Whether you're planning a week's worth of lunches, you need weeknight dinner recipes, or a cookout is on the calendar, you can shift from reliable chicken recipes to the elegant pork roast to make things interesting. But what makes this easy recipe interesting isn't just the meat, it's also the rub…
Dry Rubs Vs Marinades Vs Sauces
Dry Rub: There are a few different options when it comes to adding flavor to meat. If you've never worked with a dry rub before, dry rubs are spice mixtures that act like dry marinades. It adds flavor to the outside and penetrates the inside to create a flavorful, juicy cut. You can buy pre-made dry rubs, but one of the benefits of this recipe is that it's made up of spices you probably already have in your cupboard.
Marinade: A marinade is liquid to add flavor. It's typically made with oil, vinegar, citrus juice, or wine, as well as dried herbs and spices. A marinade helps to create a tender cut of meat, and only affects the outside of the cut. It doesn't penetrate the inside, as a rub does.
Sauce: A sauce is also liquid and can add flavor to meat. It's not necessarily used in the preparation of meat -- it's typically added after the meat is cooked and is ready to be served. While sauces an occasionally be used as a marinade, such as barbecue sauce or teriyaki sauce, marinades are rarely used as sauces.
Dry Rub Ingredients
While many meat recipes require little more than salt and pepper as seasoning, using a spice mixture can wake up your pork loin. The zesty paprika and fiery cayenne pepper pack a punch, while the brown sugar and sugar bring a subtle sweetness to balance out the heat. Feel free to swap out any ingredients you may not like or substitute with whatever you have on hand. For example, you could easily replace the cayenne pepper with chili powder, or the dried thyme with dried rosemary. There are plenty of options to customize this recipe with your favorite dry ingredients. Keep in mind that most rubs taste different after they are cooked. You may find the taste of the rub before applying it to the meat very different compared to how it tastes after roasting.
Now that you know a little more about rubs, it's time to try it out on a pork loin. If you've never worked with pork loin, it's very easy — almost as easy as making toast, so you really have nothing to worry about, but there are two things you should know:
1. Though the safe internal temperature for chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, pork is much cleaner, so it can safely be eaten when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Pork is best when it's cooked to this temperature, but you can cook it until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, if that's what you prefer.
2. Let the meat rest before slicing. When you let meat rest, the meat draws back some of the liquid that's lost when you slice it immediately.
This is a very simple recipe using a simple cut of pork, but the flavors are complex enough that you can serve it at a dinner party or include it with your holiday recipes. In short, it's a pork recipe you'll want to refer to again and again!
- Stir together brown sugar, sugar, black pepper, salt, ginger, garlic powder, onion salt, dry mustard, crushed red pepper, cayenne, cumin, paprika and thyme in small bowl.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the brown sugar mixture evenly on all sides of the pork roast; use your fingers to rub into pork.
- Place pork roast on rack in shallow roasting pan or baking dish. Roast pork, uncovered, 40-60 minutes (20 minutes per pound) until internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove roast from oven; let rest about 10 minutes before slicing.