Thursday, April 12, 2012

Balsamic Pork Loin

Lately I've been getting very into economical cooking. Over the past few years I've loved trying out new recipes and exotic dishes just for fun, but unfortunately that's not really in my current weeknight meal budget. My new challenge for myself- rather then seeing what fancy new dish I can create, is to shop smart and make something tasty for less dough.

This has been going relativity well. I've been shopping the sales and cooking in bulk to cut down on both the expense and the kitchen time. I've been freezing things and then defrosting later. This seems to work really well with Chili, and also Chicken Tortilla soup. Kevin and I make pork tenderloin all the time, but I notice that pork loin was much cheaper. I had never cooked a pork loin before but I figured I'd give it a whirl! This turned out really really good. It has a long cook like but very little hands on time. The piece of meat was too big for us to finish (the photo is just half of it!) So I marinated and froze the other half.

Balsamic Pork Loin
serves 4

1 Boneless pork loin (2.5 lbs)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup minced garlic
salt and pepper
ground fennel

First prep your meat with a generous coating of fresh ground salt & pepper. Sprinkle on rosemary ground fennel. Firmly press the spices into the meat with your hands, making sure all sides are covered. In a large plastic bag combine olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Add pork to the bag. Squeeze out any air and make the marinade is evenly distributed. Marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce temperate and bake for an additional 1.5 hours. Check with a meat thermometer to make sure internal temperature has risen to 145 degrees. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

printable recipe

When you're preparing don't be shy with the spices! Grind on lots for salt and pepper and add in any other herbs you enjoy. If you remember to flip the pork over in the morning so that the marinade isn't just soaking on the bottom half. I served this with baked sweet potatoes and sauteed zucchini.