Not to complain, but recipe posts are some of the hardest. If you blog, you may understand. Having to stop multiple times in the middle of cooking to arrange and photograph, wiping messy hands for the camera, trying to stir or pour or slice and shoot at the same time while keeping the camera from falling into the soup can get a bit much. Sometimes you just want to cook and eat without the pictures.
Deanna and I have been feeling the same reluctance to create recipe posts for some time now, indeed at this time Deanna is fundamentally opposed to cooking or taste-testing these days due to a highly curable condition that passes after about 9 months.
Which is all a long way of saying that in order to intersperse our blogging with the occasional recipe, I’ve turned to a Bex Atnip, a dear friend of mine who happens to be a guest rancher, aka dude rancher, aka cowgirl. As you can imagine, ranch food is some of the best there is. Bex has volunteered to send over recipes of the delicious fare she and her staff will be feeding the lucky and hungry guests this year at the beautiful Elk River Guest Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Here is the first of hopefully many delicious dishes. I made this myself when she sent me the recipe and when the peppery garlic rub began to meld with the meat juices my kitchen started to smell unbelievably good. The flavor of the vegetables roasted with the pork loin was indescribably delicious.
Peppery Pork and Vegetable Roast
After an afternoon riding the trails at Elk River Ranch, what could be better than a big plate of cowboy food! Fluffy biscuits, cowboy beans and a wonderful pork loin with veggies roasted in a pesto sauce! Wash it all down with a big glass of sweet iced tea and you have a meal fit for a hungry cowpoke!
No need for a fancy chef. Any cowgirl (or cowboy) can whip up this meal!–Bex
6 cloves garlic, minced or garlic pressed
3 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
3 teaspoons coarse-to-medium-coarse freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle or cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
3 teaspoons sugar or 1 T. honey
1 (3-pound) pork loin roast
3 med. onions quartered
2 zucchini or yellow squash, sliced in large chunks
4 carrots, washed and cut into interesting chunks
3 roma/paste tomatoes, quartered
4-5 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 cup pesto (if in-season, otherwise use 2 tsp. dried basil)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ to 2/3 cup white wine
¾ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
Combine the garlic, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, cayenne, rosemary, and sugar in a bowl and smash together until a thick paste forms. Rub this mixture into the pork loin.
Mix remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, pesto, oil, wine, and chicken stock together. Then toss veggies with mixture to coat evenly. (Be daring. Use your hands to toss veggies with mixture!)
Place pork roast on top of veggies. (Pork may also be place on a v-rack over veggies.)
Cook 30 minutes at 425 degrees F. Then lower temperature to 325 degrees F. Cook for one hour turning pork after 30 minutes. Baste with pan juices 2 or 3 times during last hour. Internal temperature of pork should reach 140 degrees F. Remove from oven. Place pork on cutting board and cover lightly with foil. Allow to rest 5 to 10 minutes. Place veggies on large serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Return roasting pan to stove and bring pan juices to a boil. Reduce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter. Thinly slice pork and serve au jus with veggies.
Thanks, Bex! This was amazing!–Daisy