Garlic-Crusted Balsamic Pork Loin
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
- 4-5 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 3-4 pound boneless pork loin roast cut in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons canola oil for oven preparation
- 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 140 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 140 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and allow to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
- Use a meat thermometer.
- Let it rest.
- 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.
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.