Simply the Best Pork Loin Recipe Ever

The Best Pork Loin Recipe Ever

My wife and I have very different methodologies when it comes to cooking. I go out of my way to keep my ingredients simple, to let the flavor of the food shine as much as possible, with only minor ingredients that highlight the flavors of the key components of a dish. My wife goes recipe searching until she finds something that challenges her baker’s sensibilities, usually with a fairly extensive ingredient list and some fairly complicated steps thrown in the mix for fun. She says she does this because I do such a good job of making simple dishes. I take that as a compliment, but I happily let her in the kitchen, because she invariably comes up with things like this. And it’s the best pork loin recipe I’ve ever had in my life.

My wife is an exceptional cook. I almost always have a problem tearing myself away from her dishes, and this one is no exception. As a matter of fact, I believe this is the best thing she’s ever graced my palate with (to date) and is a recipe I’ll be begging her to make often in the future.

This pork loin is oven roasted in a spicy-sweet glaze of herbs, cloves and brown sugar that to me embodies the flavors and aromas of late fall and winter. The house filled with a wonderful and heady perfume long before the dish was done, but I’ll go to my grave insisting that it was well worth the torturous wait to get to the finished product. It really doesn’t come any better than this.

Note: My wife adapted this from a recipe on the Food Network Website that was courtesy Le Central French Restaurant. The original recipe was for Pork Loin with Mushroom Fricassee, and called for a few additional steps, though I doubt these would have made an earth-shattering difference in the dish. The fricassee called for several varieties of mushrooms we didn’t have, and were skipped for this meal.

Simply the Best Pork Loin Recipe Ever
 
If you've ever wondered whether or not there is one pork loin (or tenderloin) recipe that can be called "The Best Pork Loin Recipe Ever", you've found it. This dish is so amazing that it simply boggles the mind
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French
Ingredients
  • Paste: (Marinade)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Pork Loin:
  • 2 tbsp Goya adobo seasoning
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp minced fresh parley leaves
  • 1 package pork loins (They come in twos where we get ours, but if buying a single, go for a 5 lb loin)
Method
  1. In a small bowl, combine shallots, garlic, thyme, oregano, adobo and parsley. Rub the mixture all over pork, pressing firmly, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place pork loins in a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to touch.
  4. Spread the paste all over the loin. Return to oven and cook until it has developed a good crust on the outside and is cooked to your desired doneness. About 25 to 30 minutes. (Place a cookie sheet under your roasting pan if it’s shallow, the brown sugar will foam after about 20 minutes in the oven, and could spill over in a shallow roasting pan.)
  5. Remove pork from pan and let rest for 15 minutes. cut into slices, drizzle with pan juices and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes
The original recipe called for the loins to be buried in a mushroom fricassee. While that is a very French plating, I'd be ashamed to cover something this lovely with a thick sauce like that. I prefer to simply place a bit of the sauce on the plate, arrange a suitable portion in the sauce, drizzle with the pan juices, and garnish with fresh thyme or oregano (or both, if you'd like.)

Serve with something citrusy for an amazing taste combination.

What I would have done differently:

I made a spinach and mushroom side for this dish. It was an utter disaster in flavor pairings. While good on its own (and with most other pork dishes, for that matter), the combination of spices in the sauce for the pork made the spinach taste metallic and about as unappetizing as eating iron filings. Not at all what I would pair with the best pork loin recipe in the entire universe.

In retrospect, I think next time I’ll go with a citrus rice, perhaps with lemon zest, thyme and a bit of fresh oregano to tie it in with the pork. I’ll report on that later, when we’ve given it a shot, but I can’t see any reason that the combination wouldn’t work well together.

Is this the best pork loin recipe of all time? You tell Us!

Seriously guys. I’ve never had pork loin this good, and I doubt highly that you have either. If you do make this recipe, please leave a comment here or  ping us on social media. We’d love to know if you agree with us that this is, without a doubt, the best pork loin recipe of all-freaking time.

 

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Comments

  1. kellypea says

    Goodness, Jerry, this dish has me salivating instead of ripping my hair out trying to figure out why, why, why I can’t make PDF files out of my word and excel docs. I’d rather just cook. Truly. And I’m with your talented wife. I’m a recipe reader, too. It’s how I continue to questions what I know about what works. And most of the time, it’s so much fun, I rarely turn back. But tonight I am…a nice flatiron steak with chimchurri…YUM. I just went through my stash of printed recipes I’ve tried once and liked. We’ll be swooning on garlic tonight.

    Can’t wait to check out the details on this luscious looking recipe your wife found…

  2. Jerry says

    kellypea,
    It is quite seriously the best bloody pork loin I’ve ever had. Completely sumptuous and absolutely wonderful. I’m just glad the pictured do it justice.

    Shawnda,
    Hon, it tastes WAY better than it looks!

  3. says

    Oh my gosh! That looks so good. My fiancée loves experimenting with food and I am sure this something she would love to try out. It looks so good I might make it myself.

  4. Jerry says

    Jennifer,
    Glad you like the blog, come back as often as you like!

    Thanks! My spell check assured me that was the proper spelling, but once again, context isn’t something it’s so great at guessing.

  5. Lori says

    You’re right! This was absolutely fabulous. I did get a little confused with the “marinade” label initially, but the directions clearly stated the brown sugar rub was to be added during cooking. I’ll be cooking this again, and again. . . . !

    • Elke says

      This is what confuses me too. So you don’t marinade in the sugar rub but only the herbs & spaces. I mean, this makes sense.

  6. says

    Hey guys, love the site and the pork looks great. The pictures are wonderful as well. I just did a Pork Tenderloin myself with a Romesco sauce. If you have the time please come by and take a look and let me know what you think. http://cookingquest.wordpress.com

    Thanks so much, I’ll be back for sure!!!

    Joe

  7. Mike says

    I am trying this recipe and I purchased the single 5 lb loin – so I need to cut this in 1/2 (into 2 pieces) to align with this recipe? The roasting time seems very short for a 5 lb roast – thanks

  8. Patrick says

    I made this tonight and it was great. The “marinade” boiled a bit, should make for fun pan cleaning, but otherwise it was a success.

    I did differ from the original recipe because… well because I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t have adobo seasoning handy so I went to the store for it (along with all the fresh ingredients). I saw one that was spicy and decided to just go with the original instead, but I failed in my attempt and grabbed the “bitter orange” flavor. Smells exactly like its named, but it doesn’t really come across as bitter after cooked. It may have changed the flavor somewhat but it was still excellent and no credit should be given to the chef because, as previously stated, I can barely shop for ingredients.

  9. says

    Thanks Jerry! I love every spice in this recipe except cloves (except in tiny quantities). They just seem to take over everything else. But it sounds JUST like what I was looking for…THANK YOU!

  10. goddessoflubbock says

    Delicious!! I made it with a side of risotto and also carmalized apples.

    I rarely cook with pork because I find it boring but this one rocked!

  11. Robin says

    Stumbled upon your recipe and decided to give it a try—though mine wound up marinading an extra day. Cooked it tonight, and it was AMAZING. Served with buttered cinnamon sweet potatoes. I’m already thinking of wine choices I’d like to pair this up with for guests this Christmas. THANKS for sharing!
    ps: I roasted this in a deep casserole dish lined in aluminum foil—made clean up a breeze

  12. Melissa says

    stumbled onto this page . My husband loves pork tenderloin and I love to cook! Will have to try this soon! looks so good!

  13. Kathy says

    Just finished this dish!!!! If you look at this blog & don’t make this—-shame on you. Your taste buds are missing out

  14. says

    @Lori,
    So glad you liked it. the recipe *is* a bit complicated, but so. SO worth it

    @Mike,
    Yep. This recipe is for tenderloin, not the whole deal

    @Patrick,
    the bitter orange variety might have changed the flavor a bit, but plays well with pork anyway, so good substitution!

    @LisaSD,
    You’re Welcome ;)

    @goddessoflubock,
    Sounds perfect!

    @lance,
    I agree. I need to have my wife make this again when she gets back. (It’s *her* signature dish, not mine)

    @P. Veasy,
    thanks for the info

    @Robin,
    The extra day probably helped. The sides sound perfect

    @Kathy,
    Awww. Thanks!

    @Dan
    Nope. it’s got to be pork for this one. I suppose you *could* try it with turkey breast… Not sure how it would work though

  15. Mina says

    I found the taste rather…complex :D The ginger aroma, to me, overpowered all the other wonderful flavors, so I would reduce the amount to just a pinch. Otherwise delicious, but difficult to pair up with a side dish (mashed potatoes didn’t quite cut it!) Carmelized apples…maybe. Any other suggestions?

  16. Lorna says

    Hi I wanted to adapt this for 4 single pork chops. Would the seasonings be the same? Would I still use a cup of sugar and what about the oven timings?

    Thanks!

    Lorna

    PS Looks so great.

    • says

      The seasonings would be the same, but the cooking time will vary depending on the cut of meat, surface area and other factors.

      Your best bet is to use a probe thermometer and cook until the internal temp reaches 145 degrees, then allow to rest covered in foil for at least 10 minutes

  17. Lorna says

    Great thanks Jerry. They are in the oven as we speak. I am cooking them for 10 mins with the rub on then a further 15 mins with the paste on. Smells amazing by the way.

    With best wishes,

    Lorna
    Scotland

    PS You don’t have a good chicken curry receipe do you???

  18. Juliann Villarreal says

    Jerry, I want to thank you for this recipe. After many somewhat failed attempts to find a delicious recipe for this bland piece of protein, I finally found your recipe, and my family all agrees that it was fantastic. Searching desperately for a new recipe for roast pork tenderloin, I actually googled “the best roast pork tenderloin recipe” and clicked on yours. When I saw the picture, I thought “this is it”. I actually had all the ingredients except one, the Goya Adobe, but my husband ran to pick it up. It worked out perfectly and my family wants me to add it to an at least monthly schedule. Thank you again, Juliann

  19. FunCook says

    Ok, I just pulled from the oven, and am letting it sit for the requisite 15 minutes, or until I can stand it no longer. I did this with two loins, that totaled just under two pounds. I did not use Goya, I bought Rogelio Bueno, a paste already. The initial rub was thick. I will repost once tasted. The piece that makes me want to join the foray this evening, is that the sugar rub, paste, marinade, what have you; sugar rub needs to be applied with the following in mind. This will carmelize on top. Don’t add all of your “marinade” just because you have it. I won’t overcook this meat, and I tried to add as much of it as I could. It would not stick to the bottom, so I only put it on top. But again, just put what you know will caramelize on, in the time you will leave it in the oven. Mine did not need another 30 minutes of cooking, so I needed less sugar on top.

    Just a note to those who will try! And the rest, I appreciate your experiential feedback too.

    Take care,
    Jenni

  20. Dan says

    Jerry, this looks great. Was looking for a recipe for this weekend for 14 people. Could you tell me how many roast I should prepare and should I do anything different?

    Thanks, Dan

    • says

      Dan,
      Standard tenderloins are pretty small and come two to a package. Each should feed about 3 (at 2 medallions per person) so for 14 you should be safe with 3 packages of tenderloin, assuming that they are the dual-packs.

      Hope this helps

  21. crystal says

    i’m confused. the recipe states pork loin but it looks very much like pork tenderloin. i want to make this but am undecided about which i should use.

  22. Elke says

    Hi Jerry –

    I looked through a couple of dozens of pork tenderloin and pork roast recipes and have decided to go with yours. The raves here are a great indicator, the picture just looks mouth watery and the recipe itself sounds really good.

    Not sure if you have time to answer before the Holidays but I’d very much appreciate it. The “marinade” is what you put on the pork before putting it in the oven but the rub is all that what you post under “pork loin” – correct?

    The other question that I have… you talk about “sauce” but I don’t see enough liquid in this recipe to really create a sauce. What am I missing?

    I decided to serve this dish with a nice Risotto, lemony asparagus and brussel sprouts with herbs from the pork loin dish.

    With lots of greetings from New York. Happy holidays and thanks in advance!

    — Elke

    • says

      Elke,

      The marinade is rubbed on the pork the night before. It’s a thick paste, so can’t be poured.

      The pork will form its own amazing sauce while cooking. If there doesn’t seem to be enough, just add a bit of chicken or vegetable stock to the roasting pan and stir to combine flavors.

      I hope you enjoy!

      • Elke says

        Thanks so much for answering, Jerry.

        I fear I am still missing something and I am reading a lot of recipes and cook a lot. You write in the recipe:

        In a small bowl, combine shallots, garlic, thyme, oregano, adobo and parsley. Rub the mixture all over pork, pressing firmly, and refrigerate overnight.

        And in your answer to me you say “paste” and paste is the mixture with the sugar.

        What confused me is, do all the herbs and spices, shallots AND the paste marinate with the pork over night?

        Thanks again :)
        — Elke

          • Elke says

            Thanks again Jerry, really appreciated. That’s how I envisioned it the whole time b/c I recently cooked honey glaced chicken with a recipe from Spain and it was a dry rub and then, after half the cooking thyme, the sweet stuff on it.
            Cool, this will be my x-mas dinner. I’ll share the feedback.

            Happy holidays to you!
            — Elke

  23. Elke says

    Never gave feedback. It turned out very, very nice and everybody loved it. I paired it with lemony asparagus, roasted brussel sprouts with aged balsamic and risotto. A delicious and festive meal for Christmas eve.
    Thanks again for all your help Jerry :)
    xoxo

  24. Joe M says

    If you’re not a fan of clove, and I am not, then you ought to ratchet back a bit on the 1/2 tsp. Like perhaps a pinch.

  25. Tim says

    This was a great change from our normal pork loin preparation. We used a 3-4 lb loin roast, not pork tenderloins. Cooked at 325 to an internal temp of about 130, then covered with the paste and cooked for another 20-30 min. Finished by turning the oven to “broil” for another 5 min or so to get a better color and crust without letting the internal temp get above 140. Rested for 20 min. The internal temp went to 145 while resting. Perfect, slightly pink in the center and juicy, as it should be. I strained and reduced the pan drippings while the roast rested to get a nice “sauce.” The straining seemed necessary since the drippings had a lot of solids in them. We’ll try this again outside over charcoal.

  26. GERI says

    I hate cloves but love the rest of the recipe—can i substitute something else for cloves or
    leave it out completely???

    thanks,
    Geri

  27. Elizabeth says

    Going to try this recipe tonight have it marinating now…………….Looks and smells good having with a rice pilaf with lemon and asparagas. Think that will compliment the sweet and spicy tastes.

    Lisa

  28. lora wright says

    Im seriously considering making this. One question, instead of Adobo seasoning, could I use actual Chipolte in Adobo Sauce(I have this on hand). If so, How much should I add, I have a 2lb tenderloin. Are cooking times the same for a 2 lb tenderloin??? Sorry that was more than One ?.

    • Jerry says

      You can use chipotle in adobo, but it’s going to be a LOT more spicy than the version listed. Having said that, if you like it hot, go for it and let us know how it went!

  29. pork loin recipes chef says

    The recipe does not specify if the pork needs to be covered while it is “resting” outside of the oven. Perhaps it doesn’t make a difference…

    • Jerry says

      This was a long time ago, but as a general rule I would loosely cover with a double layer of foil. It may not have been necessary for this particular dish due to the mushrooms. (could make them soggy)

  30. Julie says

    Hi Jerry,
    Just came across your blog. I’m not sure that I can get the Goya Adobo seasoning in Australia. Is there a substitute?

  31. Nancy Gibson says

    This is very good but the cloves were a bit over powering. Next time I think I will use just a pinch. I just bought the cloves and maybe they were strong because they were fresh? I don’t know. Thank you though, this is a keeper.

    • says

      Try halving them next time. It could just be that for your family the clove needs to be adjusted. Always adjust to fit your personal tastes

  32. dee says

    We tried this recipe and followed the instructions to the letter. It is really awful!! It’s a lot of work and it is way too sweet and just not good at all. The write up on this is so bogus. Don’t waste your time.

    • says

      I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Not every dish is something that everyone enjoys but, please note that there are a lot of people that have very much enjoyed this.

  33. phil says

    I agree with Dee in that it was quite sweet despite her rudeness. Otherwise, wonderful flavors and a treat to make. Thank you.

    • says

      Thanks! We very much enjoy this recipe, and you’re right. It is sweet. Pork has an affinity for sweetness. But if you choose you can always back the sweetness down, or even add heat to counter it. Feel free to play around! That’s where the fun of cooking lies.

  34. Tammy Stalker says

    I maid this with a side of Jasmen Rice with some sesame seed, and broccole with a bacon,garlic, and butter sauce. YUM

  35. Pearl Diver says

    I made this several times for several holiday parties and it is ALWAYS getting rave reviews. Delicious, to die for and just yum-gasmic!!!

  36. barb says

    I just returned from shopping and only found chipolte in adobo sauce. We like things spicy around here so I think I’ll try it. How much do you recommend?
    I’m going to marinate it today but cook it on Monday. Extra day of marinating!

    thanks can’t wait to try this!

    • says

      Barb,
      The Adobo seasoning we use is a Puerto Rican variety and isn’t spicy at all. Chipotle in adobo is a seriously fiery mix. I’d say perhaps a Tablespoon total, pureed would add quite a little kick, but you can use more if you’re brave!

  37. Barb says

    I added one tablespoon and just used the paste / sauce (no chili’s allowed!) I think it might be a nice mix of hot and sweet taste! I will let you know how it turns out. Just the marinade smells delicious!
    Thanks for your response and the recipe!

  38. silken says

    Hi

    I tried your recipe tonight and, apart from a few changes (I don’t live in USA) to one or two ingredients, I would have to say that was one of the best Pork Loin recipes I have ever tasted.

    Thank you

  39. Eureka says

    Gonna try it this week. It looks amazing and I usually dont like making pork cuz it’s so bland but I’m gonna give this a shot and let u know

  40. Shakeel Victor says

    So I plan on making this over the weekend. Looks awesome!

    Are those the only ingredients for the paste (marinade)? They seem to be just dry ingredients. Do I need to add water to these ingredients at all to make it into a paste?

    Thanks!

  41. Gary says

    Hi, I want to try this. Let me make sure of one of the measurements.
    2 TABLESPOONS of Goya Adobo Seasoning? Is that correct? Or should that be 2 TEASPOONS?

    2 TBSP looked like a bit much considering how salty that seasoning is.

    THANKS!

    • says

      Gary, We used two Tablespoons. The salt balances the sweet that comes later. you are, of course, free to use less if you’d like. it’s your kitchen, after all.

      Enjoy!

  42. victoria says

    I prepared it today and I used four slices of pork loin. I did not have the adoba seasoning so I made it using various spices from my collection. All in all is turned out well and it was very sweet with very different flavors. I enjoyed the dish with a baked potato and spicy noodles. The only problem I had with the pork loin was the lack of a crust which I was excited for the crunchy layer. I’m sure I will make this again though. Delish!

  43. Kirsten M says

    I cooked the recipe tonight and it was INSANE! We all LOVED IT!!! Can’t wait to make again. And again. And again.

    I did a black rice cooked with dried garlic and onion. Super yummy, although when plated together was a bit dark….

    • Jerry says

      Kristen,

      i prefer to serve this plated all by its lonesome with just some thyme sprigs, but if you’d like rice with it, try a mix of arborio rice and wild rice with celery leaves or celery root, or perhaps some pureed turnips or mashed potatoes. You want something that can balance the sweetness of the pork in this one

  44. Sophie K says

    I prepared this recipe, and my family cannot get enough of it. There were only a few minor tweaks to the recipe due to ingredients on hand, so I look forward to trying it again with the exact recipe. I cooked some plain mushrooms and bowtie pasta (with only a bit of lemon juice in the water) to accompany the pork loin. DELICIOUS!!! To start off the work week, we even sliced it extra thing to put in sandwiches for lunch.

  45. Niki says

    I cook Porkloin a lot (its one of my boyfriends favorites) and I am about to devour this like it was candy and im a hyperactive child on Halloween. This is amazing and well worth the wait. Not only am I sincerely happy that i tried this recipe but i am also grateful to you Jerry because I am now inspired to explore EVERYTHING. Sorry for ranting! totally phenomenal!

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