Whether you're cooking pork loin for a special occasion or simply want to enjoy the delicious meat as the main dish in your next family meal, there are many ways to prepare the protein. Our Roast Pork Loin, which serves eight and is flavored with plenty of herbs and spices is a delicious option for both more casual and more formal dinners. We also have a boneless iteration that uses sage and garlic for a mouthwatering dish that's a little easier to prepare.
The technique for adding more flavor to this bone-in pork roast is similar to larding, except that instead of fat, garlic and ground fennel seed are inserted into slits in the meat. Fennel is commonly used to season pork (think of sweet Italian sausages), but fresh rosemary or sage would also be appropriate. Seasoning a bone-in pork loin is actually quite simple. Chop the herbs and insert them into the slits and then chop some more to season the rest of the meat. And you don't just have to save this technique for pork: Roast beef is also nice when larded with garlic and herbs in this way.
We used a pork loin that was about 3 1/2 pounds and 7 inches long, with five bones. A professional tip we love: Have the butcher French the bones for you and cut the chine bones so the loin can be easily cut into chops after roasting. From the proper cooking temperature to what herbs to use, here find everything you need to know about cooking bone-in pork loin.
You'll need one bone-in pork loin (about 3 ½ pounds), 24 very thin slivers of garlic from one or two cloves, one teaspoon of finely chopped garlic, one teaspoon of finely ground fennel seeds, two teaspoons of coarse salt, and one teaspoon of freshly ground pepper.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Using a sharp knife, make 24 slits evenly all over the pork, including the ends, and insert a sliver of garlic and a small pinch of ground fennel seed into each slit.
Place the meat on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part (avoiding bone) registers 130 degrees—around 45 to 60 minutes. We recommend starting to check the temperature after 40 minutes so you can better gauge its progress.
Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the internal temperature to rise to 140. We find this is the optimal temperature for pork that is juicy and very slightly pink; if you are concerned, cook the pork to 140 and it will rise to 150 degrees.