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!
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.
BALSAMIC-GARLIC CRUSTED PORK LOIN
On the grill or in the oven, this pork loin, marinated with balsamic vinegar and garlic, is simple, affordable, and elegant.
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.
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.
Keys to success with this recipe are:
- Use a meat thermometer.
- Let it rest.
The leftover loin slices are wonderful cold. If you want to reheat:
- Remove desired amount from the refrigerator 30-45 minutes before reheating to bring to room temperature.
- Warm some apple juice or a little beer in a pan until it steams (not boiling).
- Place meat slices in warm "broth" for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through.
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.
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