Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Roasted Loin of Pork

Thank gawd for Costco and their mass quantities of stuff.  I don't know which is worse, keeping the kitchen stocked or finding something everyone wants to eat.  At least at Costco I can get the quantities cheap enough to keep them fed so half my daily battle is under control.  Finding things they will all eat is enough to send me to a corner and just babble away to myself.  Pass the meds?

If you've followed me here long enough you will get the idea that I'm not afraid to try something new.  The better half decided she wanted loin of pork and dropped more than a few hints.  The pre-marinated stuff at the store is way to expensive for feeding a family.  The other down side is the stuff is waaaayyyy over salted.  Which is fine if you are a camel and don't mind hauling an extra gallon of water around.  Costco came to my rescue this week with nice loin of pork at $2.01/lb...damn close to FREE!

Ah, but what to do with it.  I waded through Ina, Julia, Dean & Doluca even Mags and thing just didn't jell with a single recipe.  I did notice the common herbage and spice in the search included apple cider/juice instead of lemon in a lot of the recipes.  The wheels got to turning and I remembered the Thanksgiving Turkey we did this year had an interesting marinade from Ina that I figured could be adapted to fit a loin of pork.  

I sometimes scare myself on how often something tasty comes out of the oven first crack.  Of course good tools like a mini-food processor is perfect for whizzing up little bits of stuff better than the regular size processor or a blender.  Programmable convection ovens help too as it does such a good job of even browning and the probe shuts down at the right temp so over cooking is pretty hard to do. 

Roasted Loin of Pork

3 - 3 1/2 lb Pork Loin
  • 1/4c butter
  • 1/4c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T dijon style mustard
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 2 t salt (I used sea salt)
  • 2 T fresh sage (1T dried)
  • 2 T parsley (1 T dried)
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1/2 t rosemary
  • 1/2 t cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup apple juice or cider.

Score the fat on the pork loin with each score about 1/2 - 3/4" inch apart making a grid pattern.  Set aside.

Combine butter, olive oil, mustard, spice, herbs salt and pepper in a mini-prep.  Whiz until herbs are finely chopped but not pureed.  Reserve 3T of the mixture in sealed jar.  Rub remainder on roast and marinade in zip seal freezer bag and squeeze marinade evenly around the roast.  Allow to rest at least 2 hours in the fridge.  

About 30 minutes prior to roasting bring the bagged loin out and let it rest on counter to warm up closer to room temperature.  At end of rest place in roaster, fat side up.  Spread 1/2 of the reserved marinade on top of the loin.  Add apple juice to pan.

Roast in 325 oven 1 3/4-2 hours until 170F.  Half way through roasting slather the remaining marinade on top of the roast.  Monitor the liquid around the roast, add additional water to keep it from burning and drying out.  When the loin is at 170 remove from oven and tent with aluminum foil for 10 minutes.   

The mini-prep from braun is a life saver for these little projects.  Perfect for small quantities and and easy clean up.  The heavy duty freezer zip-lock bags work best for marinades.
All set and ready to roast.  Monitor the juice and add water when it starts to get too dry otherwise you run the risk of it caramelizing to the point of being an ash.  Not pretty nor is it tasty.

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