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Recipe: Roasted Pork Loin

This recipe comes courtesy of fellow NE Spahten Paul Howes! I can vouch for this one – it is amazing! I’ve made this myself after he told me how to do this with some Rosemary Sage salt and it was fantastic! For the first time – I managed to make pork that didn’t turn to shoe leather. So definitely worth making for yourself. Take it away, Paul…

This is one of our favorite recipes to cook in the winter time. It’s quick, it’s easy, and all of our kids—human and furry—like it!  But before giving the recipe, I’m going to indulge in a little rant: Do not cook your meat by time alone! Always, always use a thermometer to check the internal temperature.

Very lean meats like pork loin have only a few minutes before they go from “done” to “shoe leather”. Most of the recipes I read say things like, “cook 20 minutes per pound”. Unfortunately this varies widely depending on what kind of oven you have and how accurate the temperature control is. For example, I roast most of our meats in a counter-top Breville convection oven. It has a “roast” setting that turns the upper heating element on low to brown the top of the meat, and a convection fan that circulates the hot air. I can roast meat in about an hour that would take 90 minutes or more in our regular oven. If I followed the directions in the cook book, we would eat jerky every night!

There are many kinds of thermometers. Most of what you see are electronic, have remote probes so you don’t have to open the oven, and are generally over complicated. I have killed several of these expensive models in one way or another and now use the classic dial type. They’re quick, reliable, and idiot-proof. Get one and you’ll be a better cook for it.

And now for the recipe, which could not be simpler:

  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Herbs (Herbs de Provence, rosemary and garlic, etc.)

NOTE: We find that 2 lbs. is enough to feed four or five people. If you want to buy a larger piece, have the butcher cut it in half. Roast them together in the same pan, but be aware that it will take longer.

Place the pork in a small pan, fat-side up. Drizzle some olive oil over it. Rub the salt, pepper, and herbs in. Cook at 350 until the internal temperature is 160ºF. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This is very important as it allows the juices to redistribute and makes the roast a lot more moist.

Slice, plate, top with a little of the pan juice, and enjoy!

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