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A pork loin roast is often confused with a tenderloin. Despite their name similarity, rest assured they are not one in the same.
Pork loin roasts are especially flavorful when first brined or then rubbed with a spice mixture and barbecued over indirect heat, cooked on a rotisserie or just baked in the oven. They should never be braised or stewed, since they have a tendency to lose their tenderness and just fall apart when cooked using moist heat.
A loin roast is typically sold in pieces weighing between 2-4 pounds, while the tenderloin is a smaller, longer cut usually weighing about a pound. The term roast simply refers to a large cut of pork.
Lean and delicious pork tenderloin can be roasted, pan-fried, grilled, or braised, and it teams up well with many different flavors.
Roasted Pork Loin with Garlic, Rosemary and Wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush garlic with rosemary, salt and pepper, making a paste. Pierce meat with a sharp knife in several places and press the garlic paste into the openings. Rub the meat with the remaining garlic mixture and olive oil.
Place loin in a large pan and then place in the oven. Cook pork until a thermometer inserted reads 160 degrees for medium-doneness, about two hours, turning and basting with pan liquids. Remove roast to a platter.
Add the wine to the pan and, over medium heat, stir to loosen the browned bits of meat on the bottom of the pan. Serve with pan juices. Makes 8 servings.
Pork Tenderloin with Oranges and Rosemary
This flavorful pork tenderloin recipe uses only four ingredients, plus salt and pepper. It’s roasted with an orange/rosemary glaze and goes well with roasted or mashed potatoes and a tossed salad.
1 pork tenderloin, about one pound
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine corn syrup, orange juice concentrate, rosemary, and vinegar in a pan on the stove and heat over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce to low and simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat; add salt and pepper, to taste.
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and brush with olive oil. Trim any excess fat from the tenderloin and place it in the prepared baking dish. Roast the pork for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Use about 1/3 cup of the orange/rosemary mixture for basting. Brush the pork all over with the glaze and continue roasting another 30-40 minutes, or until pork is cooked through. Brush with glaze every 10 minutes or so.
Slice tenderloin and drizzle with remaining orange/rosemary sauce. Makes 6 servings.
Pam’s Potato Casserole
(Courtesy of Pam McLaughlin of Shallotte)
1 2-lb. pkg. frozen hash browns
1 cup onion, chopped
1 can (10 oz.) cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups (16 oz.) sour cream
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
1 cup crushed potato chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and then pour into a 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle crushed chips over the top. Bake for one hour or until golden brown. Makes 8-10 servings.
Chinese Cabbage Salad
(Courtesy of Connie Horton of Ocean Isle Beach)
1 lb. coleslaw mix
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
2 pkgs. Ramen beef noodles, crumbled
For the dressing:
1/2 cup salad oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 seasoning packets from the noodles
Make dressing the day before. Combine all ingredients and add sauce just before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.
Double-layer Pumpkin Pie
(Courtesy of Deb Boyce of Ocean Isle Beach)
4 oz. (1/2 pkg.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tub (8 oz.) whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 graham cracker piecrust (6 oz. size)
1 cup milk
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 pkgs. (4 servings) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
Mix cream cheese, one tablespoon of milk and sugar in a large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread onto bottom of piecrust. Pour one cup milk into large bowl. Add pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices; beat with wire whisk for two minutes or until well blended (mixture will be thick). Spread over layer of cream cheese. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.
Top with remaining whipped topping just before serving. Store leftover pie in the refrigerator. Makes 10 servings, unless you cut them big.
Norm Harding is a cooking columnist for the Beacon. To send him recipes, e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.