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Pork Loin Roast Recipe Suggestions


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I am planning on preparing a large pork roast for dinner Christmas Day. I will be feeding about 16 people. Does anyone have any tips for the best method to use to ensure that it is tender and moist? Dry roast or braise type? Boneless or bone in? I typically roast it a la my Marchigiani grandmother, with garlic and rosemary sprigs, but I am a bit intimidated by the size cut I will need and I don't want it to dry out.

Does anyone have a favorite recipe or tips you might share?

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I was going to say to it bone in, since that sometimes yields a moister roast, but now thinking about all my other recommendations, maybe it would be too cumbersome. You could still try it, but you'll need the butcher to trim the bones and crack them for you for easier carving and serving.

Consider brining the cut, for starters.

Also, I've really taken to Wolfert's slow roasting technique of searing the meat and then putting it in a 200F oven until it reaches desired internal temp (for pork, 140 F should do it).

You may want to augment your garlic and rosemary with a little pancetta, maybe with some of these all rolled into the middle of the roast, to help moisten the meat.

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Primarily, it depends on what cut you're using, but you didn't say.

I make an Italian-style pork roast with fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage, plus fresh garlic and lemon zest, and I roast it to nice and crispy, then add a lot of white wine and chicken stock to the pan, cover it (or tent it), and let it sit in a low oven (the pan still has a lot of residual heat) for an hour; the liquid steams the meat to juicy tenderness, and also deglazes the pan for a great "spremuta". Step by step photos are here, where I posted all about it in the dinner thread last year:

I made my "Steam-Table Pork Roast" which I invented by accdent many years ago when I had just finished roasting a crispy pork loin and had to go out on an emergency - so I added some wine and broth to the pan, covered it, and left it in a warm oven and hoped for the best.  I got a tender, flaky, crispy and juicy roast with lots of great "jus".

Now I make it that way on purpose, although with the way pork has gotten so lean, I think I'd like to find one of the fattier breeds (for when I do eat it) or perhaps it's time to change cuts.

I stud the roast with garlic, fresh, rosemary, thyme, sage, and lemon zest, and sear it in a pan.  Then I rub it with the same herbs and set it to roast long and slow until it gets real crispy (but of course, the leaner it is, the harder it is to get a crisp!)...

pork-roast-1.jpg

This is actually not the original roasting pan; at one point after several hours the original pan was thick with dark bits and glaze (not burned, because of the slow temperature of 325) so I deglazed it on the stove with white wine, chicken stock, and more herbs and lemon zest and left it to reduce while the roast went back in the oven in this pan.  Then when it was as crispy as it could be, I put it in the pan with the "jus" and covered it, brought it to a simmer, and set it back in the oven for 40 minutes with the heat set on "warm".

pork-roast-2.jpg

Here it is after the 40 minute "steam"; as I say, in the old days when pork was fattier, it fared considerably better.

pork-roast-3.jpg

And here it is plated in its incredibly rich "jus".

pork-roast-plated.jpg

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

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You may want to augment your garlic and rosemary with a little pancetta, maybe with some of these all rolled into the middle of the roast, to help moisten the meat.

Thanks, Kevin...some great suggestions. In the "old days" I only did bone-in roasts and while they were a challenge to carve, the meat just fell off the bones and we all fought over the little loin.

I saw Lidia open a boneless pork loin and put in a stuffing that looked very appealing. I like the idea of the pancetta.

I found one recipe that called for basting in milk. Can anyone explain what that is like? Somehow I can't even picture it!

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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Primarily, it depends on what cut you're using, but you didn't say.

Sorry...I was thinking of a pork loin.

Your roast looks great.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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I found one recipe that called for basting in milk.  Can anyone explain what that is like?  Somehow I can't even picture it!

Yeah, I just saw that technique mentioned in The Splendid Table and wondered about it myself. There is a recipe that braises the shoulder in milk and is one of my favorite things ever. The milk gets nutty and sweet and brown. Maybe something similar happens with basting it, but wouldn't it also scorch in the heat of the oven?

Ditto the compliments on markk's pork roast. Incredible looking.

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In Italy we mostly do stovetop "roasting" the pork is done stovetop.

covered...there are variations.. milk.. carrots.. sometimes onions.. and vinegar!

the milk curdles a little and makes an incredible sauce.

Love it as it is so different!

The carrots and milk in the sauce are great..

maybe I will make one too!

thanks fr reminding me.

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I think this is one of the best looking pork roasts I've seen on eGullet (Adam Balic's Porchetta from the Tuscan Food Diary Thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=62033&st=10#

Beyond the obvious belly wrap technique, perhaps Adam could be kind enough to give some cooking guidance so we could all achieve: "skin on this was so thin and crisp that it looked and crackled like toffee on a creme brulee."

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In Italy we mostly do stovetop "roasting"  the pork is done stovetop.

Your post reminds me of something a bit off track. My cousin in Sicily makes lentil soup but where I make it stovetop...she makes it in the oven. It was wonderful but it was roasted slowly in the oven.

Also, your post gives me some courage to try the milk basting, but not for Christmas...just some evening when the only victim to my attempt will be my husband and he is omnivorous and he smiles in the process.

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a report back on the Christmas Pork Loin Roast...

Thanks to everyone's suggestions, the meal was a huge success. I combined many suggestions and ended up with a very juicy, flavorful roast. I used two boneless loins tied together. I began with brining for 24 hours. Then I made the paste with pancetta, garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary and sage, lemon zest in my little food processor. I stuffed the roast with about half the paste. Then I browned all sides in a skillet. Next I slipped a full rosemary sprig under the string and patted the remaining paste on the top. Roasted in a slow over until temperature was about 140. Then I added some broth and white wine, tented it and let it continue to roast slowly.

gallery_43474_3246_159300.jpg

Served it with braised fennel, oven-roasted potatoes, burrata caprese salad, creamed corn and a pasta ala vodka. I was sure I had too much food but it was all eaten and enjoyed.

gallery_43474_3246_127727.jpg

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon, or not at all.

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It's been awhile since I've posted, but I read occasionally and can't even begin to tell you how much I miss Italy! Hathor, I'm so happy that everything is going so great for you!

I'm making an Italian style dinner this week for friends and am going to try the pork in milk. I remember eating "maialino" in Ravenna, but don't think I can find young pig here. Marcella recommends pork butt, which I'm going to do for a test run. Also, I imagine I'm going to have to braise this the night before and am not sure how it's going to reheat.

Any suggestions or tips, as I haven't done this before and it's unknown territory for me.

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You'll love it! It's one of my favorite recipes. It needs about 4 hours or so; don't get nervous if it doesn't seem like the pork is getting soft; somewhere around hour 3 it starts collapsing. Take the time to puree the sauce so it isn't so chunky and unappealing looking. Use whole milk, not skim or 1%. Aromatics, like caramelized onions if you like them, or just garlic and carrots, help make the sauce even sweeter.

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I've got a pork loin roast I want to eat tonight. I've done this dish to death.

Can anyone gimee some suggestions as to what to do with it that won't make my wife and I bored.

"Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." -- Anthony Bourdain

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Cut it in a spiral pattern so as to make a flat piece (bones have to be removed if they're there). Get some plastic wrap and a mallet and pound it out to about 1/2 inch thick. Stuff it with whatever you like (a stuffing mixture of sauteed pancetta (or bacon), onion, apple, celery and bread crumbs moistened with butter and/or stock is nice). Roll it up and tie with cotton string. Hit the outside with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs. Brown in a Dutch oven. Add a little stock, a little wine and a little milk to the Dutch oven (not too much). Cover and put in a 350 oven until internal temp hits about 145 - 150. Remove meat and let it rest. Reduce pan juices for sauce. Serve with roasted veggies and potatoes of your choice.

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Cut it in a spiral pattern so as to make a flat piece (bones have to be removed if they're there).  Get some plastic wrap and a mallet and pound it out to about 1/2 inch thick.  Stuff it with whatever you like (a stuffing mixture of sauteed pancetta (or bacon), onion, apple, celery and bread crumbs moistened with butter and/or stock is nice).  Roll it up and tie with cotton string.  Hit the outside with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs.  Brown in a Dutch oven.  Add a little stock, a little wine and a little milk to the Dutch oven (not too much).  Cover and put in a 350 oven until internal temp hits about 145 - 150.  Remove meat and let it rest.  Reduce pan juices for sauce.  Serve with roasted veggies and potatoes of your choice.

One other thing: If you have the bones, save them, salt and pepper them and lay them over the meat as it's cooking.

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gallery_10700_574_24074.jpg

Made pork in milk the other day.. delicate and moist.

My florentine husband liked it so it passed!!!

I sauted leeks and carrots as a base, when golden, add the meat.

Brown the boneless pork roast, I like the piece that is closer to the neck with two colors of meat.

When the meat is browned, cover with whole milk, salt to taste and cover to cook on low heat for an hour. I added some fresh thyme and orange zest ( not traditional)

( YOU MUST USE A LARGE PAN AS THE MILK WILL BOIL UP)

I turned the meat halfway through and stirred some during the cooking.

After the milk boils up, foams, it starts to curdle... don't worry!

When the meat is done, remove from the pan.

I used a mini primer... and pureed right in the pan.

Put the meat back in and let sit.

Slice and serve with the sauce on the side.

You are supposed to splash with white wine or vinegar when the meat is browned, but I didn't.

Enjoy!

Edited by divina (log)
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