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Friday, February 20, 2015

Oink, Oink! Pork Rub and Roasted Pork Loin

I was a little late and last minute in pulling together my Christmas gifts last year, as usual. (I remember one year having to knit while Yaya wrapped my gifts because I was so far behind on making my gifts.) I had the ideas in my head of what I wanted to give, but it's so difficult to get everything I need together. It took me forever to find the mason jars I wanted to use, and then when I did find them the store only had one box and I needed three. I looked everywhere for large scrapbooking letters, the sticky ones, but when I couldn't find them I had to go with iron-on letters for fabric which didn't work nearly as well and probably cost a lot more. I spent a week looking for plain white coffee mugs too. Three days before Christmas we found one but I needed two. I wound up with the one white mug and a black one that I prayed would work for my purposes.

Anyway, the point was that I was running so far behind on my gifts that I didn't get a chance to test the rubs I handed out. There were two, one for chicken and one for pork. The chicken one has gotten plenty of use here at home recently, but I was having trouble deciding how to use the pork rub. I finally managed to thaw out a piece of pork loin to roast so we could test that pork rub.

The rub is spicy, maybe a bit too spicy for Bailey, but for the average adult it's just a nice kick, not burn your face off spicy. It's about half brown sugar so it caramelizes nicely and has plenty of sweetness to make it taste a bit like barbecue. As the rub mixes with the juices from pork it makes a kind of glaze that I dipped the leftover slices in before I packed them in the fridge. The pork itself when cooked this way is so juicy. I had been having a difficult time keeping it from getting dry on me, but the thermometer helps a great deal with that.

My two main tips with this pork are:
1) Definitely use a meat thermometer if you have one to avoid overcooking.
2) Give the pork plenty of time to rest before you slice it so that you don't end up losing all of your juices on the cutting board.

Oink, Oink! Pork Rub

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup (or 4 Tbsp or 12 tsp) paprika
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Stir with a fork, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar as you go, until the mixture is well combined.

Transfer the mixture to mason jars to give as gifts or store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Oink, Oink! Roasted Pork Loin

Source: Adapted from Maple Dijon Roast Pork via All Recipes and Hand Jobs for the Home

2-3 lb pork loin
1/4 cup Oink, Oink! pork rub

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Trim any undesired excess fat off of your pork. I usually leave most of it on for flavor and moisture but Aaron prefers it without the fat so I trimmed it this time.

Sprinkle the rub evenly over the entire piece of pork. Place the pork in the prepared baking dish and roast in the preheated oven for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the thermometer reads 155-160 degrees.

Remove the pork from the oven and immediately wrap tightly with foil. Let the pork rest for about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of your meal.

Just before serving slice the pork to your desired thickness. I like thin slices.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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