This is one of my favorite recipes for a dinner party. You put it in the oven just before guests arrive, and you have an hour to entertain and serve appetizers. The pork becomes extremely tender and juicy, and the sauce poured over is sweet, with a hint of balsamic vinegar. A serious crowd pleaser!

Serves 6-8 people

2 tablespoons each fresh thyme and rosemary, minced
5 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt (Kosher or sea salt)
Ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 bone-in pork loin roast, about 5 lbs
10-12 ounces of dried figs, halved
1 cup sweet vermouth, slightly warmed
1 cup chicken stock or broth
2 tablespoons veal demi-glace
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 stick of butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine thyme, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and oil. Rub into pork thoroughly, and cover it with plastic wrap; refrigerate over night. Next day remove pork from refrigerator, place in a large roasting pan, and allow it to get to room temperature. Meanwhile, soak figs in the warmed vermouth for 1 hour. Strain and reserve liquid.

Preheat oven to 475*F.
Roast pork for 20 minutes at this temperature, then reduce heat to 400*F for about 45 minutes, or until internal temperature of meat is 140*F. Add figs last half hour of cooking time. Transfer pork to a board,  loosely tented with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Remove figs and set aside.

While it's resting, set roasting pan over medium high heat and add the reserved vermouth. Bring it to a boil, stirring constantly and reduce heat to medium. Add stock, demi-glace, vinegar and figs. Simmer about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Slice roast between the bones and place on a platter. Pour 1/2 the sauce over it and serve the rest on the side.

I have used dried apricots instead of figs and it's equally delicious. Along side the pork, I serve roasted potatoes, with brussel sprouts and onions.