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Two almost 6 pound (almost 12 pounds total) center pork loin roast with ribs - help with cooking time/temp

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi - I have two pork loin center cut roasts (with attached rack of ribs).  I am going to brine them and roast them in the oven with a fresh herb/garlic/olive oil rub and serve with a mushroom ragout.  The roasts are between 5 1/2 and 5 3/4 lbs each. 


The internal temp recommendations on various internet cooking sites are all over the planet - from 130 to 170 degrees.  I want the roasts to be evenly pink (medium rare or a tad more).   Any suggestions for cooking temp and internal temp when I take the roasts out to rest (remembering I want pink meat - not overcooked).  I'm figuring 140 internal temp when I take them out, 375 degrees and 15 to 18 minutes per pound (about).   I plan to cook these roasts together, bone down (or I could cook them standing up).  Should I tie each roast?  So much conflicting info on the internet.


Thanks you for your help.

post #2 of 9
Bone in pork loin roasts are one of my favorite cuts - more tasty and juicier than the oh so common boneless. No doubt you may get many conflicting opinions here as well, we shall see.

Brine will do them good. Not sure how much fat cap you have on them but leaving some fat on them coupled with brining should help with the final juiciness of the meat.

Bone in roasts like this are clumsy to sear in a pan so I'll suggest sticking them in a hot 450 - 475 degree oven to start with in order to get a decent crust going with your herb rub. Thyme, sage and rosemary are some herbs you may want to consider, as well as some coarsely ground black pepper. Stick them in the hot oven, reduce the heat to 350 after 5 - 10 minutes. 18 - 20 minutes per pound should be a close guess.

I too dislike overcooked pork, especially drier, leaner cuts like loin. I'd remove from the oven at 140 give or take a few, and let them coast to the 145 - 150 that will get you out of the danger zone. There is a chance of getting a bit pinker than you'd like along the bones if you aren't careful where you put the thermo probe, try to make sure it is close to the bone, but not touching. 170F for roasts like these is evil. But then I do butts in the smoker to 195 - 200 but that is different smile.gif

You shouldn't need to tie the roasts if you keep them intact. If you separate the bones from the roast before cooking you do get another surface to season and it is easier to carve after cooking, but then you have to tie it tight to keep the bones against the meat for the best flavor while roasting.

Making a gravy with the pan juices is pretty tasty, I like to use finely crumbled ginger snap cookies as the thickener.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #3 of 9

I've not had luck with this cut but I'm always looking to go back and try it again.  A couple of years ago I tried to experiment for a dinner party (bad idea I know, but I'm a risk taker).  It was bone-in, but the butcher took the liberty of pre-slicing it into 1-inch steaks and then tying it together.  Not sure why he did that but since it was my first time with this cut I figured he knew what he was doing.  Wrong!


Next I roasted it covered for 2hrs as per a recipe I had found.  Wrong again, the meat was like shoe leather and the 1-inch slices just exacerbated a bad situation. 


This has nothing to do with the pork itself but I was unfortunate enough to come across some potatoes that turned out to be unripened confused.gif.  Of course I didn't know that when I bought them.  I cooked them alongside the roast for the entire 2 hours and they never softened.  It was the worst dinner I had ever served.  At least the salad was good.


**A mushroom ragout instead of gravy sounds amazing with pork.  Can you share your recipe?  Is it a stiff sauce or loose? 

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #4 of 9

This cut of pork is commonly known as "pork prime" and I treat it just like prime rib except gentler(?).


Low temperature cooking (200 ~ 250) will help shrink less than higher temperature (350 ~ 400) cooking. I don't brine pork primes though I do boneless sometimes.


Crust is essential for all roast, in my opinion. smile.gif


We used to sear it on a hot char coal grill.  That will help render some fat.  We didn't trim much at all but always look out for left over chine bones.  Make your favorite seasoning/crust (make sure there is enough salt and fat). Rub it all over; top, bottom, and both sides.


In convection oven with 200 degrees F, with low fan, it took about an hour and half to reach 140 internal temperature.  


Leave it room temperature for 15 minutes before and after cooking.  If you plan to stuff it and tie it, then cook until 150. It will look well done but still tender and juicy for that evening.


I had a probe thermometer, which I broke, that I loved!  It was only $15. There are more expensive ones (even with remote alarm).  You set the temperature desired and when the prove reaches that temp, it will sound alarm!  Well worth the money.  While I had it, I never forgot to pull the prime.

post #5 of 9

I always thought that the pork prime rib was completely different than the pork loin.  I've had much success with the prime rib, and zero success with the loin.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

I will try one more time to post here.  Thank you for all your responses - I've read each one and they are all interesting and helpful and I appeciate them.  I tried to post here this morning but got a message that I was new and my post would have to be reviewed....the post has never shown up.


I'm posting the mushroom ragout recipe with a few changes that I have made after making it several times.  As far as brining pork - in looking at rated recipes on epicurious and food network and a few cooking blogs, most of the highly rated recipes suggested brining. 


I made a boneless pork loin (center cut) roast a few weeks ago and it was very moist and delicious.  I let it sit in a marinade for two days (in a paste of olive oil, fresh sage, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper - no acid).  I cooked it at 350 degrees in an open roasting pan (with sides) and I took the roast out at 138 degrees.  It was perfect - lightly pink throughout and incredibly tender and flavorful. 


I think that reports of tough pork or dried out pork are directly related to cooking method (open roasting pan with no sides dries out pork faster) and overcooking.  I've certainly overcooked pork in the past, but I've learned now to not overcook it.


I will let you know how things turn at the dinner party tomorrow.  I'm making a gratin (potato, fennel) to go with the pork.



Mushroom Ragout (Double this recipe – it is delicious):

1 pound mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, cremini, or white button

2 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium shallot or 1/2 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped

1/2 cup Madeira, vermouth, or white wine

1/3 cup heavy cream

Clean the mushrooms by brushing with a kitchen towel or a brush to remove any loose dirt. Remove the shiitake stems and discard. Trim the dry ends off the cremini and white mushroom stems. Quarter all the mushrooms and put in a bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and spread them out evenly in the pan, increase the heat to high. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed until they brown, then shake the pan to turn them over. Add the additional butter along the sides of the pan as the mushrooms cook if the pan seems very dry. Continue to cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Season the mushrooms with the salt and pepper and add the thyme. Pull the pan off the heat and add the Madeira or the wine. Return pan to the heat and scrape up any of the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and serve.

Yield: 2 cups

Alternative:  Cook ¼ lb. chopped pancetta and set aside.  Use the grease from the pancetta and the pan to cook mushrooms in – adding appropriate amounts of butter.


post #7 of 9

Thanks for the mushroom recipe, will be trying it soon.


I think I will try brining the pork next time I make it.  I've never brined anything before but this sounds like it could help this cut of meat.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."


"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, the dinner party was a huge success as was the dinner.  I used a brine on the roasts consisting of (1 1/2 cans concentrate) apple cider, ( 1 cup) pure maple syrup, brown (1 cup) sugar, 2 large onions chopped, 20 sprigs of fresh thyme mustard seed, peppercorns, Kosher salt, water.  I use the large oven bags with a twisty to hold the brine and roasts and put both roasts on a large cookie sheet and into the downstairs fridge they went for about 26 hours - no weighting the roasts while brining - the roasts were completely submerged in the brine. 


The next day I washed and dried the roasts, made slits in the fat and inserted many sliced garlic cloves and then rubbed the roasts with a fresh herb paste consisting of finely minced fresh sage, rosemary and thyme (more thyme than sage and rosemary), garlic, a little salt and salt-free lemon pepper, olive oil.  I brought the roasts to room temp, started them off in a 475 degree oven for 15 minutes and then loverd the heat to 350 and cooked them until the internal temp was 142 at 350 degees.   


The meat was perfection - juicy, very tender and flavorful.  The only surprise is that the roasts cooked much more quickly than expected.  They were done about 25 minutes before I thought they would be done so next time I would put the roasts in a little later.  Rested the meat (tented) for 35 minutes before carving.  Put individual chops onto a huge restaurant platter and poured the mushroom ragout on top (and served on the side as well) and garnished with big bunches of fresh sage and rosemary.


I've made notes and typed up my recipe and will definitely make this again.  The roasts were bought at Costco - they were about $42.00 total and would easily serve 14 people.  A very delicious and impressive looking dish for not a lot of money (especially when compared to beef tenderloin).

Edited by Catt - 12/17/10 at 3:22am
post #9 of 9

That sound wonderful! That sure had my mouth watering.

I should remember to eat before I come to this site.

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