Cooking a pork loin roast is a straightforward process, and there are several methods to choose from, including roasting, grilling, and pan-searing. Here's a basic guide for roasting a pork loin roast in the oven:
Prepare the Pork:
Preheat your oven to 230°C.
If you want crispy crackling, dry the skin as much as you can and score it with a sharp knife. A clean craft knife is ideal for this.
Season the Pork:
Season the pork loin roast generously with salt and pepper. You can also rub it with olive oil and your choice of seasonings or herbs to add flavour. Common choices include minced garlic and a combination of fresh or dried herbs.
Sear the Pork:
Place the pork loin roast on a roasting pan or a baking sheet with a wire rack.
Put the roast into your very hot oven for around 20 minutes or so, keep an eye on it as you don't want it to burn. This should crisp up the skin nicely.
Roast the Pork:
Turn down the heat to around 180°C. Roast the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 63°C for medium-rare or 71°C for medium doneness. Use a meat thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast, but as a general guideline, it may take around 20-30 minutes per 500g.
Rest the Pork:
Once the pork reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Tent it loosely with cooking foil and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a juicier roast.
Slice and Serve:
After resting, slice the pork loin roast into thin or thick slices, depending on your preference. Serve it with your favourite side dishes, sauces, or gravies.
Feel free to customise the seasonings and herbs to suit your taste and create a roast that you and your guests will enjoy.
Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables are a classic side dish for pork loin roast. Consider roasting carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and your favourite herbs. The caramelised flavours of roasted vegetables complement the pork beautifully.
Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are a comforting and popular choice. You can make them plain or add extra flavour with garlic, herbs, butter, or cheese.
Apple Sauce: Sweet and tangy apple sauce is a traditional accompaniment for pork. Its fruity flavours contrast nicely with the savoury roast.
Stuffing or Dressing: A stuffing or dressing made with bread, herbs, vegetables, and perhaps some sausage can be served alongside pork loin roast for a hearty meal.
Gravy: A rich and savoury gravy made from the pan drippings can enhance the flavour of the roast. Consider making a traditional pan gravy or a fruit-based gravy, such as a cherry or apple reduction.
Cranberry Sauce: Tangy cranberry sauce, either homemade or store-bought, provides a delightful sweet-tart contrast to the pork's richness.
Salads: Light and fresh salads, such as a spinach salad with vinaigrette dressing or a Waldorf salad with apples and walnuts, can balance the meal.
Rice Pilaf: A rice pilaf with herbs, vegetables, or even dried fruits can be an excellent side dish.
Green Beans: Steamed or sautéed green beans with garlic, almonds, or a touch of lemon juice add a crisp and vibrant element to the plate.
Bread Rolls or Biscuits: Freshly baked bread rolls or biscuits can be a simple and comforting choice for soaking up the juices and gravies.
Coleslaw: A creamy coleslaw or a vinegar-based slaw can provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the roast.
Fruit Compote: A warm or chilled fruit compote made from pears, peaches, or other seasonal fruits can be a delightful accompaniment.
Mustard or Fruit Sauces: Consider serving pork loin roast with a side of Dijon mustard, honey mustard, or a homemade fruit-based sauce like apricot or pineapple glaze.
When planning your menu, consider your personal preferences and the flavours you enjoy. Mixing and matching sides can create a well-balanced and memorable meal that complements the pork loin roast beautifully.
Pork Loin with Herb Crust by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa):
Ina Garten's herb-crusted pork loin is a classic and elegant dish. She recommends rubbing the pork loin with a mixture of fresh herbs, garlic, and Dijon mustard before roasting it to perfection. The herb crust adds wonderful flavour and texture to the tender pork.
Maple-Glazed Pork Loin by Bobby Flay:
Bobby Flay's recipe features a sweet and savoury maple glaze that's perfect for pork loin. The glaze is made with maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and other seasonings. It adds a delightful caramelised finish to the roast when brushed on during roasting.
Pork Loin with Apple and Onion Gravy by Jamie Oliver:
Jamie Oliver's recipe combines pork loin with a delicious apple and onion gravy. The pork is roasted to perfection, and the gravy is made with sautéed apples, onions, and a splash of cider or white wine. It's a comforting and flavourful dish.
Stuffed Pork Loin by Gordon Ramsay:
Gordon Ramsay's stuffed pork loin is a showstopper. He creates a pocket in the pork loin and stuffs it with a flavourful mixture of ingredients like spinach, garlic, breadcrumbs, and herbs. This adds extra layers of flavour and texture to the roast.
Pork Loin with Mustard and Rosemary by Julia Child:
Julia Child's classic French-inspired recipe calls for marinating the pork loin in a mixture of Dijon mustard, garlic, and fresh rosemary. The flavours infuse the meat, and it's roasted to perfection. Serve it with a simple pan sauce made from the drippings.
Pork Loin with Fennel and Garlic by Emeril Lagasse:
Emeril Lagasse's recipe features roasted pork loin with fennel and garlic. The fennel and garlic add a lovely aromatic quality to the dish, complementing the pork's natural flavours.
Pork Loin with Cranberry Sauce by Martha Stewart:
Martha Stewart's recipe pairs pork loin with a tangy and sweet cranberry sauce. The sauce is made with cranberries, orange zest, and a touch of sugar, creating a delightful contrast to the savoury roast.
Remember to adjust these recipes according to your preferences and dietary restrictions. These famous chefs offer a variety of options to make the most of your pork loin roast, whether you're cooking for a special occasion or a delicious weeknight meal.
1 Pork Loin Roast
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil or cooking oil of your choice
Optional seasonings and herbs (such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, or sage)
Remember that the exact cooking time may vary based on your oven's performance and the size of the roast, so using a meat thermometer is the most reliable way to determine doneness.
Pan Sauce: If you've seared the roast, use the pan drippings to make a flavorful sauce. Add some stock, wine, or other liquids to the pan and deglaze it. Then, reduce the mixture, strain it, and serve it alongside the roast for extra taste.
Pork loin roast is a versatile dish that can pair well with various beverages. Here are some drink pairing suggestions:
Chardonnay: A full-bodied, oaked Chardonnay can complement the richness of the pork.
Sauvignon Blanc: A crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc with citrus and herbal notes can cut through the meat's fat and enhance its flavours.
Pinot Grigio: This light and refreshing white wine with green apple and citrus notes can be a delightful pairing.
Pinot Noir: A light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir with red fruit and earthy notes can complement the pork without overpowering it.
Merlot: A smooth and fruity Merlot can match the flavours and provide a velvety texture.
Syrah/Shiraz: A Syrah or Shiraz with black fruit and spice notes can work well, especially if the pork is seasoned with spices.
A dry or slightly off-dry rosé with notes of red berries and a refreshing acidity can provide a balanced pairing option.
Dry or semi-dry hard cider, especially one with apple or pear notes, can complement the flavours of pork and provide a refreshing contrast.
Belgian Dubbel: The fruity and malty notes of a Belgian Dubbel can harmonise with the flavours of the pork.
Brown Ale: A brown ale with nutty and caramel notes can complement the roast's richness.
Lager: A crisp and clean lager can be a refreshing option, especially if you prefer beer over wine.
Sparkling wines like Champagne, Prosecco, or Cava can add elegance to your meal. The effervescence and acidity can cut through the richness of the pork.
If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, consider sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime, a glass of iced tea, or a mocktail like a virgin mojito or sparkling apple cider.
Ultimately, the choice of beverage depends on your personal preferences and the specific flavours in your pork loin roast dish. Feel free to experiment with different pairings to discover your favourite combination.