18 Nov2007


I like pork loin. It’s generally lean, economical, and easy to prepare. But I used to think that local pork loins often turned out somewhat dry and less than flavorful. I was fooling around in the kitchen a few days ago and instead of just roasting a pork loin, I decided to experiment a bit… and the results are worth discussing in a post. First, I brined the pork for roughly 6 hours (overnight would have been better). I have mentioned this technique before, but many readers still write in to ask me to describe it again. Essentially, brining is putting a meat or seafood into a very salty bath, and with the miracle of science, the meat absorbs more water (I think it has something to do with relative saltiness) and thus makes the meat much more juicy when cooked. Everytime I have done this, it has worked wonders. You can brine turkeys, chickens, ducks, pork and I particularly like brined shrimp as well. Stick a cold piece of meat in a pot with enough water to cover the meat, add a LOT of salt, say half a cup or so for a large pork loin or less for a smaller piece of meat. Leave this in the fridge for at least 6 hours…


Remove the soaking pork loin from the fridge and rinse it under cool water. I decided I wanted an adobo flavor to this roask pork so I cut little slits in the meat and stuck in peeled cloves of garlic… I put several cloves worth, but adjust this to your personal taste. Next, stick the whole pork loin in a bowl and add soy sauce, vinegar, bay leaves and cracked black pepper and let this marinate for at least 4 hours, better if overnight. Then place on a pan with a rack, and roast the pork in a 375F oven, basting with the marinade at least 2-3 times over the course of an hour or so. Check the internal temperature of the roast if you have a meat thermometer. Add some water to the pan to prevent scorching the drippings from the roast. As soon as the internal temp gets to 140F, then add half a cup of muscovado or dark brown sugar to the remaining marinade and slather this mixture on the pork loin and return it to the oven for another 15 or so minutes until the sugar is melted and the roast is done. Check that the meat has an internal temp of about 160F and remove from the oven.


If you are lucky, there is enough sauce or gravy to spoon over the roast. If there isn’t add a bit of broth or water to the pan. After the roast has rested for 10 minutes, slice it thinly and lay it out on a serving platter. Spoon some of the pan gravy over the slices. I don’t normally like very sweet meats, but surprisingly, this dish was sweetish but not cloyingly so. It was reminiscent of adobo, but only partially so. It was excellent served with some rice and creamed corn. Yum. Oh, you may want to remove the garlic cloves before serving, they can be a bit overwhelming… And one last tip. Don’t overcook the pork. I know you have been conditioned to belief that pork must not have a trace of pinkness whatsoever to the meat, but just as undercooking it may be bad, overcooking it results in cardboard-like tasting meat… invest in a good meat thermometer the next time you see one.




  1. nina says:

    I miss pork…:(

    Nov 18, 2007 | 2:06 pm


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  3. porkyvore says:

    I love porkloin. Thank you so much for this interesting post. I may not be able to follow it exactly as you’ve described it but it sure gave me interesting ideas. :)

    Nov 18, 2007 | 2:14 pm

  4. artisan chocolatier says:

    Yes MM, I like my pork pink and on some occassions medium-rare!!!

    Since trichinosis isn’t as much of a concern as it was years ago and if you trust your butcher sourced his hogs from farms that raised them properly, there is no reason to be afraid.

    You gave me a great idea to make this the “palaman” for the Ciabatta panino for my kids “baon” this week!!! Thanks MM!!

    Nov 18, 2007 | 2:52 pm

  5. Joey says:

    I have always believed that local pork (i.e. from the Philippines) is tastier- it has more ‘character’ than the ones available in the US. Is it because the local version is ‘self-supporting’? Ha ha ha!

    The roast looks great! You may want to get all the garlic, roast them some more until mushy, add a little salt and bay leaf (and maybe a few drops of EV olive oil) and serve as spread with crusty french bread. I’m sure it’ll go well with your scrumptious porkloin…

    Nov 18, 2007 | 3:21 pm

  6. elaine says:

    I’ve never tried pork loin adobo as I always preferred mine with a little fat and pork loin is always cooked asado style in our household…I think this is a unique twist to the usual adobo and have never encountered such in my 2 adobo cookbooks. I don’t have meat thermometer, is it possible to just make ‘tancha’ or something? This is a very very interesting take on adobo..

    Nov 18, 2007 | 4:33 pm

  7. zena says:

    Interesting take on adobo. Or pork loin, for that matter. =) question: Do internal Temps vary per meat or is 140 a good basis for doneness for all types of meat? Thanks MM.

    Nov 18, 2007 | 5:11 pm

  8. Marketman says:

    nina, you must be in the Middle East some where perhaps? artisan, good grief, their baon sounds stupendous…I wouldn’t mind going to school again if I had pork filled paninis for lunch… Joey, local pork has a higher fat content than the leaner American farm raised pork. Also, the feed differs, and just like the “wild” or free-range European hogs feed on acorns or other stuff, their flavor is better too…more interesting, as you put it. :) elaine, yes make tancha… on a bigger pork loin, maybe a kilo or so, it took roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes…some folks can tell the doneness of the meat by the softness of it when pressed… zena, internal temps do vary I think for different meats to say whether they are rare or well done… but a quick google should give you the right numbers…

    Nov 18, 2007 | 6:34 pm

  9. kulasa says:

    Interesting. I’ve always put garlic in my pork roast (sabi kasi ng Mama ko matabang pag wala) but never tried it with soy sauce or with sugar. Must try.

    Nov 18, 2007 | 9:22 pm

  10. maureen catajan says:

    hello…im new here ..can i use turbo broiler pag walang oven?

    Nov 18, 2007 | 9:42 pm

  11. APM says:

    Hi Marketman,

    It was great meeting you the other day. I really enjoy the results of brining pork loin prior to roasting. One thing you should consider for future experiments is using the sous vide technique on pork. This technique was developed decades a go by french chefs wanting to limit shrinkage in foie gras. It’s basically marinating the meat in a vacuum sealed plastic bag and then immersing the bag in a temperature controlled bath with an immersion circulator. When the technique is done properly the resulting tenderness is extremely tender. After this process the meat should be finished with either a torch or a broiler. I have been fortunate enough to eat fresh bacon made with this technique. It was suoerb. Your post has given me the idea to make pork belly adobo using the sous vide.

    Nov 18, 2007 | 10:52 pm

  12. kaye says:

    i love pork especially those with the marbled fat like pork steak but never tried pork loin.. this is something i can try since hubby is avoiding fatty foods due to gall stones.. i think roast pork wouldn’t be that too much of a cholesterol magnet, after it has rendered fat and juices, i think this recipe would be good for the hubby.. thanks MM!

    Nov 18, 2007 | 11:36 pm

  13. Anne :-) says:


    I never thought pork can be done this way! Btw, MM I already written down the procedure for brining meats on your previous posts and I must say that it work wonders on our palate! Thanks!

    Nov 19, 2007 | 1:27 am

  14. Silly Lolo says:

    Verry interesting, MM. A must try for sure!
    BTW, I did the Lechon Sinigang thingie and sorry to say, it did not rock my boat. Overall taste came out short and on the bland side.
    Maybe I did not use enough lechon (i used 3 legs or hooves) and the dish was supposed to be for just me. My daughter laughingly tells me that my taste buds are shot because of all the stuff I try. Whatever. I will try this again with more lechon. I cut off the toenails ‘cuz they gross me out!

    Nov 19, 2007 | 2:08 am

  15. 4btiddy says:

    This looks so good. It’s like adobo/asado porkloin.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 7:48 am

  16. CecileJ says:

    MM, looks good! Just right for my pre-Christmas binge South Beach Diet! I will have to substitute the sugar for something else, though.

    Oh,I brined pork chops before grilling and they were indeed juicier (and a tad saltier) than the un-brined ones. Will adjust salt and brining time til I get it right.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 8:31 am

  17. myra says:

    hi, nice tips, ms. connie of pinoy cook also share that kind of idea (she got that also from steamy kitchen? i think), now i know that really work in every meat.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 8:49 am

  18. Blaise says:

    this looks really yummy.. in contrast with MM, I do like sweetish-strongly flavored meats.. but I don’t like them artificially flavored like many of the tocinos available..

    Nov 19, 2007 | 11:20 am

  19. mikel says:

    love roast pork; was in baden baden, germany over weekend and had their specialty, roast pork marinated in beer served with cabbage and roast potatoes. i imagine this is brining too…only 10euros for 2 big slabs of pork+veggies! will try your adobo version. had this after spending 3 hrs at the friedrichsbad(spa). my bro. got the MM tshirts..can’t wait to get them in feb.

    Nov 19, 2007 | 5:06 pm

  20. tattibz4lyf says:

    I love it! Thanks MM… my wife and I are really learning a lot from you…

    Dec 15, 2007 | 2:13 am


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