If you had to pick one -just one -go-to main-course party dish, which would it be? For me, it’s this pork loin. It’s full of flavor and satisfying beyond belief. Without fail, I get a thousand compliments. And that’s only for the main dish.
Through the years there have been many versions, but as is always the case in my kitchen, the dish started out humbly: a pork loin, garlic, rosemary, olive oil and a couple of potatoes -not unlike a classic roasted chicken. Yes, it was delicious in its simplicity, but then I wanted more acidity, so I added mustard, and sweetness, so in came the maple syrup. The bacon? Well, I’ve been accused many times of overuse and I willingly plead guilty.
What makes this my go-to party recipe is that you marinade the pork loin the night before. Then, on party night, you just wrap the pork with bacon, cut up your potatoes and roast. If you want your main dish to cook faster than 1 hour, swap in pork tenderloins, which will be on your table in about 15 minutes.
What’s your number one go-to party dish?
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus 6 sprigs
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin
12 slices bacon
6 small baking potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), quartered
Salt and pepper
- In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the mustard, maple syrup, hot sauce, chopped rosemary, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the pork and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Place the rosemary sprigs in the center of a roasting pan. Arrange six 14-inch lengths of kitchen string crosswise, about 2 inches apart, in the pan. Place the marinated pork on top of the strings and rosemary. Lay the bacon slices on an angle over the pork loin. Tie each string around the meat to secure the bacon; trim the loose ends.
- Scatter the potatoes around the pork and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss. Season the pork and potatoes with about ½ teaspoon salt and about ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, stirring the potatoes occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 150 °F, about 1 hour. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the potatoes.