Recipe Post: Marinated Pork Loin

Just the other day, I found myself with two quite large boneless pork loins that had been acquired due to a crazy 50% off sale price (shop those discounts, guys!), and knew I had to do *something* with them quickly. Luckily, one of the pork loins was acquired for our friend, but still, one uncut pork loin is far too much for us (read: my spouse) to eat at one time so they needed to be cut down and frozen. I processed both loins and ended up with nine cuts (seven 2-pound roasts and two 1-pound roasts) at the end of it all.

Of course, to NOT take the opportunity to add flavour before I froze them was unthinkable, so I got to work creating a number of marinades that would appeal to both families.

Of the nine cuts, I ended up with the following marinades:

  • Two original recipe Garlic-Herb marinade (recipe below)
  • Two original recipe Chili Tex-Mex marinade
  • One original recipe Sweet and Spicy marinade
  • One original recipe Honey Garlic marinade
  • One original recipe Herb Garden/Spice Cupboard Rub
  • One “cheater” Diana Sauce chicken and pork marinade (my friend’s favourite sauce; how could I deny her?)
  • One “cheater” Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ sauce marinade (I was running out of oomph by this time sue me)

I’ve provided the recipe for the herb and garlic marinade below, along with roasting tips and how to make a delicious pan sauce with the drippings. With thanks to Lana from Never Enough Thyme for the original recipe, which I’ve customized to fit our preferences, my inspirations, and of course ingredient availability. Full disclosure, I actually used my InstantPot to cook this roast which came out beautifully in a fraction of the time; I’ve included optional IP directions after the roasting instructions if you prefer this route. Note, it will not have the same appearance as a roasted pork (it’s a little more grey than brown, even after searing all sides), but the meat stays succulent, moist, and incredibly tender.

This marinade makes a beautifully moist pork loin, which is important for this relatively lean cut; the dry mustard, Tamari and Worcestershire sauce provide a great umami flavour bomb, and the apple cider vinegar (apples and pork are a match made in heaven) offers a nice tangy flavour and aroma and give the pork a bright touch of acidity.

Garlic-Herb Pork Loin Marinade

YIELD: 4 servings | PREP: 5 mins + 4hrs marinating time | COOK: 50-55 mins

  • 1 white or yellow cooking onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed but not minced
  • ½ cup/120mL extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup/60mL tamari or soya sauce
  • ¼ cup/60mL apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp/15mL Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp/0.1g dried parsley
  • 1 tsp/0.1g dried rosemary (or 1 whole “twig” fresh rosemary)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp/4g dry mustard
  • 1 tsp/2g freshly ground black pepper
  • 1kg/2 lb. boneless pork loin (for a larger loin, double all marinade ingredients)

Combine all ingredients in a large, resealable freezer bag. Add the pork loin last, and gently massage bag to cover all sides of the loin. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing, and marinate for about 4 hours refrigerated, turning the bag several times.

FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS: You can instead freeze the loin in the bag for up to 3 months.

Roasting Instructions:

  • 1 tbsp/15mL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup/236mL vegetable or chicken broth
  1. If cooking from frozen, remove pork loin from freezer the day prior to when you want to serve and allow to defrost in the refrigerator a minimum of 10 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Prep a shallow pan with a heat-proof rack and set aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet (cast iron recommended) to medium-high; add olive oil.
  4. Remove loin from the marinade and pat it mostly dry with paper towels. Sear the loin on all sides in the hot skillet.
  5. Place the seared loin on a rack in a shallow pan. Add the broth to the pan and roast in the oven 20-25 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature is 140-145°F/60-63°C in the centre. Baste with the pan drippings at least twice during roasting.
  6. Remove from the oven and let rest, tented in foil, for 5-7 minutes before slicing.

OPTIONAL: InstantPot instructions:

  • 1 tbsp/15mL extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup/118mL vegetable or chicken broth, or water
  1. If cooking from frozen, remove pork loin from freezer the day prior to when you want to serve and allow to defrost in the refrigerator a minimum of 10 hours or overnight.
  2. Turn IP to SAUTÉ – High and add olive oil.
  3. Remove pork loin from marinade (reserve the marinade) and pat generally dry with paper towels. Place loin in hot IP and sear all sides until well-browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the broth or water and the reserved marinade to the pot, change IP settings to pressure cook, set for 30 minutes and seal. Optionally, depending on the shape of your loin, you can insert the rack prior to pressure cooking and set the loin on the rack with the broth/marinade below.
  5. When IP has completed its cycle, perform rapid-release of pressure, open lid, and use meat thermometer to ensure pork is done through (it should register 140-145°F/60-63°C in the centre). Remove loin from pot and let rest, tented in foil, for 5-7 minutes before slicing. Carve and serve.

Pan Sauce (Optional):

  • ½ cup/118mL vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp/15g salted butter
  • Reserve the marinade. During the last 15 minutes of the pork’s cooking time, remove the fresh rosemary twig (if using) and bay leaf from the marinade, pour the marinade into a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, lower the heat until marinade is simmering for a minimum of 10 minutes to render it completely safe for consumption.
  • Meanwhile, quickly collect any pan drippings you can from under the roast using a basting bulb. Heat the skillet that you seared the loin in to medium-high (note: unwashed skillet is fine, as you can deglaze it for more pork flavour). Add the pan drippings and the additional broth.
  • Remove the cooked marinade from heat and strain into the skillet. Stir mixture together and bring to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted into the sauce.
  • Slice the loin in about ½” thick slices. Drizzle with the pan sauce.
  • FOR IP PAN SAUCE: once the pork has been removed, you can strain the remaining liquid (marinade plus pork juices) into a skillet and finish with butter over medium heat as above.

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