This pork loin roast calls for boneless pork loin, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Four ingredients. Incredibly easy to make. No fuss. And it makes the best roast pork we’ve ever had. The hardest thing is being patient during its long, slow cooking.
This boneless pork loin roast is easy and old-fashioned and just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday supper. No marinade. No fuss. Just shove it in the oven for its long slow cooking time while you tend to something else. Then take it to the table and accept accolades on just how incredibly juicy and go-wobbly-in-the-knees flavorful it is. The only trick? The proper cut of pork that your grandma’s neighborhood butcher had readily available. It can be tricky to source nowadays but we explain below how to go about finding it. Sometimes the old-fashioned way is still the best way.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Pork Loin Roast Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 1 H, 35 M
- Serves 4
Special Equipment: Kitchen string
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
- One (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast*, with a generously thick layer of fat and, if possible, with the skin still attached and definitely with a thick layer of fat on the top side, tied with string*
- 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with foil.
- 2. Pat the pork with paper towels until completely dry. If your pork loin has skin attached, 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 pork all over with the oil and then sprinkle the top with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- 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.)
- 4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and roast until cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes longer, rotating the pan once halfway through to ensure even cooking. The meat should be slightly pink in the middle. 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 when cooking a pork roast 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.) The pork will continue to cook after it’s removed from the oven.
- 5. Transfer the pork roast to a warm platter and let it rest in a warm place for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Don’t cover the roast as any steam coming from the resting pork will soften the skin, which will have crisped into “cracklings.”
☞ TESTER TIP: For extra-crisp cracklings, while the pork roast is cooling, remove the entire portion of skins from the pork loin, cover the pork loin with foil, and place the skin on the baking sheet or the roasting pan and either crank the oven to 425°F (220°C) and slide the pork inside or give the cracklings a quick blast under a hot broiler until your desired crispness.
- 6. To carve the pork roast, remove the skin, if you haven’t already done so, and cut the crisp pork skin into strips. Carve the pork roast across the grain into slices, arrange them on a platter, and there you go. Originally published September 23, 2013.
*What Else You Need To Know About Making This Boneless Pork Loin Roast
- How To Ensure This Roast Pork Loin Is As Flavorful As Your Grandma’s
- Boneless pork loin can be quite lean but can end up being ridiculously more lovely in taste and texture when its ample outer layer of fat is kept on during cooking. As the warmth of the oven melts the fat, it bathes the underlying meat with its unctuous awesomeness.
Therein lies the trick—finding a boneless pork loin roast with a sufficiently generous layer of fat. You may have to go to a few butcher counters before you’ll find one that has a nice, thick section of white fat attached. Persist. It’s worth the time and effort.
And if you can sweet talk your butcher into special ordering a boneless pork loin with the skin still attached, by all means, do it. The skin, which sits above the fat, transforms into crisp cracklings during roasting that are essentially roll-your-eyes-back-and-moan-good chicharrones.
And if you simply can’t track one down without skin, no worries, go ahead and buy one without skin, just don’t skimp on the fat and be sure the fatty side is up during roasting. If the pork loin seems loose or floppy at all, tie it with kitchen string (see below) every couple inches.
- How To Tie A Roast
- This recipe calls for your blob of raw boneless pork loin to be “tied with string.” That’s it. No more instructions than that. This wasn’t an issue back in the day when boneless pork roast was common and this “tied with string” thing went without explanation.
If you didn’t grow up watching your grandma do this, it’s essentially just folding or rolling or tucking the various flappy parts of boneless pork loin into a cylinder that’s similarly sized throughout. Then you simply tie and knot it with kitchen string at intervals every few inches. The tying creates structure to help keep all those pesky flappy parts in place. The even size and shape, helps ensure that the pork cooks evenly.
Recipe Testers Reviews
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 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 after the initial high-temperature roasting phase. The outcome was fantastic—a nicely browned, crisp exterior that was super juicy inside.
Definitely a keeper.
Easy, simple, delicious. The only fault I can find with this pork loin roast 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. 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 side dishes so the pork takes center stage.
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. And 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.
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.
This was very tender and tasty pork.
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.)
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.