Garlic-Crusted Balsamic Pork Loin

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I don’t think pork gets enough credit.  It’s versatile, easy, inexpensive and can be casual (pulled pork) or impressive (this marinated pork loin).  I love this recipe because the prep work is done the night before, it cooks in a short amount of time and it can be made outside on the grill or inside in the oven.  The key to this recipe is to use a meat thermometer.

PLEASE don’t stop reading because I said that!

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It is not difficult and it is crucial to make sure the pork is properly cooked but not overcooked. I have the most basic meat thermometer available… nothing fancy, nothing digital … doesn’t need to be.  There is nothing worse than putting the effort into a recipe and then have it ruined because it cooked 10 minutes too long.

Need an idea of what to serve with this?  Keep it simple with a baked potato and a salad. Or take it one step further and make Parmesan Potato Rounds and Fried Apples.

If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, you are in for amazing sandwiches the next day or add it, thinly sliced, to a charcuterie tray with cheese, olives, grapes and crackers or crusty bread.

Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Loin

4-5 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 boneless pork loin roast (3-4 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons canola oil (if preparing in oven)

Marinating the Pork
Combine garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  Add pork to the bag and turn to coat each piece in marinade.  Allow pork to marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours (the longer the better).

Thirty minutes before you are ready to begin cooking, remove the bag from the refrigerator and allow to rest for 30 minutes.  

Grill Preparation
Preheat grill to 400 degrees.  Sear the pork on all sides (about 2 minutes on each side).  Reduce the temperature to about 350 degrees, move the meat to indirect heat if possible, and grill for another 15-25 minutes (time will depend on the thickness of the loin pieces).  Turn the pork over after 10 minutes.  Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature.  When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, remove from grill and tent with foil.  Let the meat rest 5 minutes before slicing (internal temperature will continue to rise while the meat rests).

Oven Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat canola oil in a large, heavy, oven-safe sauté pan over medium heat. Add pork and sear on each side, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer pan to oven. Roast pork, turning occasionally, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.


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Anita Hinkeldey McVey

From the farm in Alta ... to college in Ames ... to the suburbs of Des Moines in Waukee ... I am an Iowa girl through and through. I married the cute, but quiet, guy who made me laugh out loud in Statistics class and we have two awesome, but terribly sarcastic, boys. In 1999, I quit my research job to be home with those active boys. Staying home allowed me to spend more time preparing meals, trying new recipes and striving to serve healthier options for my family. Now that my boys are men ... well, "adults" anyway ... and my husband still appreciates what I accomplish at home, I have time to explore my creative side and knock "writing a blog" off my bucket list. I love trying new things, traveling, gardening, reading and clean countertops. I love baseball (watching, not playing) and concession stands. Choosing a favorite food is impossible but if I was forced to pick just one, it would be pie! I thank God that He has led me to this place. Here's to a new adventure and hopes that others will be able to use what I post to discover the benefits of family meals and living a picnic life.

7 thoughts on “Garlic-Crusted Balsamic Pork Loin

  1. Anita, love your recipes. I assume that your recipes serve 4. But, would you mind including how many each recipe serves since I sometimes need more/less. Less is when I cook for Gary and I and of course more, when I have all the kids here. Thanks and I look forward to using your recipes!!!!!

    1. Thanks for pointing this out, Cindy! Serving sizes are hard for me to set because of the discrepancy between what is a recommended serving size for lean meat and the amount I would want to have available for each person at my table. I also don’t want to convey an overindulgent serving size. I will, however, add comments to my recipes stating how many servings I expect when I make it. Thanks for your kind words!

      1. Thanks for the help! Gary always says I make way more than needed,but, when you come from a large family it is hard to cut down. I want everyone to feel they can eat as much as they want.

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