Sponsored by the National Pork Board
Don’t forget about pork this grilling season! There are so many delicious cuts and when you cook it just right, you cannot beat the flavor, texture and great value. At our house, we eat pork on a regular basis– most often bone-in pork chops. A simple reverse sear on those produces delicious results. For this cook, we took a gorgeous pork loin roast and gave it a similar treatment. The pork loin roast is a smaller section of a full pork loin, which is also an amazing cook, but makes way too much food for just the two of us. A pork loin roast is an amazing juicy canvas for flavor possibilities.
For this cook, we went with a simple reverse sear to maximize the flavor and achieve that perfect cook throughout the cut. Reverse searing allows the meat to cook slowly and evenly throughout, and then you crank up the heat at the end to get that amazing crust. It provides the natural juices in the meat the chance to stay distributed throughout, resulting in that amazingly-cooked, juicy and tender pork perfection.
My parents and grandparents always believed that pork had to cook to an incredibly high heat for safe eating. In reality, a piece of pork cooked to 145° internal temperature is perfect. Fully cooked, still juicy, tender beyond belief and flavorful in any preparation you choose. The technique I used cooked the meat until it was getting close to finish temp, then seared it, and then allowed it to carry-over cook the final 5 degrees.
I started by applying a coating of dijon mustard over the whole roast. This helps get the meat tender and helps the rub stick. The acidity in the mustard, when applied directly to the meat, will begin to break down the proteins in the meat, which will produce even more tender results, and a delicious crust at the end.
Then, apply your favorite pork seasoning generously on all sides. I went with a more traditional BBQ flavored rub for this cut– flavors of applewood, hickory and brown sugar.
I preheated my Traeger to 225°, which is a low enough temperature to do a perfect reverse sear, and also smoky enough to add some great flavor. I cooked the roast until it measured 130° degrees in the deepest part of the meat. I then pulled it off and tented it while the grill got up to 450°. I then put it back on for an all-around sear until it registered 140° degrees internal temperature. With a 15 minute rest, it was the perfect 145° and ready to eat.
We sliced it into nice thick pieces and served it with pierogi and veggies for dinner.
What was great about this cook, was that we had plenty of leftovers for more meals. In reality, these were planned-overs. Perfectly cooked pork from yesterday’s dinner can make an amazing lunch today.
We decided to put a spin on our lunch the next day and make bahn mi sandwiches.
We started by making some quick pickles. Simply combine equal parts water and vinegar (we used rice wine vinegar) in a saucepan with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat. Pour hot mixture over prepared vegetables– we did radish, persian cucumber, carrot, onion, jalapeno, serrano, and red bell pepper. All sliced nice and thin. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Then add a bunch of ice to bring down the temperature. Set aside until ready to use.
We sliced the leftover pork thin and sizzled it on the grill in a cast iron pan. What we like to do is add a little butter and chicken broth to the pan. This adds some great flavor and keeps that pork nice and moist and tender.
We whipped up a quick hoisin mayo– 1 part mayo to ½ part hoisin sauce. Add a dash of soy sauce if desired, and a squeeze of fresh lime.
In addition, you’ll want a flavorful herb salad to complete the sandwich. We used equal parts cilantro leaves, julienned basil and finely sliced scallions. Toss together to put on the sandwich.
Assembling the sandwich is easy. Using soft bread rolls or a baguette, toast them quickly on the griddle. Spread the top and bottom with the hoisin mayo. Layer the bottom with the pickles and herb salad, and top with the slices of warmed pork. Add a dash of hot sauce and cut in half for an amazing sandwich.
Pork Loin Roast
- Smoker grill
- 1 pork loin roast about 2 pounds
- 3 tbsp mustard
- seasoning of your preference we used my Double Smoke from Spiceology
- Preheat your grill to 225°.
- Coat the entire roast evenly in mustard.
- Top mustard coating with a generous coating of bbq seasoning.
- Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the meat to sweat.
- Place meat in the center of the grill and allow to cook until the internal temperature reaches about 130° with a probe thermometer.
- Remove from heat, tent loosely and bring grill heat up to 450°.
- Sear roast in super hot grill until browned all over and the internal temperature is about 140°.
- Remove from heat and place on a cutting board. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Slice with a sharp knife and serve immediately! Leftovers will be delicious and versatile for your next meal!