Pork is something I haven’t thought twice about. All my experience with pork was pale, dry, and uninteresting. Oh, and not to mention tough! What I didn’t know is that not only was I not doing it right but no one I knew was doing it right. Bare with me. This technique is not hard but just takes a little planning.
OK, so first off buying pork. Living in the midwest pork is abundant but how do you know what cut to buy? Should you buy chops or roasts? Maybe a tenderloin or a shank. Well unless you need the bone or like eating meat from a bone then I would advise the loin, NOT the tenderloin but the whole loin. The loin is typically a long thick log of meat. I like to buy mine at Costco. (Let me just point out that it’s just me and my husband I typically cook for.) You may be wondering how to we eat an entire pork loin that weighs nearly 10 pounds each. Here’s the trick: Portion it. So when I bring home a loin I immediately cut it up into 2 or 3 pound sections. If I am not cooking any then I vacuum seal each one into bags. I write on the 2 pound bags “dinners/roast” and then on the 3 pound bags I write “stew”.
Now comes the next part, brine! OK. So I want to make pork for dinner. I need time to pull the pork I need from the freezer and get it to fully thaw and then I need at least a full day to let it brine. Don’t let brining scare you. All it requires is a large enough container/bowl to put the pork in and cover with water. Then all you need to know is a 45 grams of salt for every quart of water. With the containers I use I make 2 quarts of water with 90 grams of salt. I let the salt fully dissolve. How do I know it’s dissolved? Simple. The water goes completely clear again. Then add the pork and cover. Let it sit in the fridge for a whole day.
Next step is the cooking. Here you can do a lot of things but I love sage roasted pork. Something about that just says fall to me. So, I pull the pork out of the brine. I pat it dry with paper towels. I tie it up to hold it’s shape and then I stuff sprigs of sage underneath the twine. I let it rest at room temperature. I have found that all meats cook better and more evenly if they are not cold to their core like when you take them out of the fridge. If you want to get fancy and do a roulade This is the point I would do it at. I butterfly the loin fill it with my desired filling and then roll and tie it up.
Ready to cook? Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Once the oven is ready to a quick sear of the pork in a pan on the stove and transfer it to the oven. Depending on if you stuffed it and the temperature of your pork going in you may need about an hour to cook it but here’s the next secret to great pork. You need a digital thermometer.
After about 30 minutes check the temperature of the center of your pork. Once it’s at 100ºF if you want to baste your pork this would be when I would. Then keep checking and basting every 15 minutes until the pork is 155ºF.
Remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Then slice and serve. Slices of a roast are the best version of a chop anyone could ask for and best of all there are no bones to deal with!
Earlier I mentioned that I roast a 2 pound loin for just my husband and I. No, we are not both eating a pound of pork in one meal, quite the opposite. We have 4 ounce servings. This means that the one roast will last us 4 nights of dinners. I just reheat the slices and sides each night in the microwave. How do I keep if from drying out in the microwave? I usually make a sauce with the pork so I ladle the sauce on the pork before heating it up. Cooking this way means I only have to cook once and all my weeknight dinners are taken care of!