I’m not a giant fan of pork, probably because my mom made pork chops a lot when I was a kid. I’ve avoided most forms of pork as soon as I moved out of my parent’s house for college, with the exception of bacon of course! However, I thought I would give this recipe a try! The results were mixed between “pretty incredible” and “I’d probably never make that again”. The recipe (thanks to www.dinnerthendessert.com) is as follows.
Brown Sugar Garlic Pork with Carrots & Potatoes
- 2 lb pork loin, trimmed of excess fat
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup canola oil, for vegetables
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix 1/4 cup canola oil, salt, and pepper with sliced carrots and potatoes.
- Mix 1 tbsp canola oil, brown sugar, garlic and rub all over pork loin.
- On one large cookie sheet, put down some foil and add the carrots and potatoes.
- Spread apart the vegetables to make an opening in the pan for the pork.
- Add the pork to the pan.
- Roast the pork and vegetables for 40-50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer registers at 150 degrees in the center of the roast.
- Open your oven and remove the pork onto a plate or cutting board to let it rest and cover it with a piece of foil.
- Let the pork rest for 5-10 minutes, then remove the veggies from the oven once you are ready to serve the pork.
- This allows them to finish cooking while only using one pan and makes sure they are hot when the pork has rested.
My notes and result
I had to make several substitutions in this recipe including the cut of meat, the oil used, and the form of garlic.
The recipe calls for a pork loin but I chose to use three boneless pork shoulder cuts since it’s what I had on hand.
I only ever buy olive oil for cooking and occasionally I buy olive oil and sunflower oil blend which is fantastic! The recipe calls for canola oil but obviously, I used olive oil. I believe it worked well in the dish and is a valid oil substitution.
I also had to substitute minced garlic for chopped fresh garlic cloves. I can say that both of these substitutions did not provide the end result that I would have expected from the pork part of this recipe.
I followed the instructions the best that I could with the ingredients that I had. The chopped garlic cloves were mixed with the oil and brown sugar just as the minced garlic would have been. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well in terms of rubbing the pork with flavor and the garlic bits became dark and crispy during the cooking process.
I had three pieces of boneless pork shoulder. I rubbed the mixture on them and baked them on a cookie sheet with the carrots and potatoes but the end result was flavorless pork fat blobs that were 98% inedible fat.
The one aspect of the meal that turned out flavorful, cooked well, and delicious was the carrots and potatoes! They were also very complimentary flavors to the very little bit of unflavored pork that I was able to eat.
Overall, I would recommend this recipe to someone who enjoys eating pork loin. I would also recommend following the recipe fully as most substitutions will not give a pleasing end result.