Easy Gourmet Pork Loin
One cut of meat that my butcher often offers on sale is a pork loin. Found on both sides of the spine, it’s a muscle whose job is simply maintaining posture, which amounts to very little work in a quadruped. So, the tenderloin is aptly named. Unlike the leg muscles, the tenderloin never gets a workout ensuring a nice, tender cut of meat. Pork, however, thanks to decades of selective breeding is probably among the leanest of meats. So, overcooking it is a really easy thing to do. I bet the potential of undercooking it makes you all queasy with thoughts of contracting a lovely case of trichinosis. As it should … but only to certain point. While it’s perfectly alright to undercook pork slightly, leaving the centre a little pick and juicy, experimenting with pork tartare probably wouldn’t be the best idea anyone’s ever had.
Recently, I walked that fine line between over-and-underdone pork. I started with a small pork loin and covered it in several handfuls of rosemary and thyme that were still alive and well in my garden thanks to this year’s mild winter. I poured about half a bottle of white wine in the bottom of the roasting pan because that’s what I happened to have on hand. When it comes to figuring out which wine to cook with, I’m not too picky. Sometimes it matters, of course. But, in this case, the wine’s just going into the bottom of the pan. It will do a great job infusing the pork with flavour.
This particular pork loin weighed in at about 1 kilo (just over 2 lbs). I roasted it, uncovered, (fat side down so the exposed lean side wouldn’t cook too quickly) in at 250°F oven for an hour. It worked out to roughly 30 minutes per pound. The roast came out beautifully browned and super moist. It wasn’t pink in the middle, but it was very juicy. I like roasts sliced very thinly with or without gravy. I really recommend this slow-roast method for just about anything. I’ve used it for salmon with stellar results, too.