…served with a mango coconut pepper marinade, jalapeno corn bread and steamed asparagus.
This dainty little slab was brought to us all the way from Iowa. Freshly packaged on Saturday to bring back to Chicago on Sunday, to section off, freezer wrap most, and to bake to perfection when fulfilling a craving. Last night was my first attempt at taming the beast.
This is the size piece I chose for two people. (CBH & I certainly had plenty!) To prep the loin, I generously seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Pork is a tough, thick piece of meat. I used more kosher salt than normal with this guy.) Let the loin come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325*F, and on top of your stove, bring a medium size skillet to high heat. (Add a tiny bit of cooking spray or olive oil to the pan so you don’t burn the pork). Once the skillet is nice and hot, sear both sides of the meat for about a minute each side. Transfer the loin to a baking dish, and place in the oven. Depending on how thick your piece of pork is, the baking time may differ. (This one took about a half hour.) Get your meat thermometer out… once this chubby guy gets to be 125*F, remove him from the oven to rest, pour your marinade over the loin, wrap in a warm, damp dish towel, and let the pork’s temperature raise to 145*F. (145*F is the temperature that has been approved for safely cooked pork.) Side note: when choosing a marinade or chutney to place on top of the loin, be adventuresome. I chose a mango, coconut, and pepper marinade. Before pouring it on the loin, I warmed it up on my stove in a small saucepan. (Don’t pour anything cool/cold over your pork loin; it may affect the resting time.)
Entree Sides: To back track a few minutes… if you have two ovens, feel free to make the corn bread the same time as the loin. If you only have one, I’d bake the corn bread first, then you can always reheat the cornbread. (By either tossing it back into the oven, or wrapping it in a damp paper towel and quickly reheating it in the microwave.) I am a huge sucker for jalapenos, so I added two full jalapenos to my cornbread. (maybe three. oops.)
Once the loin is out of the oven and “resting” while it reaches its proper temperature, bring a large skillet filled with about ½ inch water to a boil. Toss asparagus in and quickly cover with lid. Let’s steam for 3 minutes. Drain. Sautee asparagus quickly with a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, and some salt and pepper to taste.
Carve the loin and serve. You and your guest will certainly be satisfied. (CBH & I certainly did! Even had leftovers for lunch today. 🙂 )