Friday, March 30, 2012

Pepper-Crusted Pork Loin

Need a new way to do pork?

This one looked really good to me - saw it in a recent email from Cooks Illustrated.  I can't try it tonight since we're headed to the school auction, but the combination of the brown sugar and the pepper sounds delish!  Definitely do the fresh rosemary if you can, too - it's way better.   I have some in my herb garden every year.  I'll add this to the meal plan for next week and get a photo posted soon.

Update: the kids weren't  GIANT fans of the peppery crust - they preferred to hide it with A1 (gasp!) or cut it off (sigh).  I liked it, but I did grind the peppercorns fairly large, and cut the sugar down, so I'd probably change that a little bit, but it was definitely something new and different.

Pepper-Crusted Pork Loin

 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper (the more coarse it is, the hotter the pepper will be)
 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used used 1 tsp. of sea salt, and it was sufficient)
 1 (3-pound) boneless center-cut pork loin

Combine sugar, pepper, rosemary, and salt and rub all over pork. Let roast stand at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  (You could freeze it at this point for a freezer meal, BTW.  I would put it in a freezer bag, and be kind of gentle with it so all of the delish rub doesn't come off.)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange pork on V-rack set in roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 375 degrees and cook until meat registers 140 degrees, about 50 minutes longer. Transfer pork to cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 20 minutes. Slice pork and serve.

If you made this as a freezer meal, thaw in the fridge, and then follow the above cooking instructions.  

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