Last week we had some friends over for dinner. As I was trying to plan the dinner, I was trying to think of meals that everyone loves. I went through soups, stews, spaghetti, chicken, blah blah blah. My husband is very picky. As I thought What is a meal that everyone loves to eat? What is a meal that my husband loves to eat? It came to me.
But honestly, I'd never cooked my own pork loin. We'd always done the preseasoned ones that you just throw in the oven, wrapping and all. But I had to get one big enough to feed everyone, and those preseasoned ones are tiny. So, I did some research and got my game plan together. (I love a new cooking challenge, by the way!)
First I brined it for 6 or so hours. Mainly because I only had 6 hours. If you have longer, 12-24, do that. It'll be tastier and juicier. For the brine recipe, I got out my stock pot, put about a gallon or more of water in it, turned the burner on high and then added a lot of salt, some pepper, some rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and sugar. You know I don't measure anything, so feel free to wing it. I boiled that for 15 minutes or so, then took it off the burner to let it cool. You're supposed to let it cool completely, but I didn't have time, so I popped the hunk of meat and brine in a very large bowl, covered it and put it in the fridge.
When it came time to cook it, I turned on the oven, put the hunk-o-meat in a roasting pan with some of the brine juices and started cutting slits in it. Then I rubbed a store-bought "rub" all over it and in the slits, but you can make your own rub if you so desire. I just happened to have some in my spice cabinet. Then I roasted it in the oven for 2 hours at, I honestly can't remember if the oven temp was at 350 or 400.
The meat was so juicy and tasted delish! And I was happy that it tasted good, you never know how something is going to turn out the first time you cook it! Ultimately though, it blessed our friends, and that is what really matters. We had great company and conversation, and I was glad they came.
And now for our meals this week:
I will be off playing with my sister this night, so Ross and the boys are on their own. So probably Roman noodles, or maybe oatmeal. :)
Infamous homemade pizza
Chicken wraps and mac n cheese
Potato & broccoli soup with homemade cornbread and salad
Pork chops, corn and baked potatoes
Small group night, will take something
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