CENTER-CUT PORK ROAST WITH MUSTARD AND ROSEMARY CRUST
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider
¼ cup salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sprigs rosemary, rough chopped
12 sprigs thyme
4-5 pound bone-in, center-cut pork tenderloin roast (boneless loin would also work with this recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
⅓ cup flour
Bring all of the brine ingredients to a boil. Let cool completely. Place the pork roast, fat-side-down, in a bowl or pot that is just slightly bigger than the roast itself. Pour the cold brine over the pork. If the brine does not cover the pork, add enough cold water so that it is just covered. Top the container with a cover or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
You can skip the brining step, but I believe it makes an incredibly moist and delicious roast!!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bring the pork to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Fully rinse the brine off of the pork with cold water and pat the pork roast dry with paper towels. Place the roast, bones-side-down in a large roasting pan. Season liberally all over with the salt and pepper and then slather with the mustard to coat on all sides. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary evenly over the mustard and gently pat to adhere.
Bake for 15-20 minutes per pound until the internal temperature measures 135 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and pour 2 cups of water into the bottom of the pan (optional – you can place 1 cup of apple cider and 1 cup of water for a sweeter gravy). Place the roast back in the oven and continue cooking until the internal temperature is 135 degrees. Check the roast every 20-30 minutes and add another cup of water if all of the moisture in the bottom of the pan has evaporated. This will help create moist roast and delicious gravy.
Remove the roast from oven, place on a large cutting board, and tent with foil. Let rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving.
Make the gravy. Place the pan with drippings on the stove over a burner on medium high – Note – the roasting pan must be metal or able to go over an open flame – if not, transfer the pan drippings to a saucepan to make the gravy. Mix the flour with 1 ½ cups of water in a large jar. Shake to fully dissolve the flour – this mixture is called a ‘slurry’. Gradually, pour this mixture into the hot drippings and continuously whisking to combine, scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. You may not need all of the slurry depending on the amount of pan drippings from your roast. If the gravy gets too thick you can add a little more water to thin it out. When it is a velvety consistency, taste to adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Carve the pork into juicy chops and drizzle with the luscious gravy. Serve with mashed potatoes, peas, and homemade DotB applesauce!