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    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Herb-Crusted Pork Loin (slow cooked & roasted)

    So after reading a post from someone I know about her Herb-Crusted Pork Loin (see ) I was all fired to try her recipe. I knew I already had the herbs she mentioned & I just needed to go buy a Boneless Pork Loin. So I did. Then LIFE happened. (For one thing: it got HOT and I didn't want to turn on my oven. Another thing: Cake explosion in my oven when I was baking a from-scratch birthday cake. Cake turned out fine though. Just had a messy oven to deal with later. THEN ants decided to come back to my kitchen sink area. And let me tell you, dealing with ants coming in from the walls around one's sink, not using commercial spray on them but letting them take the gel-poison, and trying to clean dishes - even cook food - is not compatible. I was so discouraged for a while).

    Finally this past Friday, I said enough is enough - the ants were less (hopefully from the poison) - so I cleaned up around my sink, cleaned one oven rack (had previously cleaned the inside of the oven), & prepped the pork loin for cooking...all before leaving for work in the morning! Since I didn't want to have to wait like 1.5 hrs after I got home with a hot oven while it was cooking - I decided to cook it with a slow cooker during the day and then finish it in the oven. (Kinda similar to carnitas, I think :).

    As I was already diverging from the original recipe, by slow cooking it first, I decided to also play with the rub mixture and only use it as a "starting point". :)

    Here's what I did...

    Rub mix:
    1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
    3 tablespoons Olive Oil
    3-4 cloves Garlic, minced (or more if you want :)
    1 Teaspoon dried Thyme
    1 Teaspoon dried Basil
    1 Teaspoon dried rubbed Sage
    1 Teaspoon dried Rosemary
    & a few grinds of Black Pepper from a Grinder (approx 1 Tsp? or to taste).

    Combine the above in a small bowl & (using fingers) massage the mixture into the pork loin (completely covering all meat & fat).

    Slow Cook on Low (Crock Pot) with the fat side up for 7-9 hrs or so (ex. while you're at work), then transfer the Meat & juices to a baking pan while you have your oven pre-heating. (Place meat on a roasting rack with fat side up). Roast for about 30 minutes at 425 degree oven (or even possibly up to 475 degree if you like). Be sure to rotate pan and baste with juices a few times during this roasting. Allow it to sit (rest) for at least a few minutes (5-10) before serving.

    And I must say, it was absolutely WONDERFUL. Flavorful, Moist, Tender. Just perfect! :)
    (Plus I get LEFTOVERS from this dish for later. Score! :)

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