Pork Loin Roast Recipe

This old-fashioned pork loin roast recipe calls for boneless pork loin and patience during its long, slow cooking time. Which, we’d like to add, is well worth the wait.

Pork Loin Roast Recipe

The author of this pork loin roast recipe explains that “the loin of a pig is one of the most versatile cuts of pork—and it is also one of the most expensive. As with other animals, the muscles in the loin area do very little work, so the meat tends to be lean, and it also has a more subtle flavor than meat from the shoulders or the legs. Although the meat is fairly lean, it has a good outer layer of fat and skin.” And therein lies the trick to this old-fashioned roast that’s just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday night supper. It demands a boneless pork loin roast with the actual pig skin and, just beneath that, an underlying and generous layer of fat, which is where the flavor comes from. You may have to go to a few butcher counters before you’ll find a boneless pork loin roast with skin. Persist. And if you just can’t sweet talk your butcher into ordering one, go ahead and buy one without skin but with the thickest layer of fat that you can find and turn that side facing up before roasting the pork. As the warmth of the oven melts the fat, it will bathe the lean meat in all its perfect unctuousness, rendering it moist and incredibly, go-wobbly-in-the-knees flavorful. This recipe has been updated. Originally published September 23, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: Kitchen string

Pork Loin Roast Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • One 2-pound boneless pork loin roast, with skin and a generously thick layer of fat, tied with string*
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons mild olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper and coarse kosher or sea salt

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with foil.
  • 2. Pat the pork skin with paper towels until its completely dry. Using a sharp knife, score the skin by making deep, long, parallel cuts, 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, in the fat, being careful not to cut through to the underlying pork. Rub the skin with the oil and then sprinkle with pepper and a generous amount of coarse salt.
  • 3. Place the pork on a wire rack, skin or fat side up, and place the whole shebang on the baking sheet or in the roasting pan. Roast for 25 minutes. (The initial high temperature promotes crisp crackling, which is the skin.) Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and cook the pork 45 minutes longer, turning the pan around halfway through. The meat should be slightly pink in the middle although the juices flowing from the pork should not be bloody. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 145°F (63°C). You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on the weight of the pork roast. (A basic guide is to allow 22 minutes per pound for medium done. If you like your pork more well-done, cook it for 27 minutes per pound.)
  • 4. Transfer the pork roast to a warm platter and let it rest in a warm, draft-free place for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Don’t cover the roast, because any steam coming from the resting pork will soften the cracklings. (Alternatively, to make the cracklings extra crisp, remove the entire portion of skin, or cracklings, from the pork loin, cover the pork loin with foil, and place the cracklings on the baking sheet or in the roasting pan in the oven, which you’ve cranked up to 425°F (220°C), or give the cracklings a quick blast under a hot broiler.)
  • 5. To carve the pork loin roast, remove the cracklings, if you haven’t already done so, and cut the crisp pork skin into strips. Carve the pork roast across the grain into thin (or thick) slices, arrange them on a platter, and off you go.

How To Tie A Roast

  • This recipe calls for your raw blob of boneless pork loin to be “tied with string.” No more instruction than that. Back in the day when boneless pork roast was common, this sorta “tied with string” thing went without saying. Home cooks knew how to do it because they’d observed someone else in the kitchen or behind the butcher counter do just that. But if that doesn’t hold true for you, rest assured, it’s essentially just folding or rolling the flap of boneless pork loin into a cylinder and tying and knotting it with kitchen string at intervals every few inches. The tying creates structure and helps the pork cook evenly. And it’s really quite easy. No need to measure. No need to be precise. Just needs to hold the roast together.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

May 12, 2016

Easy, simple, delicious. The only fault I can find with this recipe is the relative unavailability of a classic pork roast with skin. Most butchers today don’t have any of the fat or skin left on the pork they bring into their shops. I was unable to find a roast as described in the recipe even after checking with 4 different butchers. One butcher and I finally arrived at a workable compromise—he took some skin from a leg he had and tied it around a lovely rib end pork loin roast. This was the perfect solution. I then followed the recipe as written, using salt and pepper as the only seasoning. The end results were well worth the effort and a simple, shining example of everything a pork roast should be. The initial high temperature for 45 minutes does make for a very crisp crackling on top. I had to roast it for 90 minutes at the lower temperature (2 hours total), as the roast was closer to 5 pounds, and after being in the oven for 45 minutes, it was still much too rare in the middle. After it had finished roasting, I removed the cracking and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp the other side while the roast rested. If you can get a butcher to cooperate, this roast makes for a perfect weekend meal with simple sides so the pork takes center stage.

Testers Choice
Ralph Knauth

May 12, 2016

My new favorite recipe for pork loin roast. Though I couldn’t get a roast with the skin still attached, I was able to buy a nice one with lots of fat on the outside. I scored that, like the skin was supposed to be done, and roasted it according to the recipe. Roasting time to reach 140°F (60°C), the internal temperature I’m looking for with pork loin, was 40 minutes at 350°F (177°C) after the initial high-temperature roasting phase. Resting time was 20 minutes. The outcome was fantastic: a nicely browned, crisp exterior that was super juicy inside. Definitely a keeper.

Testers Choice
Kim M.

May 12, 2016

This roasting method produced a silken and moist result. I roasted a 4-pound boneless pork loin. My roast was sans skin due to lack of availability. However, the roast was still excellent. The high heat at the beginning created a caramelized crust and the drop in temperature left the center moist. I prefer to pull a pork roast from the oven at about 137°F (58°C) and let the temperature rise to 145°F (63°F) during the rest. 20 minutes per pound was a good time estimation for planning’s sake. The thin slices of meat fell like velvet on the cutting board. Adding a few crushed garlic cloves scattered around the roasting pan would add a wonderful fragrance and flavor.

Testers Choice
Deitra Walter

May 12, 2016

Roasting at a high temperature for a shortened period of time locks in the flavorful juices in the pork, creating a moist, tender piece of meat that you could cut with a fork.

Testers Choice
Ellen K.

May 12, 2016

This recipe was amazing! I highly recommend it. The roasting temperatures—from a start of 475°F (250°C) and then the reduced level of 350°F (180°C)—worked perfectly. I made sure my roast had a nice layer of fat. Searing the pork roast at the high oven temperature crisped the fat and added a delicious flavor. I chose to cook the roast for only 22 minutes per pound at the lower temperature, and the roast was moist and delicious. I followed the ingredient list precisely and was amazed that such simple ingredients could produce such scrumptious results. I also used the drippings to make a small amount of drizzling sauce, and I think that was the clincher for this delightful entrée.

Testers Choice
Pat Francis

May 12, 2016

Finding a pork loin with skin was very difficult. No one seemed to have it. After determining on the phone that one particular butcher shop had a skin-on pork loin, I made the trip across town. I spoke to the same young man that I had on the phone, who seemed to remember me. But I got home and discovered that I had a pork loin with a lovely fat cap…but no skin. (I’m barely 5 feet tall and can’t see over any counter anywhere.) After spending $27 for pork loin, I’m writing an evaluation anyway. Following the timing given in the recipe, my pork hit 170°F (77°C). The fat crisped nicely, and it all tasted great. I made a quick gravy from the drippings, some Wondra, and some white wine, and it was nice with the pork loin. This was very tender and tasty pork.

Comments
Comments
  1. This looks delightful. I have the hardest time finding a pork loin roast here in LA (at least a roast with a fat cap and skin. So I end up taking a pork tenderloin and wrapping it in raw pork belly, then tying it off. Works like a charm and is often cheaper than a loin roast.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Love it, Pacific Merchants. Love it. Brilliant tactic. Many thanks for sharing.

    • bkhuna says:

      I have also wrapped a loin in a belly. The loin stays moist and you get the added benefit of chicharróns as well.

      • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

        Ahhhhhh, quite nice, bkhuna. And just to state the obvious, chicharróns are always, always, always a very good thing…especially in contrast to the ridiculously tender pork loin that this roast presents to you. Thanks!

  2. This is a fantastic recipe. I honestly don’t think I will ever make pork loin any other way. Delicious!!!

  3. E says:

    I made this one last night. Like others here, I did not have a loin with the skin on, but found one with enough fat on it to do the trick. The cooking times and temperatures from the recipe worked perfectly for my 2-pound roast. And wow, the crunch on that after time at 475, that’s just magic. It was really succulent roast. I will definitely be using this recipe again, as it is dead simple and turns out an excellent roast.

    • David Leite says:

      E, superb. So glad you enjoyed the roast. And I’m really impressed to see you cooking so much. I’m sure Renee is just luxuriating in it….

      • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

        I am! E even let me break a little crackling off the roast to snitch while the roast was resting. Damn, was it good!

  4. Debi Butler says:

    This was amazing – I prepared it basically the same way. Baked on 350 for about 15 min and reduced temp to 200 for three hours. The roast was beautiful brown and juicy! Yummy for sure.

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