Confession: I really love pig.
I don’t mean that I love a pig, although I suppose that could be said of me in several situations, but pig as in pig meat. Bacon, sausage, chops, ham, all that good eating. Recently I discovered a new cut of pig that I have neglected, and that is pig loin.
I am enjoying the word pig here, as well as the word loin, especially since my children forget themselves and add an /s/ to call it loins. Pork loins. Which is funny to me because it’s inseparably connected in my mind to the King James “gird up your loins,” which is what the pig apparently did not do in time. Poor piggy.
My first experiment with pork loin was some kind of Pork Wellington that Taste of Home was suggesting. The Wellington part did not do anything for my family (apple/onion/puff pastry, which sounds delicious but turned out to be slightly disappointing), but the pork itself was a hit. We scraped off the Wellington as needed.
The pork loin was so tender and delicious that I wanted to try the cut again, in a different setting.
We found a recipe online for Pork Loin Roast, to be served with “the most incredible honey garlic butter sauce” which is in no way overstating its deliciousness. This recipe was a win-win-win for all of us, even for Jenny who does not like sauces. It tastes Asian, and pairs perfectly with rice – always a hit around here. First you massage the pork loin with a sugar-and-spice rub (or if you are lazy, like me, you sprinkle on the spices by eye and pretend you got your hands involved), then you sear the meat in a skillet until the whole outside is browned and crispy, and then you remove it and mix the pan drippings with various brilliant flavors like soy sauce and honey and rice vinegar to make an amazing concoction. Pour over the pork loin in a crockpot and cook until tender.
You really need to try it. Again, the recipe is here.
But a pork loin is large, even for my six-eater, two-teenager family, so here is my little two-meal secret:
Cut off a third of the pork loin before making the recipe above. Use the large part for the roast recipe, and save the small one for later. (Don’t downsize the sauce amount, as you’ll probably want it for the rice.)
Slice the remaining raw pork loin crossways, a third to a half inch thick. Coat in flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fry on both sides in a little oil and butter. If you have some fresh mushrooms on hand, coat them in flour and add them in the skillet too. Don’t overcook this meat – when the slices are just done, remove them and the mushrooms to a plate. Make a creamy roux in the same skillet by stirring the remaining butter/drippings/flour with chicken broth and seasonings (seasoned salt, parsley flakes, garlic salt), and bubbling it all until thickened. Add in a good drizzle of cream. Place the meat and mushrooms back in the skillet, and serve.
We loved this homemade recipe for second helpings almost as much as we liked the original. I did not take a picture of the result because sometimes I am stupid like that.
Potatoes or noodles are a good side dish for mingling with the cream sauce.
It was a good pig. His loins were particularly delectable.