This year for Christmas my husband and I decided to stay at home and enjoy a relaxing day with Norma, our German Sheppard, which meant I needed to come up with a simple festive menu for two that required minimum input or fuss in the kitchen! It didn’t take me long to decide on the main course; roasted pork loin, bone in, that is so easy2make and always tastes delicious, as long as the meat isn’t overcooked!
In the past we got used to the idea that pork needed to be really well cooked to be safe. Fortunately, nowadays pork doesn’t need to be overcooked to be safe. In fact, it can be eaten truly moist with a hint of pink in the middle (with the exception of minced pork meat and sausages) instead of well done, white and dry!
As you will see from the photo above, Norma loved the idea of the pork loin too and I have a feeling, given the chance, she wouldn’t have minded devouring the whole piece . . . well done or not!
Since I trust the quality of the pork meat I buy from my local butcher, I cook my pork roast to only about 63°C (145°F) internal temperature as I like my meat pink and moist. After taking it out of the oven though, I always allow it to rest for 15 – 20 minutes before slicing which will, like all meat, continue to cook the pork a little . . . and hopefully give me the perfect results.
When it comes to slicing the meat and depending on the occasion, you might want to consider removing the meat (whole loin) from the bone before placing it on a nice serving dish, or board, to facilitate its slicing at the table.
Last but not least, for best results, prior to cooking bring the meat to room temperature . . . and if you are like me, don’t even bother scoring the skin. Instead, just rub the meat with olive oil and then sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and fresh thyme.
By the way, this is such a delicious and budget friendly piece of meat that I’ve decided to make it a lot more frequently . . . which you might want to do too!
For those of you who are wondering what I served with the roasted pork loin . . . well as on every Xmas . . . plenty of irresistible caramelized potatoes (which I had pre-boiled, peeled and then caramelized while the meat was resting) that are a traditional Icelandic specialty, often served with pork or lamb on special occasions!
I didn’t serve any salad as the main course was plenty filling . . . but if I had it would probably have been an old fashioned Waldorf salad . . . and if I had been in Iceland, definitely cooked red cabbage.
Even if it wasn't needed, as true to local tradition we also had a piece of the Christospomo , a Greek Christmas bread that I actually bought ready . . . which just goes to show you that I really took it easy this year!!!
Dessert was another easy2make delight that came later . . as will the recipe! In the meantime, here is the recipe for the Easy2Make Roasted Pork Loin:
Juicy Roasted Pork Loin
1.5 kg pork loin bone in (fat/skin scored - optional)
2 tblsp olive oil
Fresh thyme, to taste
1 – 2 large red onions, peeled and cut into quarters or smaller
Chicken stock (optional)
Heat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Place pork in large oven proof dish or baking tin. Using a sharp knife, score pork skin at about 5 - 10 mm intervals into the fat (optional).
Pat the pork loin all over with kitchen paper and then rub the salt into the skin and then rub with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with fresh thyme, or to taste.
In case you haven’t scored the skin, then just rub the pork loin with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with the salt and fresh thyme!
Add the chopped onions to dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Now, add a bit of water (about ½ cup) and if you like, a few thyme sprigs to dish.
Place in oven and roast for 1 hour. During cooking, add a more water to dish if necessary. Increase oven heat to 200°C - 220°C (400°- 425°F) and cook for another 25 - 30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and skin has become golden brown and crispy.
To make sure the meat is cooked to your liking I would recommend your using a thermometer to read the internal temperature of the roast.
Roast until the internal temperature is at 63° C - 71°C (145°F -160°F). This will give you meat that is a bit pink (63 - 65C) to well done (66-71)
Remove meat from baking dish and place on a plate to rest for 15 - 20 minutes in warm environment and if you like, covered loosely with aluminum foil.
Remove cooked onions from dish and set aside. Pour any excess fat from the baking dish. Now, add a bit of water or chicken stock to pan and gently stir to incorporate meat juices and sticky bits at the bottom. Pour juices through sieve into a small pot and add the onions. When ready to serve meat, warm sauce with onions and serve alongside pork.
Yield: 4 generous servings
©KaritasM – January 2019