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.
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
- 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
- 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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Pork Loin Roast Recipe © 2012 Johnnie Mountain. Photo © 2012 Yuki Sugiura. All rights reserved.
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