The Covered Dish - Cast Iron Pork Loin

January 06, 2022

OK, that just felt real odd, writing 2022 for the first time. On New Year’s Eve I had planned to do a nice brined pork loin on the grill for our dinner. The rain won out on that one and I ended up doing our ‘dinner for two’ in my trusty cast iron skillet.
Oh my goodness, talk about succulent! We accompanied the meal with a baked sweet potato and sugar snap peas. We enjoyed it to the utmost, so I thought what the beejeebers I’ll share the way I prepared the loin with the readers.
First I will tell you that our pork loin was a ‘Smithfield’ marinated pork loin, in a cryovac sealed bag. It was not a fresh cut one from the butcher. When I use a fresh cut loin I always brine it before cooking. Because of the marinate ours had basically been brined already. The 2 lb. size would not fit in my skillet so I cut it in half. I carefully placed the skillet on my glass top stove, remembering NOT to scoot it whatsoever during the cooking process. This is so you don’t scratch the glass. The skillet was preheated with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
I then browned the loin all the way around, adding additional crushed black pepper to one side only. Using aluminum foil I made a tented cover top and placed it in a 350 degree oven. I left it on the first side for about 22 minutes.
Opened the door flipped the meat over and added my onions, peppers and mushrooms. Placed the foil back over the top and returned it to the oven.
Cooking for about 20-25 more minutes. Remove and monitor the temperature with a meat thermometer. Mine was higher than I wanted at 165, so I quickly removed it and allowed it to set for a few minutes before slicing. I prefer to remove it at about 150-155 degrees and then it will raise more as it sets. We still had an extremely moist pork loin that was just delicious, needing no sauces whatsoever.
IF you like the vegetables softer you may consider putting them in sooner. Mine were still a tad undercooked so I simply removed the meat and seared the vegetables the rest of the way.
Phillip and his girlfriend left and went out with friends, when he saw the photo of the meal I think he regretted having to miss it! It was also a pretty healthy meal.

Simplify always comes to mind, but it’s amazing what good foods we can enjoy with just simple preparations and not so much flamboyancy!
There’s leftovers to finish at our abode and with the change in the weather I definitely see a pot of soup in line for this week. I’ve been hungry for a gingerbread cake and still haven’t had the time to enjoy one, so it may have to accompany the pot of soup.
It’s a new year for sure, like many I do wonder what it’s going to reveal to us. But I’ll just take one day at a time and enjoy each to the utmost. Happy New Year 2022 here we come…..

Simply yours, The Covered Dish.

Cast Iron Pork Loin

2-2.6 lbs. marinated pork loin

2-3 tablespoons light olive oil

Ground black pepper

1 green pepper, thinly sliced

1 average onion, thinly sliced

8 oz. portabello mushrooms, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On top of the stove heat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. If the loin will not fit in the skillet, consider cutting it in half. Add the oil to the skillet, heating. Sauté the loin all the way around, lightly browning.
On one side only or both if you desire, generously apply fresh ground black pepper. Using aluminum foil make a tent over the skillet and place in the preheated oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, remove skillet, flip the meat over and add the vegetables. Replace the foil and place back in the oven. Cook for an additional 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness with a meat thermometer. You are seeking to reach around 155 degrees. Once removed the meat will continue cooking and the temperature should rise up to around 165. This will leave you with a very moist pork loin.

Many sides will accompany this entrée, I used the sweet potato, but a wild rice dish would be nice along with a fresh spinach salad. For entertaining most everything could be done in advance except for the meat.