I know that’s an odd headline above, because I imagine most cooks already think Pork Loin is easy. But for some reason, my whole life has been an odd contest with me trying to learn to cook the “simple” things, while loving to perfect the complicated, high-skill dishes. Ask my husband how he had to teach me 51 years ago how to cook a plain old pot of pinto beans. My confidence was really tested! And sure enough, over the years, I continue to struggle with things like a Christmas Tenderloin (spend $50 on a piece of meat and it had better be perfect!). I often ask one of my sons to do the meat on holidays, because I am so worried about cooking it past our Medium RARE preference! A simple Pork Chop dish? Forget about it. I always overcook the meat. SO, you can imagine my surprise the other night when I made this very simple Peppercorn Hormel pork loin, with my own little twist, and it turned out perfectly!
PORK LOIN ROASTED
1 Pork loin, approximately 16 oz. (any flavor you like)
3 slices bacon* see bacon note below
Honey Mustard for spreading on top
Years ago I took an appetizer cooking class where one of the recipes was Rumaki. If you are old like me, you remember this as an appetizer in the 60’s: a Water chestnut and a chicken liver, wrapped in a bacon strip, secured with a toothpick and baked till the bacon is crispy. What a pain that ‘simple’ app was, since the bacon never cooked the same amount of time as the liver. So this teacher had a brilliant addition: He said to drop the bacon strips into rapidly boiling water for ONE minute. It precooks the bacon just enough and gets rid of the excess grease. So that’s what I did for my loin. It kept me from having so much grease in the finished product, and the wonderful mustard/pepper flavored sauce was great! (Doing it this way produces a less crispy bacon, but I’m glad to get rid of that grease!)
Place the loin in a loaf pan. Spread Honey mustard all over the top, then lay slices of prepared bacon over it all. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, or until it is about 145 degrees. Immediately cover with foil or a lid when you take it out of the oven and let it set 10 minutes. It will continue to cook a little, and you will have a perfect loin (remember, times have changed. A LITTLE pink on pork is ok!)
*Of course, the 30 minutes is dependent upon the size of the loin. But most of those small ones you buy take just about this amount of time. Also, I admit this is the first time I have ever baked a loin at 425 degrees! That seems to be the difference, as I used to always do the same old 350. I am SO excited that I finally learned to perfect something simple…..and so is my lo carb diet Husband! This was one of the best dinners I’ve made in a long time.