I have a plan. It will be a perfect fall day: bright, crisp, sunny. A pork loin will roast in my grill in the backyard, while I am inside enjoying a tasty beverage.
As I leave Costco, pork loin in hand, I get smacked in the face by swirling and spitting rain, coming at me from all angles. The wind has picked up, and the sky is an ominous gray.
I go home, drop my pork loin in a brine, and wish for blue skies…or at least for the rain to ease up. Nothing doing; the day continues, gray and wet. Cold? I can handle cold. My limit is a steady downpour, and that’s what I have on my hands.
Late afternoon, and the heavy clouds bring an early nightfall. I give up on grilling, and start on a pot roasted pork loin. It is the perfect comfort meal for a cold, dreary, October day.
Pot roasting works especially well for pork loin roasts, which should be cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest. The trick is low and slow pot roasting. I gently bring the pork loin up to temperature, covered, in a low oven; the result is pork cooked perfectly from edge to edge, with a delicious pan sauce.
Adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen: French Style Pot Roasted Pork LoinPrint
Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Rosé Pan Sauce
- Whole Pork Loin (roughly 9 pounds), cut into two equal sized roasts
- 2 quarts water
- ½ cup fine sea salt (or ¾ cup kosher salt, or ⅓ cup table salt)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Aromatics and liquid
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 large sprig thyme
- ½ cup dry rosé wine (or dry white wine)
- Fresh ground black pepper (for seasoning the sauce)
- Brine the pork: Stir the brine ingredients in a large container until the salt and sugar dissolve. Submerge the pork loin halves in the brine. Refrigerate for 4 hours, up to overnight. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Truss the pork roasts, tying them every inch and pulling them into a cylinder shape. (Trussing is optional, but it helps evenly brown and cook the roast.)
- Sear the pork: Set the oven to 250°F, with the lid in the oven to preheat. Heat the olive oil in the heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Sear the pork in the pot, browning it on all four sides; about 4 minutes a side, 12 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a platter.
- Sauté the aromatics: Add the onion to the dutch oven and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Sauté the onion until the onion is softened, scraping the browned bits of pork from the bottom of the pot, about five minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the thyme sprig, pour in the wine, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any last bits of pork or onion. When the wine is simmering, add the pork loins and any juices from the platter to the pot. Carefully remove the hot lid from the oven, put it on the pot, and move the pot into the oven.
- Oven roast the pork (lid on, 250°F) to 145°F internal temperature with a 3 minute rest: Roast the pork in the oven until it reaches 145°F internal temperature in its thickest part, about 1 hour. (I let it cook for a 45 minutes, then stuck my probe thermometer into the roast, re-covered the pot, and let it cook to 145°F). Remove the pot from the oven, remove the lid from the pot, and let the pork sit for 3 minutes in the pot. Transfer the roasts to a cutting board. Cut the trussing twine away from the pork and discard, then let the pork rest for ten minutes before carving. While the pork is resting, pour the sauce from the pot into a serving bowl, and discard the thyme sprig.
- Carve and serve: Slice the pork ½ inch thick and move to a serving platter. Pour any pork juices from the carving board into the sauce bowl, stir, and taste the sauce for seasoning. (Because the pork was brined, the sauce probably won’t need any more salt, but it could use a little fresh ground black pepper.) Serve, passing the bowl of sauce to use as gravy at the table.
You want a pot that’s just a little larger than the halved pork loin roasts. My 5 quart braiser was ideal; a 6 to 8 quart dutch oven, especially an oval dutch oven, would also be perfect for this recipe.
A whole pork loin is a LOT of pork. If it’s too much for your crowd, do what I did - cut some pork chops out of the middle of the roast, and freeze them for later. Even then, I plan on dicing some of the cooked pork loin to turn into tacos later in the week.
Large Dutch oven, pot, or brasier, with a heavy lid. (I use a large Le Creuset braiser in the pictures, but any pot with a heavy lid will work fine.)
Digital thermometer (I like thermometers with wired probe, like the ChefAlarm.)
Trussing twine (optional)
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 75 minutes
- Category: Sunday Dinner
- Method: Braise
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Rosé Pan Sauce
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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