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January 19, 2012

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Pork loin is easy to make and a real crowd pleaser

THE pork loin is one of our favorite things to make and a total hit every time. In China, we have found pork to be by far the best tasting meat comparatively. From City Shop to Pines to your local market we have found little variation in taste.

The real trick to most meat is a really nice sear on the outside to allow as much of the juices to remain within the meat. And you have to let the pork rest for about 20 minutes right out of the oven as it allows the meat to finish cooking and juices to distribute evenly within the meat. Why? Because when you heat protein it shrinks and toughens. Allowing it to relax and cool a little restores some of its elasticity. However, it will continue to cook after leaving the oven. This is why you need 20 minutes of resting time. The pork loin will be perfectly cooked, tender and moist.

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin with Classic Black Peppercorn Sauce


1 bone-in pork loin (5 bones, 2.5 pounds); 2 tablespoons good olive oil; 5 cloves garlic, minced; 1 teaspoon dried summer savory; 5 sprigs fresh thyme, minced; 2 shallots, minced; 2 tablespoons flour; 2 tablespoons butter; 1 cup good Merlot; Kosher salt; Freshly ground black pepper


? Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Drizzle 1-2 tablespoon olive oil over pork loin. Season it with minced garlic, summer savory, half of the thyme leaves, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

? Place the pork loin, bone side down on a roasting pan. Roast in the oven until internal temperature reaches 60 degrees, about 35 minutes. Transfer the roasted pork-loin to a large plate, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15-20 minutes.

? While the pork loin is resting. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, rest of the thyme and sauté for a minute. Scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the roasting pan (where all the flavor is). Add 2 tablespoons flour and stir until mixed with the oil and butter, about 2 minutes.

? Slowly pour in 1 cup of Merlot or whatever you have left on the counter you didn't drink the night before. Whisk the sauce until smooth and thickened. Add the meat juice from the plate where the pork loin has been resting. Turn heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

? With a boning knife, remove bone from the pork loin. Slice the pork to desired thickness and arrange on a plate. Then serve with the warm black peppercorn sauce.


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