After much thought I decided to tackle the task of the Pork Loin. Now most of us think of this as the thing in the plastic wrap that is doused in peppercorn, teriyaki, or lemon pepper seasoning. Well I have tried those and haven't found one that was appealing. Peppercorn tastes like turning up a pepper grinder and eating the balls. Teriyaki is self explanatory and Lemon Pepper tastes like eating lemon rinds. So I found this delicious piece of pork goodness and decided to use what ingredients I had on hand and came up with a Maple Bacon Wrapped Pork Lion with dipping sauce. This was an instant hit with the hubby! There are a few steps to the process but its well worth it for a great Sunday dinner.
Ingredients needed for Pork Loin Cooking:
- Pork Lion - You can go as large or small as you need. DO NOT BUY PORK SIRLOIN. This does not cook up well and the meat tends to be tough.
- One bottle of Maple Syrup - Dark Amber is the best.
- Salt and Pepper to season and taste
- Package of Bacon - You can use thick cut, hickory smoked, applewood...your preference
- Italian Seasoning
- Bay Leaves
- 1 garlic clove minced
- Large Bowl for Cool Water - you will immerse the Pork Loin in this before cooking
- 1/3 cup of salt
- 1/3 cup of pepper
- 4 garlic cloves rough chopped
- 1/4 cup of Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup Dark Amber Maple Syrup
- 1/3 Cup of cornstarch
- Remnants of Pork Loin after cooking, skimming the fat from the remnants.
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
This is done to increase the tenderness of the meat. You can place the loin into brine for up to 24 hours. The tougher the cut of meat the longer the soak time.
***Most things you will read say to immerse your loin in brine for a minimum of 8 hours. Feel free to do this if you wish. I placed mine in the brine for a little under 4 hours and it turned out juicy!
Combine cool water, salt, pepper, garlic, and seasoning in a large enough bowl to cover the meat. Cover and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Steps for Cooking
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove your loin from the brine solution and pat dry. Sprinkle with pepper. NO salt.
- Spray a cooking pan/dish to keep the loin from sticking. Place the loin on the sheet.
- Take your seasoning and rub onto meat being careful to spread it evenly.
- Take your Maple Syrup, at least 1/3 cup and brush onto the meat. You can use more or less depending on the strength of your syrup and how you want it to taste.
- Lay your bay leaves on the top of the meat. 3-4 leaves are sufficient.
- Spread your garlic on sparingly. More or less depending on how much you like.
- Open your bacon and lay crosswise atop the meat. Do not layer them too much as they wont cook evenly. About a half pack will suffice.
- Finish off with another brush of maple syrup.
- Place in oven for about an hour and a half or until an instant read thermometer reads 140 degrees in the thickest part of the meat.
- When pork loin is finished remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Steps for making Dipping Sauce
- Combine pork loin remnants and cornstarch on medium heat along with maple syrup. Cook until it begins to thicken.
WORDS OF WISDOM
- DO NOT BUY PORK SIRLOIN....IT WILL NOT COME OUT AS WELL
- LOOK IN YOUR SUPERMARKETS ETHNIC/MEXICAN SECTION. THEY OFTEN SALE HIGH QUALITY HERBS AND SEASONINGS AS CHEAP AS 99 CENTS.
- DIFFERENT BRANDS OF MAPLE SYRUP TASTE DIFFERENT. FIND THE ONE YOU LIKE.
- REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES BEFORE YOU EAT THE MEAT. THEY DO NOT TASTE GOOD :)