Herb Crusted Pork Roast
3 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium shallot, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons olive oil
Ground black pepper
1/3 cup packed fresh parsley or basil leaves, minced (I used fresh basil)
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 large clove garlic, minced
Lightly score fat cap on pork, making 1/4-inch crosshatch pattern. Cut pocket in roast. Dissolve 1/2 cup salt and sugar in 2 quarts water in large container; submerge roast, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse roast under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place bread crumbs in a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons Parmesan, shallot, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Using fork, toss mixture until crumbs are evenly coated with oil.
Add parsley, thyme, rosemary, garlic, remaining 6 tablespoons Parmesan, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to food processor workbowl and process until smooth, about twelve 1-second pulses. Transfer herb paste to small bowl.
Spread 1/4 cup herb paste inside roast and tie. Season roast with pepper.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add roast, fat side down, and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes, lowering heat if fat begins to smoke. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
Using scissors, snip and remove twine from roast; discard twine. Spread remaining herb paste over roast and top with bread crumb mixture. Transfer baking sheet with roast to oven and cook until thickest part of roast registers 145 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 50 to 75 minutes. Remove roast from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 150 degrees.
Using spatula and meat fork, transfer roast to carving board, taking care not to squeeze juices out of pocket in roast. Cut roast into 1/2-inch slices and serve immediately.
Cooks Illustrated magazine