There’s a good reason why center-cut pork loin roasts are so popular: They are among the most tender, juicy and lean cuts from a pig. And during the holiday season, that’s a combination that guests will find hard to beat.
The following recipe, from the National Pork Board, features this well-liked cut wrapped in bacon, along with several sauce options, making it a great entree for a party or family get-together.
Simply Saucy Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
4 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast, (untied), fat and silver skin trimmed
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 to 9 slices bacon
1 cup barbecue sauce, purchased
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool for 10 minutes.
Wrap bacon slices vertically around pork roast; do not overlap bacon. Tie lengthwise and crosswise with kitchen string to hold bacon in place; tuck loose ends of bacon under string. Place on a rack in a roasting pan, tucked-bacon side down.
Roast on rack for 15 minutes. Turn pork over and reduce temperature to 350 degrees and roast for 15 minutes. Remove rack and return pork to pan, tucked-end side up. Roast, turning occasionally until bacon is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 145 degrees, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes.
Skim fat from pan juices, leaving browned juices in pan.
Add barbecue sauce and preferred ingredient (see below) and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring to loosen browned bits in pan; simmer 2 minutes.
Remove strings, carve pork, and serve with sauce.
Note: For marinated pork chops, put pork in a self-sealing bag with marinade in the refrigerator first thing in the morning. By suppertime, pork chops can be removed from marinade and ready to grill. (Dispose of used marinade.)
Yield: Serves 10.
Savory: Whisk 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard into the sauce.
Spicy: Stir in 2 tablespoons pickled jalapenos chilies (nacho slices), drained and finely chopped, into the sauce.
Fruity: Stir one 8.25-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, into the sauce.
Smoky: Stir in 1 or 2 minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo into the sauce.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 370 calories, 43 grams protein, 17 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 790 milligrams sodium, 140 milligrams cholesterol, 9 grams carbohydrates, no dietary fiber.