Season 17, Episode 18 Recap: How to Make the Best Pork Roast

Plus, Adam reviews wine gadgets, and Becky makes farro salad.

Published May 8, 2017.

This episode of America’s Test Kitchen opens with hosts Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison discussing how to transform (and then actually transforming) the lowly center-cut pork loin into a masterpiece. Later, Adam Ried reviews wine gadgets, and then Becky Hays makes a delicious farro salad.

Want to know where and when America’s Test Kitchen airs in your area? Enter your zip code into our station finder.

America's Test Kitchen TV

"Elegant Fall Dinner"

Host Bridget Lancaster shows host Julia Collin Davison how to make the best Tuscan-Style Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary. Next, equipment expert Adam Ried reviews wine accessories in the Equipment Corner. Then, test cook Becky Hays reveals the secrets to making the perfect Farro Salad with Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, and Tomatoes.  
Watch the Episode

Five Takeaways from the Episode

1. Starting Your Garlic in a Cold Pan with Cold Oil Guarantees Maximum Garlic Flavor: Our recipe for arista—that is, Tuscan-Style Pork Roast with Garlic and Rosemary—calls for a tasty paste made with garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, pancetta, and olive oil. You’ll want the garlic to remain in the oil for as long as possible to imbue the oil with good garlic flavor—you’ll use some of that oil later in a vinaigrette—so starting in a cold pan with cold oil is best because you’ll ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.

2. Pre-cooking the Garlic Minimizes Its Harshness: When first cut, garlic has a pretty harsh taste, and that’s due to a compound called allicin. Once allicin has been heated to 140 degrees, it breaks down into the more mild, pleasant flavors we associate with garlic.

3. Browning the Roast After Resting Keeps the Crust Crispy: To prevent the crust from sogging out while the meat rests, we reversed the usual order of operations. We started our pork loin in a 275-degree oven and cooked it until the internal temperature reached 135 degrees, then let it rest for 20 minutes. We then wiped away any accumulated moisture and browned it in the skillet in some reserved garlic oil. Browning the roast right before serving allowed us to achieve and then keep that crispy crust.

4. If You Can’t Finish that Bottle of Champagne, Buy Yourself a Champagne Saver: We found a gadget (by Cilio) that ensures relatively fresh champagne for up to a full week after opening. Champagne saved with it was just as fresh as a newly opened bottle for two full days, and still drinkable on day three, thanks to its protruding plug and a secure closure that combined to make the best seal. [Buy on Amazon]

5. You Might Not Know It Yet, But Farro Is Your New Favorite Grain: Farro is an ancient form of wheat. It has a mild wheat taste, and a tender texture. And nutritionally, farro is a beast—while it has the same amount of calories as brown or white rice, it has twice as much fiber as brown rice, and twice as much protein as both brown and white rice. Go eat some farro—it’s delicious and good for you!

Quote of the Week: “It’s a pork pinwheel of pleasure.” —Julia, as Bridget slices the pork roast

Can't wait for next week's episode? Get your fill with our past episode recaps:

What was your favorite part of this episode of America’s Test Kitchen? Let us know in the comments!

This is a members' feature.