balsamic and mustard marinated pork loin
Roast Pork Loin. It’s so easy. So so easy. Well, I think so. And you look like a genius when you slice it and serve it alongside a veggie and some crusty baguette slices. This was one of those super yummy EASY pork loin roasts and I hope you give it a try. This recipe serves 4 with NO leftovers. It’s a small pork loin.
Roast Pork Loin
1 pound pork loin – unflavored! (they come in so many flavors so make sure you get a plain pork loin!!)
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T whole grain mustard or brown mustard
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme or 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme (no need to remove the little leaves from the stems. Just throw the sprigs in the bag.)
Place all ingredients in a ziptop bag and smear that tasty goodness all over the pork loin inside the bag. Roll the bag up to push the air out and close tightly. Place in fridge for a few hours. Mine was about 5 hours! Note: you should have enough marinade here for a 2-3 pound piece of pork loin. Any larger and you should add more marinade.
Bring piece of pork loin to room temp before dinner by letting it rest on the counter in the bag for about 20 minutes. Place skillet over medium high heat with a touch of olive oil. Remove pork loin from bag and shake off excess marinade. Place pork in hot pan and sear on all sides. (this adds flavor and creates a bit of a caramelized crust which helps keep the interior of the meat nice and moist.) Once seared on all sides place skillet in the oven at 375F (make sure skillet is oven safe! If not, move pork to casserole dish and place IT in the oven.) Bake for 15 minutes and check the temperature (I recommend 15 minutes per pound of pork. If it’s a two pound loin, roast for 30 minutes and check temp). If it’s not hot enough, put it back in. It should be around 140F internally when you remove it from the oven. (Don’t poke it a hundred times to check the temperature or all the juice will run out of the holes and you’ll be left with an old dried up hockey puck on your plate.) Allow pork loin to rest at least 10 minutes before cutting. It will be juicier this way. Note: pork should have a hint of pink when you cut into it. That’s REALLY the best way to serve it. Unless you like chewing your hockey puck four-hundred and fifty times before you wash it down with a glass of water. Cough hack.
Serve with baguette and green beans.
So one evening we had pulled pork, with rice and broccoli.
pork, rice, broccoli
The next night we had all of that chopped up and put between two tortillas. I’ll be honest I can’t remember exactly how I made this. I can’t even recall what kind of cheese I put in it either. I’d imagine something mild like Mozzarella. Just something to help hold it all together but not take away from the yummy tangy flavors infusing the pork. My goal here is to get you to think farther than a boring container of leftovers in your fridge. Think of how you can transform it and present it again at the table and have your family ooh and aah over it. Instead of, “I don’t want what we had last night,” …have fun thinking of something new! Sometimes you discover the leftovers are better than the first meal. My favorite (re-)creations are pizzas and quesadillas. Good luck! “Fix yourself a dang case-uh-dilla.” (name the movie!)
Leftover Pulled Pork Quesadillas
I love making soup. It’s one of my favorite comforts during the cold months; warm soup. It’s so easy and delicious. And it’s different every time. And it freezes well. And it makes a great gift in a big canning jar. Aaah soup. I love you. And really, it’s so easy to make… unless of course you are trying to imitate some thick concoction with little tiny sirloin burgers in it… you need not buy another can all your life.
pork and rice soup
This is what I did:
Pork with wild rice.
Crock potted my chili lime (dry rub from Pampered Chef) pork shoulder with a large sliced onion, 1 Cup orange juice & 1/2 Cup water until it shred easily with a fork. Pulled some pork for sandwiches and gobbled them up. Put the leftovers in the fridge overnight to cool.
Soup day: Removed fat. Put orange juice, water, pork broth & onions in pot over low heat with a bunch of stuff*. Used the immersion blender to purée the onions in the orange juice, water, pork broth from the crock pot. Added raw carrots, uncooked wild rice, & shredded pork …that’s it. Bring to a boil and cover so rice cooks in the broth. So yummy.
*stuff = spices and liquids to add layers of flavors. I never follow a recipe exactly so… for this one I’d guess I added garlic powder, sherry wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce, cumin, red pepper flakes, etc. until it had a flavor I liked. The point is, TRY MAKING SOUP. Once you cook the meat, you just have to skim the fat off (waiting a day after it sits in the fridge is the easiest because the fat just pops off like a hockey puck) and add what you want to the broth. Voila! Soup is served!