This has become a repeat recipe because it’s so easy and flavorful. It takes barely any time at all except for the oven-roasting. And I keep all the rub spices in my pantry, so I only have to purchase the actual pork. Here’s what to do!
1. Buy a pork loin. I usually get between 2.5 – 5 lb ones and plan to use the leftovers in another meal. Take said pork loin home!
2. Trim pork loin of fat, if you’d like to. Sometimes it’s unnecessary because there’s not too much, but other times I’ve cut off lots.
2. Get out a little mixing bowl and a whisk. Combine the following ingredients (I suggest measuring with a tablespoon) and whisk to combine:
1.5 part Garlic Powder
1 part Salt (Kosher is best but regular table salt is fine)
1/2 part Black Pepper (freshly ground is great for rubs)
1.5 parts Paprika
2 parts Cocoa Powder
1 parts Basil
1 parts Thyme
*Red Pepper Flakes (just a dash or two)
*1 part Coffee grounds
*I have done the rub with and without these spices. Red pepper flakes obviously add a bit more spice and heat; the coffee grounds add a neutralizing kind of smoky flavor. (I know that’s a bad description, but you just have to try it and trust me!)
3. Using your raw meats cutting board, shake or sprinkle some of that spice mixture onto the pork loin, and use either your hands or a pastry brush to rub it into the meat.
4. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean-up). Cook in a preheated 350º oven for about 1 hour for every 2 lbs. (For my 2.5 lb loin, I baked it at 375º for 1 hour.) Now I never use an internal thermometer… I just use my tongs to ‘feel’ how done it is. You want to check the middle-most part of the loin. It should be firm, but still ‘bounce back’ a little. The more you cook this way, the more you’ll understand the ‘feel’ you’re looking for.
5. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes, more like 10 if you have a 5 pounder. Slice that bad boy up and serve with applesauce! Great for dipping and especially when you have kids, because it counteracts the spice in the rub.
The general recommendation for home cooks when making pork is that there should be no pink. But really, that’s not true – having some pink is not only okay but desirable. If it’s white all the way through, it will be dry and chewy.
Hope you and your family enjoy as much as we do!
Have leftovers? Use them up in this comforting, delicious, Double Pork Chili second meal.