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How to Cook an Easy After-Work Meal: Pork Loin Roast

John writes these articles to try to pass on any great recipes and tips that he's picked up during my culinary journeys.

Although enjoying a nice pork roast after work might sound like something from a bygone era—very 1950s—roast meat dinners are actually some of the easiest and least labor-intensive meals out there.

A roast is actually a very sensible after-work dinner solution, especially when you’re talking about a smaller (2lbs or less) piece of meat. A meal like this allows you to take things slow because it doesn't require a lot of work. You just need to heat up the oven and let the meat cook for an hour or so, leaving you about a half hour to unwind after a hard day—and another leisurely half hour to make up a salad or a side for the great tasting dinner to come.

Here are some basic instructions for preparing a small pork loin roast. This size, about 2 pounds, is perfect for a family of four (or for one person to have a lot of leftovers), and it’s small enough to cook quickly when you don’t have all afternoon to wait in anticipation. Once you get the hang of the very basic steps involved, you can experiment with stuffings, gravies, sauces, and other embellishments.

Although the preparation for this is very simple, you do need to be attentive at the end and get it out of the oven at about 140 degrees. This is a simple and satisfying meal can be ruined if you overcook it. To make this dish properly, you really need an instant read thermometer—something every home cook should have anyway!

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Ingredients for Your Perfect Pork Loin Roast

  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • vegetable or olive oil

Instructions for Cooking the Perfect Pork Loin Roast

  1. Preheat the oven to 325.
  2. Sprinkle the entire roast with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Heat a heavy skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat, and add a tbls or 2 of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, place the roast in and sear it until it is well-browned. Once browned, flip the roast and repeat, turning until all sides are a rich brown color. This first step is very important, so take your time on it, and plan to spend about 10 minutes coloring up the meat.
  4. Once the roast has been seared and the oven is preheated, transfer the meat to a small baking dish or roasting pan, and transfer it into the oven. Check the roast after about 40 minutes, and if the internal temperature at the thickest point has reached 140, remove from the oven (the meat will continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so once removed).
  5. Let the meat rest, covered in foil for 15 minutes, and then enjoy!

To complete this very easy meal, open up a jar of applesauce or some good mustards to serve on the side.

Delicious and perfectly simple.

How'd You Like It?

Once You Get the Hang of It, You Can Get Fancier, Like This Stuffed Roast!

© 2010 John D Lee

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