The loin part of a pig is located in the middle section towards the top as it said to be the tastiest part of the animal that offers tender and moist meat to dinner guests when cooked properly. Therefore it’s no surprise that pork loin is also referred to as a pork tenderloin. The other fact of this type of meat is that’s its boneless as well because of where it is located on the pig, this alone makes it easy to see why the meat is tender and moist.
The biggest key to getting this cooked right is timing and oven temperatures, as well as knowing the correct weight of the meat so you know how long to cook it for.
Firstly like any type of big meat you want to start by getting the oven set to the correct temperature as you don’t want to be placing your pork loins into the oven has its starts to heat up. So turn up the temperature dial to 450F and leave the oven to heat up to that temperature while you get on with the preparation side of things.
The next step is to take your meat out of the fridge is you haven’t already, and begin to season them. Usually there are a wide selection of herbs that go well with pork so you can either mix a few of these together or you can use a preferred herb. What we advise is that you blend together a tablespoon of mixed herbs by adding the likes or thyme, rosemary, and sage together in a dish, topped off with some sea salt and pepper. Mix these all together and then add about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Why add the olive oil I hear you ask?
Well this is a little trick to help season the pork loins better than just sprinkling the herbs across the top. The oil will help you create a paste out of the herbs which makes it easier for you to rub onto the pork loins, making sure that you cover each one well.
Now you have finished with the seasoning step of cooking this meat, you want to get them ready to place into the oven, and the key part here is that you don’t overcook them as they will be dry to eat which isn’t very nice.
A lot of people get scared when cooking meat and overcook, so don’t fall into this category. By now your oven has heated up nicely and the rule of thumb to cooking times here is cook for 5 minutes and 30 seconds for each pound in weight. Turn off the oven when you put the loins in and leave the pork loins to cook for about 45 minutes to an hour (dependant on weight). However, its important not to open the door and let the heat escape at this stage, and if you have an older oven this process may not work for you if the heat can escape easily.
After the time has passed take out the pork loins and cover them with foil (like a tent) and let them rest on the kitchen counter for a good 10 minutes.
The resting time will allow the pork loins to absorb all those rich juices making them moist and tender when you finally come to taking a bite out of them.
Pork loins are usually served with a dinner that consists of potatoes and vegetables but there are plenty of other dishes that you can add these to. If you want a cold salad then the loins can be cut into strip pieces and left to cool down before throwing them into a nice summer salad, or they can be added to a stir fry or oriental dish with noodles.
The seasoning can also be experimented with and you can try glazing methods on your pork loin, such as a honey glaze or a honey and mustard glaze if you want a bit of a kick to the meat. There are also cheese dressings that can be used to add to the pork loins which are called Caesar pork chops. This uses a creamy Caesar salad dressing with shredded parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top of the meat.
The choice really is yours when it comes to the dressing and the dishes that you use them in, but the cooking method will always stay the same. This will provide you with a well cooked and tender bit of meat that you or your dinner guests will love to eat. So try it out next time you have guests over, we can guarantee it will be a hit!