Growing up in an Iranian household in America lent itself to a life where things that seemed normal to me were odd to others. For example, lamb was everywhere and so were flat breads. Mustaches were very prevalent, even encouraged.
One major food category that I was limited to growing up was Mr. Pork and his associates Mr. Bacon and Mr. Sausage. Hot dogs were always beef, the only time we could get pork in the house was when we could trick my Mom into thinking it was beef, or just by outright defying my Mom. But somehow pepperoni pizza was okay? Iranian mothers, walking enigmas.
As we got older this became easier. Nothing comes between a teenager and bacon. Nothing. As I grew up and became more familiar with different cuts of meat, I looked into pork loin. (You can all laugh at me now, yes I “looked into” pork loin, I am and always will be a dork).
Pork Loin would be considered a non-starter in my household growing up. And as a result, I never had a chance to cook with pork loin until I moved out of my house.
But I digress. Pork loin is a strong protein option, just 4 oz. of it has 21 grams of protein to 3 grams of saturated fat. In our health conscious/build muscle world, that’s a solid protein choice.
Since I’ve had the opportunity to cook with pork loin, I have found it works very well when cooked a few ways. One: it’s great flattened out, breaded and fried. But then again what isn’t? Another method I employ often for the weekly lunches is simply slow cooking it.
This week I used my other favorite method of cooking pork loin: browning it quickly during the initial stages of the cooking process and then slow roasting it in the oven.
Slow Roasted Pork Loin with Garlic & Sage
1 Pork Loin Roast
1 Head of Garlic, crushed
3 Tbsp chopped Sage
3 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Water
1 Oven Safe Frying Pan
First, heat the butter in the frying pan until it slowly foams. Be sure to not burn the butter, then add the garlic and sage. Brown the garlic and sage together, don’t over cook the garlic as it will create a pungent flavor in your food. Remove the garlic and sage, and set it aside for a little later. Now add the pork to the pan. Brown each side of the pork (about 2 -3 minutes a side). Once the pork is sufficiently browned, add the 1/4 cup of water around the pork in the pan. Then add the sage and garlic on top of the pork. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake in your oven on 300F for 2 hours.
Use a meat thermometer if you have one and check the internal temperature. Depending on the source of your pork (pork source! hahahaha), you can take it out at medium well, I always play it safe with pork and tend to cook it well done.
After about 4 minutes, slice the meat perpendicular to the grain of the meat and enjoy!
*You can substitute white wine or sherry for the water, I didn’t use it here because Cast Iron will react with the wine and it will cause it to leach into your food.