Things to Keep in Mind Before You Cook a Pork Roast
Some people are unfamiliar with cooking pork roast or even pork in general. Although it can be similar to cooking a steak or chicken, there are still some commonly asked questions about cooking a pork roast or any pork dish.
How much pork should I buy to feed (x) people?
Although this depends on how much each person eats, a 2lb boneless pork loin will generally serve 2-4 people. A 4lb loin will feed about 6-8 people.
When in doubt, we recommend making more than what you think you may need and enjoying the leftovers from the pork roast later in the week.
What is the best temperature to cook pork in the oven?
Pork is similar to beef in some ways—you don't need to cook it fully to enjoy. Unlike chicken, it can have a slightly pink center.
Many people prefer a medium-well temperature because it keeps the meat moist and tender. Fortunately, pork doesn't carry the same risks of foodborne illness as undercooked chicken.
Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit will give you a slightly pink center. If you prefer your pork well-done, you can cook it to an internal temperature of up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that residual heat during resting will cook the pork slightly after you have removed it from the direct heat of the oven. If you want your pork well-done, but don't want it overcooked and dry, we recommend cooking to an internal temperature of about 155 degrees Fahrenheit so that it reaches 160 when resting.
Does pork need to rest before serving (like beef or chicken)?
Yes. Beef, chicken, and pork all need to rest before serving.
As meat cooks, the proteins in the meat push all the juices into the center of the cut. When the meat has a chance to rest, the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. By the time you serve the dish, each piece will be juicy and tender. As a general rule, you want to allow meat to rest for about one minute per quarter pound or four minutes per pound.
Ingredients for the Perfect Oven-Cooked Pork Roast
• 2 pounds boneless pork loin
• Minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
• 1 Tbsp rosemary (dried; if desired, fresh rosemary works, too)
• Salt and black pepper
• 4 tablespoons of olive oil
• 1/2 C white wine
How to Cook the Perfect Pork Roast in the Oven: Step-by-Step
The prep time for this recipe is about 20 minutes, and the cooking time is an hour. The total time is about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Step 1: Preheat Oven
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 175C).
Step 2: Make a Garlic Paste
Create a garlic paste by crushing the garlic with the rosemary, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Later, you will push this paste into the crevices of the pork to infuse the meat thoroughly. If desired, you can add other woodsy herbs such as sage and thyme to the garlic paste for more flavor.
Step 3: Pierce the Meat
Using a sharp kitchen knife, make several piercings in the loin. There should be enough cuts to put in the garlic paste, but not so many that the loin ends up butchered. The cuts should be about 1-1.5 inches deep.
Step 4: Press Garlic Paste into Openings
Press the garlic paste into the pierced cuts you've created in the pork. You want to be frugal at first so that there is enough paste to fill all of the crevices. Make a second pass with the garlic paste to fill the openings, then rub any remaining garlic paste on the outside of the loin with olive oil.
Step 5: Roast the Loin
Place the pork in the oven to roast it. You'll need to turn and baste it with juices from the pan as it cooks. The pork should cook thoroughly until the center is no longer pink; this should take about an hour. If you are unsure, use a meat thermometer in the center of the loin cut. The temperature should read 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Some recipes will recommend tenting the pork roast. Tenting is when you cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil. This method essentially wet-roasts or braises it, sometimes called "steaming" it.
Tenting can be suitable for some cuts of meat, but if you want a crunchy crust on your roast, then it's best to leave it uncovered. If you notice that the roasted pork is browning too much, you can lightly cover it with aluminum foil. However, do not cover it for the last 5-10 minutes in the oven.
Step 6: Remove Roast and Create Wine Sauce
After removing the pork roast from the oven, transfer it to a serving platter and let it rest.
As it rests, you can create a savory wine sauce using the pan juices from the roast pan. Heat white wine in a pan and stir it to dislodge the bits of food at the bottom. This mixture will create a delicious wine sauce with little effort! (Note: If desired, you can substitute chicken broth for the white wine.) We recommend using white wine instead of red wine for pork roast. Our top picks for pork roast are either Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
Last Step: Serve!
Cut the roasted pork into strips and spoon the wine sauce over the cutlets.