Home Cooking 5

Edible Pork Loin

Will Owen | Dec 19, 200502:57 PM

What with all the fuss and turmoil about pork loin just below, my original intention of telling everyone about the stunning success I had with some last night seems to be well-timed.

Vons markets are selling whole cryovac boneless loins for $1.97/lb this week, too good a deal to pass up. When I get one, I usually cut it into two roasts and a bunch of chops, then use the sinew-riddled small end for posole meat, and wrap and freeze whatever I'm not cooking immediately. Last night I took the smaller roast, about 2 1/2 lbs, cut eight strips of fat from two thick slices of bacon, and poked these lengthwise through the roast with a larding needle. Then I put a good "glug" of olive oil into a big bowl along with a lot of pepper, a small handful of kosher salt, some pounded dried rosemary and two dashes of Tabasco and whisked that all together. Cut six lengths of butcher twine and tied up the meat at 1" intervals, then put it in the bowl and rolled it around in the oil etc., and let it sit for an hour and some.

About an hour before dinnertime, I preheated the oven to 350º and set the roast fat-side up on an oval rack that just fits inside my largest copper gratin pan, then drizzled the residual oil etc. over the top. Stuck the meat in the oven, and after half an hour checked the temperature (not quite 100º) and used the bulb baster to anoint it some more. Twenty minutes later it was a tad over 135º so I took it out, re-anointed it, and let it sit while I finished mashing the yams and braising the cabbage. Well, it wasn't dry, nor was it devoid of flavor at all. It was flat-out delicious, even with no brining; in fact, we liked it better than one we'd brined - this one had a nice crunchy salty, peppery crust on it, which contrasted with the bland and lightly bacony meat.

So the next one of these I do will be for company. It's that good.

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