Nothing turns a dreary day into a cozy one like the smell of meat and vegetables roasting in the oven. It’s a Sunday lunch kind of smell you can almost wrap around your shoulders and take a nap in.

If only those three-pound roasts came with a 160-pound granny with a few hours to kill.

But until that magical day, you should really try this Skillet Roast Pork Loin. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner for four. Two, if you’re really hungry.

I’m not judging you.

First, you stir together a quick mustard sauce, and slather it over a 1.5-pound pork loin. Then, cut up some root vegetable (e.g. carrots, potato, onion and maybe fennel), toss them with butter and olive oil, and roast them in a deep cast-iron skillet. After 30 minutes, you set the pork loin on top of the vegetables, and slide everything back into the oven, and enjoy that cozy kitchen smell for another 45 minutes.

The pork loin comes out moist and perfectly cooked, with just a little tang around the edges from the mustard sauce. And the vegetables are crisp and caramelized, the kind you can’t stop picking out of the skillet and popping into your mouth, even though they’re way too hot.

But the carrots are just so good.

Life’s too short to treat yourself only on the weekends. Make a roast next Tuesday.

Invite your granny.

Skillet Roast Pork Loin with Carrots and Potatoes

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Parties!”

Makes 2 to 4 servings, depending on how hungry you are

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (1.5-pound) boneless pork loin or tenderloin
  • 1 small fennel bulb, top removed, sliced into thick wedges
  • 4 carrots, peeled, and thickly sliced diagonally
  • 5 small potatoes (red or white-skinned), cut in quarters
  • 1 yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. If you haven’t already, slice all of the vegetables as directed, and place them in a big bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, thyme, garlic and 1/2 tablespoon salt. Spread the mixture over the pork, and let it sit at room temperature.
  4. Grab the bowl full of veggies, and add olive oil, melted butter, salt and pepper. Toss to make sure the vegetables are coated.
  5. Pour the vegetables into a deep cast-iron skillet, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Add the pork loin to the pan (on top of the vegetables), and cook for another 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the pork reads 155 degrees.
  7. Place the meat on a cutting board, cover it with aluminum foil, and let it to rest for 7 minutes.
  8. Cut the pork into thick slices, and arrange the meat and vegetables on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and dig in.