Pork loin roasts up beautifully and finishing it with a little gravy made with the pan drippings adds that much more flavor. Such a perfect meal for cooler weather; make sure to have some mashed potatoes or noodles to ladle the fabulous gravy over. Given the simplicity of effort and the relatively few amount of ingredients, the depth of flavor is incredible!
A few notable tips for a perfect roast: It’s helpful to dry first with paper towels to remove extra moisture from exterior so it browns better. Don’t skip searing the pork loin for that extra added layer of flavor. It also seasons the drippings.
A pork loin should be cooked to 145 degrees in the center of the loin with a slightly pink color. Test temperature with a thermometer for doneness rather than guessing or basing it off color.; and be careful not to over-cook or it starts to dry. Finally, let rest before carving to allow juices to evenly distribute so they don’t just end up on the carving board.
To shorten the cooking time, if you have a convention oven option, lower the oven temp to 300°, and cook the meat in about 25% less time. An internal thermometer will let you know exactly when it’s done.
Pork Loin Roast
- 3 – 4 lb. pork loin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage (or 3/4 tsp. dried)
- 1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 4 cloves
- 1 tsp. lemon zest or orange zest, optional
- 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- Pan drippings from roasting pan
- 1 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, optional
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (I like to use cast iron for nice browning).
- Dab pork loin dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in skillet and brown pork on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, including end caps, about 12 minutes total.
- Transfer pork to a plate. Let cool a few minutes so it’s not too hot to handle.
- Meanwhile in a small bowl stir together remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic and citrus zest.
- Using hands spread mixture over roast (on all sides, note it doesn’t stick perfectly well and that’s ok if some falls from the sides, just sneak it under the roast to season it). Place meat back into skillet and roast with fat side up.
- Insert an oven probe thermometer into center of middle area of pork loin (if you don’t have one use a standard probe thermometer to test temperature occasionally).
- Bake pork in preheated oven until center registers 145 degrees on thermometer, about 50 to 70 minutes.
- Remove from oven, transfer to carving board. Tent roast with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare gravy in the same skillet.
For the gravy
- In previously used skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly.
- While whisking slowly pour in chicken broth and drippings from roasting pan (you should have a few tablespoons, scrape up browned bits). Let cook until thickened, stirring frequently.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed. Stir heavy cream in at the end if using.
- Slice roast to desired thickness (I like to slice somewhat thin). Serve with gravy atop slices.
Adapted from a recipe for cookingclassy.com