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Roasting A Pork Loin

prosciutto-wrapped-pork-loin-with-roasted-apple-940x600

On Fine Cooking’s TV show, A Moveable Feast, chef April Bloomfield, the James Beard Award-winning best chef of New York City, was asked what meat she considered her favorite. Her answer was pork – the roasts, ham, bacon, and the skin are all used to make delicious dishes. Coming from Iowa, a state that raises much of the pork consumed in this county, I have to agree.

So says the National Pork Board: “The loin roast comes from the area of the pig between the shoulder and the beginning of the leg. Loin roast can be rolled and tied with string. Loin roasts with a bone tend to be juicier and more flavorful, but the bone can make carving a bit tricky. Loin roast is sometimes confused with tenderloin. Despite the name similarity, they are not the same. A loin roast is typically sold in pieces weighing between two to four pounds (the tenderloin is a smaller, long cut that usually weighs about a pound).” I like the loin roast because it is large enough to serve to a nice gathering and still save a bit for leftovers.

Here are some terrific recipes for pork loin roast. You can prepare and chill the roast a day ahead and place it in the oven at the appropriate time. This saves you a lot of time.

1. First, here is a post from my website. We first prepared this recipe at a medieval cooking class. The pork roast recipe is probably 600 years old. There’s a link to the recipe as well as a link to instructions on how to butterfly a roast at http://jfcooks.com/about-cooking/in-mulieribus-medieval-kitchen/.

2. The second recipe (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/prosciutto-wrapped-pork-loin-with-roasted-apples) is from Bon Appétit magazine and uses the same instructions on butterflying the roast: Butterfly a pork loin. This recipe is a little more complex but if you set aside some time the day before to prepare it, it’s really a simple dish.

3. Here’s a sensational recipe from Fine Cooking that does not require butterflying the roast, but does call for soaking the roast overnight in an apple brine. The maple, mustard glaze can be made the day before so all you need to do is pare the apples and veggies the day of. They say cut off some of the fat cap but I would be very conservative with this step. http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/roasted-pork-loin-maple-mustard-crust.aspx

4. Finally, a fine preparation from an old friend: Slice 1 or 2 garlic cloves into tiny slivers. Using a sharp, pointed knife pierce narrow slits of various depths into the roast, and slide a garlic sliver into each slit. Salt and pepper generously and roast, fat side up, at 425° for about 12 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° for about another 30 to 35 minutes or until roast reaches 160°.

Don’t forget to have butcher twine, and an instant read thermometer on hand.

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