When given the opportunity to cook for people, I generally take full advantage. Not that I want to show off, but rather it’s that I like to see people happy when they eat the food I make. So recently we were celebrating some birthdays in our family. That seemed like a great opportunity to cook (like I need an excuse). I opted for a bone in pork loin. I had never cooked one of these before, but since pork is the protein I love the most I figured I would give it a try. Plus this makes such an awesome presentation at the table. I suppose it takes it up a notch if you get get it cut into a crown roast, but I’m not that fancy. So I went to a local meat market call Robert’s Specialty Meats. Robert’s is located in a little strip mall in Waukesha, Wisconsin.
When you first walk into this small meat cutter, your olfactory system is bombarded with the smell of smoke meat. There are piles of smoked bones for your dog, to your left is a case of frozen beef, marinated chicken breasts of every flavor, in-house prepared sausages, and even whole beef hearts. As I peruse the meat case I did see porkchops, but no bone in pork loin roasts. When I asked the gentleman behind the counter he said they could definitely make one for me. I asked if it could be Frenched and he said give us 10 minutes. They recommended half a pound of meat per guest, so I ended up with the roast right around 5 pounds. It took 10 minutes for them to cut and wrap this roast for me. And it was a beauty.
While I waited for it to be cut I picked out a few other items. One thing they’re “famous” for is ribs on a stick. This is a marinated boneless pork rib on a wooden skewer. I also picked up a few beef short ribs, which I plan to smoke as another first time cook. Stay tuned for that one. I would return to Robert’s next time I’m in the area. Check them out if you get the chance.
An excellent way to preserve moisture and impart some flavor in meat is with a wet brine. For this cook, I employed this strategy and I made a simple brine with 1 gallon of water, half a cup of salt, half a cup of brown sugar, black peppercorns, rosemary and bay leaves. With the salt and sugar dissolved, I submerge the meat in the brine. I left it in the fridge for approximately six hours.
The one thing I haven’t developed very well as a skill is forecasting how long big piece of meat will take to cook. This problem reared its ugly head again with this cook. Using Royal Oak Natural Lump charcoal, I prepared my Big Green Egg for indirect cooking with a dome temperature of 375°. I anticipated 2 1/2 hours of cooking time. While the grill was coming up to temperature, I removed the pork from the brine and patted it dry and left it on the counter. Once the temperature had stabilized, I added a little dry rub to the pork. One of my current favorites is from Four41South BBQ out of Georgia. It is called Monk McGuire’s Honeysuckle Dust, and once again it did not disappoint. The flavor and color it produces is just outstanding.
This thing cooked up to 150 degrees in just under two hours. At that time I pulled it off and foiled for transport to my in-laws for dinner were it was paired with a delicious potato and summer squash dish my mother-in-law makes.
This was a spectacular way to serve up my favorite protien. I hope you would give this a try. It’s an easy process that will wow your guests. As always, thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any thoughts or questions.