This is a simple one... An excellent pork roast and, as usual, it's the cooking technique that will make all the difference. The key here is the internal temperature of the roast. If it goes above 150f (65c), it will come out dry.
1In a small prep bowl, mix the rosemary, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and olive oil.
2Place the roast into a baking dish, and throughly rub the spice mixture into the meat.
Note: If you like garlic as much as I do (it keeps away the vampires), take a small pairing knife and cut slits into the skin about 1.5 inches (3.5cm) deep and insert whole peeled cloves of garlic deep into the slits. The garlic will mellow as the pork cooks, and infuse some awesome garlic flavor into the meat.
3Cover the dish, and let the roast rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours, or overnight.
Cook's Note: You might consider a brine for the pork roast. Brining can add up to 15 percent more moisture to the pork loin.
4Before cooking, remove from the refrigerator, and let stand, covered, at room temperature for 1 hour... no more.
Note: If it's a very hot day in your kitchen, and you're worried about generating nasty bacteria, you can skip this step.
5Place a rack in the middle position of your oven, and then preheat to 350f (175c).
6Cook, uncovered for about one hour, or until the roast hits an internal temperature of 140f (60c).
Cook's Tools: The image on the left is of the Thermapen instant read digital thermometer. It's considered one of the most expensive of it's kind... typically running about 100 U.S. dollars. However, every restaurant that I've worked in used this brand, and if you need quick/accurate temperature readings... this is one to get.
7Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
Cooking Tip: As the roast rests the internal temperature will continue to increase 6 to 8 degrees. And since the government suggests pork be cooked to 145f (63c), you're right in the perfect range for a pork loin roast.
This process of the roast continuing to cook outside the oven is called: Carry-over Cooking.
8Why do we let a roast rest before carving?
As meat proteins are heated during cooking, they coagulate and squeeze out some of the moisture inside their coiled structures and in the spaces between the individual molecules. The heat drives this liquid toward the center of the meat.
As meat rests, this process is partially reversed. The moisture that is driven toward the center of the meat is redistributed as the protein molecules relax and are able to reabsorb some moisture. As a result, less juice runs out of the meat when you cut into it.
Pork goes with so many side dishes... How about some black beans and rice, a few pan-fried plantains, or just a few roasted young potatoes, and some applesauce.