To roast a loin of pork is one of the easiest meals you will ever make. It’s a traditional holiday or Sunday meal in most German households…. I grew up loving it… just the smell of it roasting reminds me of Sunday afternoon. It’s often served with applesauce, sweet and sour red cabbage and roasted potatoes…. Finish the meal off with some warm Apple Strudel… all I can say is… if you have never made a roast loin of pork… you really need to try it.
Oddly enough, I have a hard time finding this cut of meat when I’m in south Georgia… and I have no idea why… but I have learned to simply ask the butcher at the grocery store for cuts of meat that aren’t out in the case… and they’re more than happy to oblige… at worst, they order it for me… so I plan ahead. When we’re in upstate New York… I can pick and choose my roasts out of the case… usually there is an abundance of them.
Use a fine, juicy roast… loin or shoulder of pork. If you need help… ask the butcher… they really are helpful. A high grade of pork will be fine-grained and trim… shoulder cuts are marbled and the fat is white.
Pork roasts can be rolled… be careful when purchasing these… I always got rolled pork roasts and they always had all white meat… it never occurred to me that there would be rolled pork roasts with dark meat… until I came to Georgia… it was good… but frankly.. I prefer all white meat… and make it a habit of asking the butcher before purchasing to make sure I’m getting what I want.
This time I used a roast loin of pork (see picture)… a rolled pork roast will have string tied around it … it looks long and round… like a torpedo… neither roast is particularly expensive… in fact when made as a holiday meal.. it tends to be less expensive than beef roasts.
Set the meat out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking.
I start out with a very hot oven… I preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and when I put the roast in, I immediately turn the temperature down to 325 degrees F.
Always use a meat thermometer when roasting pork… see my photos for how to insert the thermometer. I did a post last year about meat thermometers… you may find it helpful…
How much to make? … the answer to that question depends on what else you’re serving and if the eaters are big meat eaters… Let’s just say… I made a roast that was roughly a pound and a half and there were three of us… both Warren and my son, Erik are big meat eaters… I’m average… we had no leftovers… I actually had two slices left and they got a second wind and ate them up. Leftovers are always good… roast pork sandwiches are terrific… so I would err on the high side rather than the low side… I hope that helps you.
This roast requires little seasoning… usually garlic and onion powder .. a little dried thyme and a sprinkling of salt and pepper… I have seen recipes that use sage, rosemary or tarragon… use what flavors you most enjoy.
When you place the meat on a cutting board or counter to prepare it… be sure to use a cutting board that is dishwasher safe… clean the cutting board and counter with an anti-bacterial soap…
Many grocery stores have labels on their meats that give you instructions on how to best cook them… so don’t be surprised if they differ slightly from my instructions or other instructions you may find elsewhere… it’s much like roasting a turkey.. there are probably a dozen ways to roast a turkey… start with a hot oven then turn down the temp.. low temperature slow roasting… etc… it’s been my experience that they all work… you will just have to find out which way you prefer to do it… and the best way to do that is try it…
And on that note… I hope you do try this… it’s a wonderful meal!
Recipe: Roast Loin of Pork with Pan Gravy
All you need:
1 center cut pork loin roast (size depends on your needs)
About 1 teaspoon garlic powder
About 1 teaspoon onion powder
A sprinkling of dried thyme
A sprinkling of salt and pepper
For the pan gravy:
2 tablespoons pan drippings
1 tablespoon flour (for thicker gravy use a bit more flour)
1 cup beef stock or ¾ cup beef stock and ¼ cup dry white wine
Season to taste with salt, pepper, dried thyme
All you need to do:
Allow the roast to stand at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Rub the roast with garlic powder and onion powder then sprinkle with dried thyme, salt and pepper.
Insert the meat thermometer and place the roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
When the oven temperature reaches 450 degrees F., place the roast uncovered in the center of the oven … immediately reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F.
Roast uncovered for 25-35 minutes per pound … use a meat thermometer inserted in the center… or an instant read thermometer and check the doneness that way… remove the roast from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F….
Remove the roast from the pan and place on a cutting board..allow the roast to rest 10-15 minutes before slicing…
NOTE: The internal temperature will rise 5-10 degrees while resting. This will give you a medium-well done pork roast… 150-160 degrees after resting (slightly pink in the center) to a well-done pork roast… 160-170 degrees after resting (beige-pink throughout).
To make the pan gravy:
Remove the pan drippings to a small measuring cup and allow to stand… remove some of the top floating grease and reserve at least 2 tablespoons of the drippings .
Add the drippings to a small saucepan and heat over medium high heat.
Add the flour and mix well…allow to cook for a minute or two to cook off the flour taste.
Add the stock and or stock and white wine combination… whisk vigorously until the gravy is smooth.
Continue to whisk until gravy thickens.
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