Question about cooking Pork Loin

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So I recently cooked a pork loin and it was probably the best thing I've ever cooked. It said "rib end" on the package, it came with butcher string already on it. First I colored it in the pan then threw it on a tray with tin foil in the oven at 375 for 23ish minutes I think it took. I was checking the temps pretty often with my meat thermometer, I decided to take it out at around 140 because I was afraid it would overcook(which it almost did). It probably was medium or medium-well by the time I let it finish resting, a subtle pink which was ideal for me. All I really used for the recipe was a piece of meat, garlic powder, pepper, and big grained salt. I started rubbing butter on it around the 120-130ish temp mark. Not sure if it made a difference, the pork was super tender but didn't really taste like anything besides strong pork flavor.

Now I'm going to buy another one later today but I have a few questions. First, I don't care for fat, the pork loin had like a line of fat in the middle, is that throughout the entire pork loin or is there parts that are just pure pork no fat in the middle? And second, should I use whole garlic and fresh thyme or is powder better? Would onions make any difference? Finally, is there anything else to serve with pork loin? Besides potatoes?
 
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Pork loin is pretty lean, there is usually a 'cap" of fat on the top and can be taken off if you really feel that you don't want it on there. Although the little added fat will help it stay moist when cooking. Usually fresh herbs and spices will always be better than any dried or ground version but if all you have are dried spices it should be fine. You could always just increase the amount you use to season if the seasoning last time was too weak. Onions are a aromatic so yes they would add some flavor. You can serve pork loin with basically anything because of it's mild flavor and lean cut so think of it like pairing chicken breast.
 
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Try stuffing that bad boy next time with chopped appples, dried apricots, cranberrys,
maybe a white wine mustard slurry on the inside, its limitless. Yummy stuff, that.
 
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First, I don't care for fat, the pork loin had like a line of fat in the middle, is that throughout the entire pork loin or is there parts that are just pure pork no fat in the middle?
Then you want a center cut pork loin. I prepare it with a drizzle of olive oil all over, with salt & pepper and chopped thyme on top. Then it goes in the oven on a sheet pan and rack, 425, no browning, no aluminum foil. Take it out when the center reaches 145. Let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
 
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phatch

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There are many approaches. Pork is endlessly versatile. I think you did well in that your meat tasted porky. That's a good baseline success, and a hallmark of a successful roast that it tastes like what it is.

If you want to change the flavor more, there are hurdles. what we add to the meat can't really penetrate into the center of these sorts of roasts. Marinades which only reach about a quarter of an inch; surface seasonings are pretty much on the surface.

By butterflying out the roast and stuffing it, you then gain a lot of surface area where you can add flavor and thinness so it can absorb the flavor to a useful depth. Then you roll it back up to roast form.

For a pork loin I like injection. This combats the potential dryness. Bypasses shallow absorbtion and cuts out the marination time. It does mean buying a specialty tool. It does mean building an injection liquid. And straining out those bits that tend to clog the injector.

Because injectors are prone to clog on bits of garlic, herbs, hard spices like pepper, I prefer to cook my injection liquid to transfer those flavors to the liquid. Then strain the liquid finely for injection. I usually also make a paste or rub of the same flavors for the outside.

Garlic lemon and rosemary in white wine with some prepared mustard is probably my favorite for pork loin.
 
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If you want a leaner cut you can opt for tenderloin instead. It’s thinner and it also cooks quicker. Kudos to you for taking it out at the right time and not overcooking it!

If you want a little extra flavor don’t mess around with the roasting, you perfected that. Instead add a sauce! Instead of searing it and chucking it in the oven sear it and then place on a different pan to cook in the oven. Then you are left with the pan you seared in with lots of good bits of porky flavor in which to build a sauce. Tell us what kind of sauce you’d like to make and we’ll give you a how to. In the meantime here’s my favorite.

In the dirty pan slice up an onion and a garlic clove along with fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and/or sage. Gently cook in olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine or vermouth. Add a cup of chicken stock, a spoonful of Dijon mustard and the juice of a lemon. Allow that to reduce by half then add a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Strain and serve with the pork.
 
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The rib end is sort of like a beef ribeye...you have two types of meat separated by a slight layer of intermuscular fat. Someone suggested a center cut which will be more of the lighter section of meat and less of the more red meat (or no red meat at all). This is more like the NY Strip of pork.

It sounds like you cooked it perfect. I wouldn't change a thing if you liked it. To add more flavor 'inside' the meat, and possibly add more moisture (although that is debatable), a brine is your friend. You can brine a pork loin as quick as 30 minutes, but I prefer at least an hour to a couple of hours. I don't like injecting simply because I don't like the tracks the syringe leaves in the meat.

Best of luck to you. You're on the right track!
 
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When I buy a whole pork loin I use the rib end for a roast because of the extra fat. It can handle being cooked to 150 and not dry out. Center I use for 2 inch thick chops, end I use for butterfly chops...
 
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If you want a leaner cut you can opt for tenderloin instead. It’s thinner and it also cooks quicker. Kudos to you for taking it out at the right time and not overcooking it!

If you want a little extra flavor don’t mess around with the roasting, you perfected that. Instead add a sauce! Instead of searing it and chucking it in the oven sear it and then place on a different pan to cook in the oven. Then you are left with the pan you seared in with lots of good bits of porky flavor in which to build a sauce. Tell us what kind of sauce you’d like to make and we’ll give you a how to. In the meantime here’s my favorite.

In the dirty pan slice up an onion and a garlic clove along with fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and/or sage. Gently cook in olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with a little white wine or vermouth. Add a cup of chicken stock, a spoonful of Dijon mustard and the juice of a lemon. Allow that to reduce by half then add a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Strain and serve with the pork.

I've tried making pan sauces before but since I'm in an apartment I don't want to pour alcohol in a pan and potentially start a fire. When I cook pork chops on a pan for example this may sound stupid but I hold the pan off the eye trying to cool it down so I can drip some water on there to avoid a massive amount of smoke, then I put some butter in and pour steak sauce in. Then I just use my spoon to keep everything together and get all the black and brown stuff off the pan. I just try to get the steak sauce a thicker, it's not a consistent thickness but I like it. I'll put salt and pepper in it until it tastes good, I just stick my spoon in it then use my finger to get a little off the spoon and taste it.

I know this isnt the right way to do it. I wish there was a way to deglaze properly without alcohol.
 

phatch

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I don't like injecting simply because I don't like the tracks the syringe leaves in the meat.
Do the needle marks in blue cheese bother you?

That's something i actually like about eating blue cheese is picking out the innoculation lines. I can see the intervention and enjoy knowing how it was made.
 
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I've tried making pan sauces before but since I'm in an apartment I don't want to pour alcohol in a pan and potentially start a fire. When I cook pork chops on a pan for example this may sound stupid but I hold the pan off the eye trying to cool it down so I can drip some water on there to avoid a massive amount of smoke, then I put some butter in and pour steak sauce in. Then I just use my spoon to keep everything together and get all the black and brown stuff off the pan. I just try to get the steak sauce a thicker, it's not a consistent thickness but I like it. I'll put salt and pepper in it until it tastes good, I just stick my spoon in it then use my finger to get a little off the spoon and taste it.

I know this isnt the right way to do it. I wish there was a way to deglaze properly without alcohol.

First, always be safe and keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Second, deglazing with alcohol is not so dangerous especially if using wine or vermouth. Turn off the gas stove or move the pan away from the heat as you pour in your alcohol.

But as stated above you can deglaze with water or stock too. You can eve deglaze with vegetables, some onions or mushrooms give off enough liquid to actually deglaze the pan.
 
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Mushrooms are great to deglaze with, they contain lots of water... and flavor...
 
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First marinade your loin. Some fat (an oil) , some sournes, maybe something sweet as well, some aromatics. Endless possibilities.
I seared than baked it with some onions, root parsley and aafew fried hungarian plums. Poured some apple juice for caramelization. Finaly served over a bed of salads and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with reduced balsamico sauce.
 

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Do the needle marks in blue cheese bother you?

That's something i actually like about eating blue cheese is picking out the innoculation lines. I can see the intervention and enjoy knowing how it was made.

Not bothered by blue cheese in the least. But "my" meat doesn't have syringe lines of seasoning running through it. Like I said, it bothers me...it certainly doesn't bother everyone.

Now if you want to inject with butter or lard, we'll talk...LoL
 
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So, a sort of update. I bought two pork tenderlions, this time they aren't prepared with butcher string and they're a lot longer than the last one. Is there a reason why I should put butcher string on the pork loin? I've heard people say you cook flaminyawns with butcher string but Ive never done any of that.
 

phatch

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A loin roast is a couple of different muscle groups tapered together. They'll change shape differently as they cook as they're not oriented the same nor of the same type of muscle as shown by the color difference.

Tying it helps it keep its shape, cook more evenly and present better. But you'll be fine without tying it also.
 
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