This pork loin roast calls for nothing more than boneless pork loin, olive oil, salt, and pepper. With so few ingredients, the pork flavor resonates loud and clear. It’s incredibly easy to make. In fact, the hardest thing about this recipe is being patient during its long, slow cooking time. Make sure you select a pork loin with a thick layer of fat to keep it moist and flavorful.
This boneless pork loin roast is easy and old-fashioned and just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday night supper. No marinade. No fuss. Just shove it in the oven for its long slow cooking time while you do something else. Then take it to the table and accept accolades on just how incredibly moist and superlatively go-wobbly-in-the-knees flavorful it is. The trick? It’s all in the proper cut of pork, which we explain below. Originally published September 23, 2013.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Make Roast Pork Loin That's Impossibly Flavorful
The author of this recipe explains that although boneless pork loin itself is quite lean and tends to have a more subtle flavor than meat from the shoulders or the legs, it ends up being ridiculously tasty because of its ample outer layer of fat. As the warmth of the oven melts the fat, the fat bathes the underlying meat with its unctuous awesomeness.
So herein lies the trick—find a boneless pork loin roast with a generous layer of fat atop, which is where the flavor comes from. You may have to go to a few butcher counters before you’ll find one that has a nice, thick layer of fat attached. Persist. And if you can sweet talk your butcher into special ordering a boneless pork loin with the skin still attached, do it! The skin, which sits above the fat, will transform into crisp cracklings during roasting. Otherwise go ahead and buy one without skin but with the thickest layer of fat that you can find and turn the fat side up during roasting. If the pork loin seems loose at all, tie it with kitchen string every couple inches.
Special Equipment: Kitchen string
Pork Loin Roast
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 1 H, 35 M
- Serves 4
- One (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast, with a generously thick layer of fat and, if possible, with the skin still attached, 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 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.