are a variation on my *famous crack veggies* from way back to the start of this blog. However, there are elevated further by swapping in fresh minced garlic instead of powdered and adding sliced onion. (I also did not include rosemary for obvious reasons). Lastly, I used less oil because while the roast was resting on the cutting board, I tossed the veggies inside the drippings in the cast iron. MAN was that a killer idea.
1. The night (or morning) before consumption, marinade the pork loin. Chop the two large garlic cloves into matchsticks. Using a small paring knife, poke the pork every inch or so and stuff each hole with a garlic stick.
2. Once the pork is garlic stuffed, in a small bowl, combine the finely minced garlic, finely chopped fresh rosemary, freshly ground salt and flaked sea salt combo, pepper, and olive oil. Mix and generously coat the pork.
3. Take the rosemary spriggs and lay them all over the pork.
4. Use Google and YouTube to truss the pork to keep the rosemary in tact (unless you’re a pro and already know how to do it).
5. If there is extra marinade, pour it on top the pork.
6. Wrap the meat tightly in saran or a ziplock bag and leave it in the fridge for at least a few hours, preferably longer than that.
An hour before dinner
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Put the pan that you will be cooking the pork in in the oven. I used my cast iron.
3. Chop your veggies into similar size pieces. Place veggies and sliced onion on a parchment lined tray and add the garlic, oil, and seasonings. Toss until everything is covered and equally spread out.
4. Pop the veggies into the oven for about 25-35 minutes, it depends on the size of your pieces.
5. Once your veggies are 20 minutes from being perfectly cooked to your liking, pull the cast iron pan out of the oven and onto a burner on high heat. Add your high heat oil, and place the pork loin on the pan.
6. Sear each side for 3-4 minutes. Pop the pan into the oven and wait for it to reach 145 degrees.
7. Once the pork is done, turn the oven off and pull the pork and veggies out of the oven.
8. Place the pork on your cutting board and toss all the veggies in the pork drippings.
9. Slice your pork and VOILA. It’s time to ward off vampires!