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Old 09-12-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Never made a pork loin. Really.

I see pork loins in the meat dept. They're labeled 'pork loin', are about 8"- 12" long and maybe 3" in diameter. Some are pre-packaged, some not.

I'm too embarrassed to ask anyone I know how to do this from A-Z. As I'm also a LOUSY cook, I need specific instructions.

Will someone walk me through this from what to buy, etc.?

Oh- DH and I are not 'spicy'. Neither of us handles garlic, onions or hot spices too well.

We're also trying to watch what we eat, so I'm not sure if pork loin would be a good choice or not for a meal with a large vegetable serving and a small carb. serving.

I sound like such a DOPE!

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Old 09-12-2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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You don't sound like a dope at all. More like someone who wants to learn more about cooking.

Pork loin is a very lean cut of pork and makes a great roast. At 8"-12" long, you're in the three pound range. You can easily just place it in a roasting pan seasoned with salt and pepper and roast it at 400 F until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 F-150 F. Then let it rest, loosely covered in foil for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
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Old 09-12-2008, 10:45 PM   #3
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This is one of my favorite cut of meat.
You can fix this many ways.

Roasted.. sprinkle it liberally with your favorite spice mix, both sides. Pre-heat an oven to 500F. Stick the roast in uncovered on a rack for 15 minutes then drop the heat to 240F and cook until it reads 142 inside. Pull it out and let it set for at least 15 minutes. The inside will hit 145, or just above and will very juicy, but done. Do NOT overcook. It will go dry and lose flavor.
I serve this as a dinner, or/and slice it thin and use it for lunch meat. It' cheaper than bologna and a lot better for you.

You can also grill it either whole, cook slow, butterfly it, or slice it into "boneless" chops.

My favorite way... take the slab of meat and lay on a piece of heavy aluminum foil. Place potatoes, onion and carrots around it. Smother that in sweet red pepper relish. Wrap it all tightly with the foil. Wrap it again with another layer of foil.

Get a charcoal fire going. Lay the foil wrap directly on the coals. Let it set there for 1 hour. Turn it over and let it set for another hour. Cut a small slit in the top, find a carrot. If the carrot is tender, its done. It is SUPPOSE to have black stuff sticking to the inside of the foil.. Make sure you get some of that, it is very tasty.

I have also stuffed it.
With it laying on your cutting board, using a good knife, cut straight down 3/4" in from one side down to 3/4" from the bottom. Turn the knife so it's parrallel to the cutting board and continue cutting the meat kind of "unrolling" it as you go. when you get done you should have one slab of pork about 3/4" thick.

Mix up your stuffing mix. I like a cornmeal stuffing with fruit, onions, celery..similar to stuffing for a turkey. Add a bunch of chicken stock so the stuffing is VERY moist. Take that and put a thick coating on the pork.
When that is on, start rolling the pork ending up with what looks similar to a jelly roll. Tie this in 5 or 6 places, place on a rack. Season the outside well. Start it at 450F for about 10 minutes, then turn it down to 275F or so and let it roast slowly. When the center PORK is 142F you can pull it out.

Let it set for at least 20 minute to let it finish and firm up. Cut into slices so you have pinwheel of pork/stuffing. It is very pretty on a plate and very tasty.
If desired, using more of the chicken stock. Saute' some onions in butter, add stock and bring to a boil. Spoon just a bit of the simple onion broth over as you serve the slices.
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Old 09-13-2008, 12:35 AM   #4
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Thank you, Andy & Jeff! Appears I've hit a 'fav' meal for both of you.
I somehow missed 'roasting' when it was offered in school. I am quite adept at using a thermometer, so that's no problem.

I've never quite understood the principles behind cooking for a short period of time at a very high temp., so therefore have been afraid of it. Perhaps because I keep trying to figure it out in chicken terms- and uncooked chicken scares me. Oddly, I can cook a knock-down turkey.

I'm going to pick up a pork loin- preferably the un-seasoned, pre-packaged kind- this wknd. I'll make it perfectly plain the 1st time.

Oh- will I get some form of au jus with it?

Jeff- your stuffing idea sounds lovely. I'm not quite certain I understand carving the uncooked loin conceptually. Ah. Wait. It's coming to me, so I will sleep on it. It's working backward, like unrolling a ... fruit wrap.

I truly need to be disabused of the pork fear. My parents didn't make pork often, and DH's mother cooked it until she was sure it would serve as an impenetrable sidewalk.

This is exciting- thank you!
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Old 09-13-2008, 08:44 AM   #5
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Pork is a safe meat. The fears of contamination from years ago do not exist. The way pigs are raised and the feed they are given prevents to problems of old. Besides, cooking pork to an internal temperature of 137 F, which is rarer that most people eat pork, kills all the bad guys immediately.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:00 AM   #6
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Well- I did it! Made a pork loin.

As I bought it on sale- packaged Swift- I decided to try their directions. 350* for 1 hr. till internal temp hit 160*. On a rack inside a shallow roasting pan, rubbed w/ salt/pepper/rosemary. Ok- add in another 15 mins. I know my thermometer and oven are almost perfectly calibrated. Over-cooked by 5 mins.

The taste was lovely- and I didn't dry it out TOO much.

Which leads me to you, Andy & Jeff. I'll buy another loin next week and: go for higher oven temp.; lower internal temp. of 145-150* [to heck with the 160*]; light foil tent afterward & a nice resting time.

I like to know what happens, depending on what I do- so now I have a reasonably successful experience under my belt. I can visualize what making changes such as you have suggested will be like- and all to the better!

BTW- how do you all roast- on a rack, or on the bottom of the pan?

Thanks so much for your help- you are all spot-on!
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:21 PM   #7
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I'm going to weigh in here even though it sounds like everyone has you covered! I like to marinate in a combination (pretty much equal parts) of teriyaki, white wine, and pineapple juice (garlic and ginger are nice in this) - start in the morning and it will be fine by mealtime. Then I make a pineapple salsa to serve with it. Pineapple, spring onion, green pepper or orange, cilantro, you can leave the jalapeno peppers out or just be sure to remove the ribs completely. I think that's all I put in it.

You will like the higher temperature shorter cooking time too! I like mine a bit pink. This is also good grilled!!
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:41 PM   #8
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Oh, dear- Jeff... Kitchen Elf.... Jeff... Kitchen Elf...

We had the rest of it for lunch [me] and dinner [DH]. DH was seriously MOVED by how good it was, and authorized more of it. [He's a very nice, nice man and I'm just kidding.]

Jeff- I'm still working out conceptually how to cut it so it lies open. Every time I think I have it... nope. Could you work out another way to explain it to me? [Somehow I got to be 58 and haven't done harm to anyone- isn't that a miracle?]

Kitchen Elf- funny you should mention your recipe! My sister [whom is an excellent cook ] mentioned a marinade w/ orange juice. Does the acidity have anything to do with tenderizing the meat further?

I also like your recipe immensely- but we can't eat many onions, garlic or peppers. We're old, and our stomachs no longer behave. Trying to think of what to sub that goes w/ pineapple juice.... I do occasionally use shallots, leeks, red peppers, some cumin or chili powder.... Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Also- can we address the au jus? There's not much in lean pork- any ideas? I did cook the loin fat side up [the small amount of fat that was there]. What do all of you do, if not making a marinade?

Thnak you, again!
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:10 PM   #9
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:24 AM   #10
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Andy- I had no idea those tutorial videos existed on youtube. THANK YOU! Discovered why my roux will occasionally go awry, among other things. I know much of this might be basic textbook... except my eyes go blank trying to imagine it all.

[I'm still aghast, tho... He took the veggies left in the pan from the stuffed pork and THREW THEM OUT! Oh, nononononononono!!! That's FLAVOR!]

Guess I'll be watching a lot of youtube to get the techniques. Not to mention heading over to the cookware section, as I realize I need a couple of better knives and a good stove top to oven skillet. [I have Dansk- but can't seem to use it that way. Think I want cast iron or stainless...]

Another addiction. So late in life....
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