Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Maple Bacon Pork Loin

Whole boneless pork loins were on sale. You can slice the loin into chops or roasts or a combination of the two in a jiffy! Just don't think you can do this with bone-in loins as I did. (Once! The results were quite ugly. I needed a band saw!).

The most recent loin turned into a 4-supper-servings roast (with enough leftover for a sandwich) and 16 thick chops. We cooked the roast this weekend and the chops are packed in meal-sized portions in the freezer. We only have the over-the-fridge freezer so there's a constant battle against freezer burn. My most recent efforts have involved the Ziploc vacuum bags which do seem to help. I'll keep you posted.

  • 1 boneless pork loin roast about 4 inches in length
  • bacon slices sufficient to cover the roast
  • 2-3 tsp. rubbed thyme
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, divided (use Grade B syrup if possible)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • Optionally, several baby or fingerling potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Place the pork fat side down in a glass roasting pan.
  3. Finely chop the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper together until the garlic is about the size of sesame seeds.  Alternatively, whir in a small food processor.
  4. Rub the seasonings on all the exposed surfaces of the pork.
  5. Liberally coat the seasoned roast with 1/4 cup maple syrup, trying not to dislodge much of the seasonings.  I find a silicone barbecue brush works well for this. 
  6. Wrap the pork in bacon, tucking the loose ends of the bacon under the meat.
  7. Cover with foil and roast for 30 minutes.

  1. Optionally, scatter the potatoes around the base of the roast.
  2. Remove the cover and roast another 30 minutes.
  3. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup and the cider vinegar.
  4. Remove the foil from the roast and coat it with the syrup-vinegar mixture.
  5. Roast another 30 minutes.  Poke the potatoes and check the roast temperature to make sure they are both done. 160°F is a safe internal temperature for the pork.
  6. Let the roast rest 5 minutes or so and then slice to serve.  Droozle a teaspoon or two of the pan liquid onto the slices.  Optionally, break the potatoes open and put some pan liquid on them, too.
  7. If you have leftovers, wrap the meat and save the pan liquid in a separate container so it, too, can be reheated. 

Moist!  Moist!  Tasty!  Pork! Bacon! Maple syrup!  What's not to like?

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.