Roast Pork Loin à la Languedocienne

Roast Pork Loin à la Languedocienne

Serves 8

One pork loin, approximately 3 to 4 pounds, fat trimmed so there’s still a little on it, but not too much

6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon chopped thyme

2 tablespoons finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes (use the ones packed in oil)

3 slices bacon, chopped into pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Salt and pepper the pork loin and set it on a cutting board. Using a long, sharp knife, start making a horizontal cut halfway up the side. Keep the knife parallel to the cutting board as you continue to cut through, until you get about 1/2-inch from the other side.  Put your hands in the opening and pull the roast open a little, just so that you can get a knife or spatula inside to spread the stuffing inside.  Set the roast aside while you make the stuffing.

Set up the food processor with the steel blade and turn it on. Remove the plunger so that you can drop things into the feed tube. Drop in the garlic cloves, one by one, waiting until each one has been chopped before adding the next. Stop the processor and add the sun-dried tomatoes and the herbs, along with some pepper. Process to mix. Add the bacon pieces along with a tablespoon of olive oil, and process until the bacon is all ground up with the other ingredients.

Using a rubber spatula or a dinner knife, spread the stuffing into the opening of the roast. Tie the roast up, then rub the outside of the roast with the other tablespoon of olive oil. At this point, you can wrap the roast in plastic and refrigerate it overnight, or continue on to cook it. (Letting it sit overnight allows some of the flavors of the herbs and garlic to get into the meat, but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to do it ahead.)

If you’ve let the roast sit in the fridge overnight, take it out about 45 minutes before you want to get it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the roast if you let it sit overnight, and put it in a roasting pan large enough to hold it. It will take anywhere from 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 hours to cook — you want the internal temperature of the meat to be 160 degrees F. Remove the roast from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Tent with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.   Carve and serve.

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