Thursday, November 13, 2008
Cumin Roast Pork Loin
The picture above (taken by ME, because JiT wasn't home) does not do this dish justice. At ALL. This is such a delicious and simple dish for fall -- not to mention quite healthy...I think I'm going to have to make it again soon just so I can take a better picture...and because its really good.
Roast pork is such a fabulous, hearty dish...wonderful for crisp evenings. The mellow flavor is wonderful paired with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted squash, baked apples and other fabulous fall foods. This version is complemented by a generous coating of cumin...one of my favorite spices for its versatility and aroma. YUM.
Frankly, I can't take any credit for this recipe. This is a recipe that my best friend Sarah created. She has what could be classified as a minor obsession with the spice cumin (I can absolutely relate). One day, while getting ready to grill a pork loin, she realized they didn't have any marinade in the house. So, as a quick fix, she created a rub using cumin, cumin, more cumin and some salt and pepper. Her grilling genius husband Ryan cooked the meat low and slow on the grill....and a legend was born.
This dish is truly at its best cooked on a grill, but since JiT and I don't have any outdoor space, the oven had to do. And its still incredibly delicous...and so simple to make! Just coat the meat in a very generous coating of spice blend, let it sit in the fridge for about an hour, then roast in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes or so...until the meat has an internal temperature of 155 F on a thermometer.
Which brings up another good point...if you don't own a meat thermometer, its really a wise investment. Not only is it essential for cooking things like turkeys, or even checking the doneness of a hamburger for safety reasons....its really absolutely essential with pork. Pork is finicky...NOT safe or good undercooked, but absolutely terrible overcooked. So, be sure to pick up a cheap meat thermometer at the grocery store if you don't already have one.
And enough of that. While I climb down off my soap box, you enjoy the recipe:
Cumin Roast Pork Loin
3 Tbs. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
1 3-4 lb. boneless pork loin, trimmed of any excess fat
Combine spices in a small bowl. Using your hands, rub the spice mixture generously into the pork loin. The meat should be very well coated -- almost mossy looking from the cumin, so if you dont have enough, go ahead and pour on more. It won't hurt it...I promise. Place the pork loin in a shallow covered dish or ziploc bag and place in the fridge for an hour or more, to marinate.
Preheat oven to 325F. Move meat to a shallow roasting pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, turning occasionally for even cooking and browning. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat after 45 minutes. When the meat reaches 155F, remove from the oven and cover with foil. Wait 10 minutes before slicing.
If you'd like, you can also make a pan gravy: Place your roasting pan on the stovetop over low heat. Add some chicken broth (about 1 cup) and a small amount of white wine (about a 1/4 cup) and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. In a small dish, mix about a Tbs of cornstarch and 3 Tbs of half and half to make a paste. Add to the roasting pan and whisk until smooth and evenly combined. Add salt & pepper to taste and serve over the pork (and your mashed potatoes). YUM.