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Pork loin is a versatile and delectable cut of meat that makes for an exceptional dinner centerpiece. This cut comes from the back of the pig and is known for its tenderness and mild flavor. When cooked properly, pork loin is succulent and can be incredibly satisfying.
Whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, pork loin is a wonderful option that can be prepared in various ways, including roasting, which is the method we will focus on in this recipe.
Dinner is often considered the most substantial meal of the day, and it plays a significant role in our daily nutrition. It’s crucial to ensure that your dinner is balanced, encompassing a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables. A balanced meal can help maintain energy levels, support muscle growth, and provide essential nutrients for overall health.
Including a lean protein like pork loin, a vegetable such as Brussels sprouts, and a carbohydrate like potatoes ensure you’re consuming a varied range of nutrients.
Pork loin is a lean cut of meat that is high in protein and provides essential vitamins such as B6 and B12, which are vital for brain health and metabolism. Brussels sprouts are a nutrient-dense vegetable, rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, and antioxidants that support the immune system.
Potatoes are not only delicious but also a fantastic source of carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins such as vitamin C and potassium. Combining these three ingredients creates not only a flavorful dish but also a nutritionally balanced meal that can be a staple in any healthy diet.
Optional Ingredients for Added Flavor or Nutrition
- Grated Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled over the Brussels sprouts before roasting for a cheesy twist.
- A dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of chopped fresh chives can enhance the flavor of the mashed potatoes.
- A tablespoon of Dijon mustard can be added to the pork loin marinade for a tangy kick.
List of Kitchen Equipment and Tools Required for Preparing the Pork Loin, Brussels Sprouts, and Mashed Potatoes:
- Large baking dish or roasting pan for the pork loin
- Sharp knife and cutting board for preparing ingredients
- Meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork loin
- Large pot for boiling potatoes
- Potato masher or ricer for mashing potatoes
- Medium-sized mixing bowl for preparing pork loin marinade
- Small saucepan for melting butter and warming milk for the mashed potatoes
- Large mixing bowl for tossing Brussels sprouts with oil and seasoning
- Baking sheet for roasting Brussels sprouts
- Aluminum foil for tenting the pork loin while it rests
- Large spoon or spatula for mixing and serving
- Measuring spoons and cups for ingredients
- Serving platter for presenting the finished dish
- Serve with a side of applesauce or gravy for the pork.
- Offer a light salad or crusty bread to complement the meal.
- Pair the meal with a glass of white wine or a light beer.
List of Ingredients Needed for the Pork Loin:
- 1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
List of Ingredients Needed for the Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
List of Ingredients Needed for the Mashed Potatoes:
- 1.5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup whole milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step-by-step Guide on How to Prepare and Roast the Pork Loin:
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper to make a marinade.
- Place the pork loin in a large baking dish or roasting pan.
- Rub the marinade all over the pork loin.
- Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the loin.
- Roast in the preheated oven for about 60-75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).
- Once cooked, tent the pork loin with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Instructions for Preparing and Roasting the Brussels Sprouts:
- While the pork is roasting, wash and trim the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread them on a baking sheet.
- Place them in the oven during the last 20-25 minutes of the pork loin's cooking time, until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
Step-by-step Guide on How to Prepare the Mashed Potatoes:
- Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces.
- Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt.
- Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender about 15-20 minutes.
- While the potatoes are boiling, warm milk and melt butter in a small saucepan.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or ricer.
- Gradually add the warm milk and melted butter, stirring until creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Combining and Serving the Dish:
- Slice the rested pork loin into 1-inch thick slices.
- On a large serving platter, arrange the slices of pork loin, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a generous serving of mashed potatoes.
- Optionally, garnish with fresh herbs.
Recommendations on the Cut of Pork to Use:
- Opt for a boneless center-cut pork loin as it’s lean and tender.
- Make sure the pork has a small layer of fat on top, as this will keep the meat moist while roasting.
Tips on Achieving Crispy Brussels Sprouts:
- Cut the Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters to increase surface area for caramelization.
- Toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper but avoid overcrowding the baking sheet to ensure they roast instead of steam.
- Roast at a high temperature (around 425°F or 220°C) for a shorter time to achieve a crispy exterior and tender interior.
Suggestions for Achieving Creamy Mashed Potatoes:
- Use a combination of starchy (e.g. Russet) and waxy (e.g. Yukon Gold) potatoes for the perfect texture.
- Warm the milk and melt the butter before adding them to the potatoes to avoid cooling them down.
- Mash the potatoes with a potato ricer for a smoother texture or use a potato masher for a more rustic feel.
Ideas for Sauces or Gravies to Accompany the Dish:
- Make a classic gravy using the drippings from the pork loin, flour, and broth.
- Try an apple cider glaze by reducing apple cider with a bit of brown sugar, mustard, and herbs.
- Serve with a side of horseradish sauce for a bit of spice.
- Calories: Approximately 1000 kcal
- Protein: Approximately 60g
- Carbohydrates: Approximately 70g
- Dietary Fiber: Approximately 10g
- Sugars: Approximately 8g
- Fat: Approximately 50g
- Saturated Fat: Approximately 18g
- Cholesterol: Approximately 180mg
- Sodium: Approximately 600mg
- Potassium: Approximately 1600mg
- Vitamin A: Approximately 1000IU
- Vitamin C: Approximately 60mg
- Calcium: Approximately 150mg
- Iron: Approximately 6mg
Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients used and portion sizes.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: How do I know when the pork loin is cooked?
A: The internal temperature of the pork loin should reach 145°F (63°C) when measured with a meat thermometer. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute.
- Q: Can I use frozen Brussels sprouts?
A: Yes, but they might not be as crispy as fresh ones. It’s best to thaw them first and pat them dry before roasting.
- Q: What can I substitute for pork if I don’t eat it?
A: You can substitute with chicken breast or turkey tenderloin. Adjust the cooking time as needed.
- Q: Can I make mashed potatoes ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can make them ahead and refrigerate. Reheat them on the stove, adding a little extra milk or butter to maintain creaminess.
This pork loin with roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes recipe is a hearty and nutritious dinner option. The tender pork loin is complemented by the crispy Brussels sprouts and creamy mashed potatoes, making it a satisfying meal that’s packed with flavor.
Gather your family and friends for a delightful dinner experience with this recipe. It’s not only delicious but also nourishing, and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.
Tried this recipe? We’d love to see how it turned out! Share your photos and experiences on social media using #PorkLoinFeast, and don’t forget to tag us. Also, share your creative variations and tips with friends and family to spread the love for this amazing dish.