Pork loin is a high-quality cut of pork, usually ranging between 1 and 4 lbs. While there are numerous ways to cook a pork loin fillet, including grilling and braising, simply baking the meat allows the natural flavors of the pork to come through. Pork loin fillet is commonly served sliced into pieces about the size of small pork chops alongside fresh vegetables or traditional American side dishes like mashed potatoes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush both sides of a 2 lb. pork loin fillet with extra virgin olive oil or a combination of equal parts extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter. Season both sides of the pork loin fillet with sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, along with any fresh or dried herbs you want to use.
Place the pork in a baking or roasting dish large enough to hold the fillet. Cover the pork with aluminum foil, securing it tightly around the edges of the dish.
Bake the pork loin fillet for 45 minutes before removing it from the oven.
Test the internal temperature of the fillet with an instant read thermometer. The internal temperature in the center of the fillet should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Allow the meat to rest uncovered for five minutes so the juices can redistribute before slicing and serving.
Things You'll Need
Extra virgin olive oil
Unsalted butter, optional
Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh or dried herbs, to taste
Baking or roasting dish
Instant read thermometer
An instant read thermometer can be found in restaurant supply stores and some grocery stores that sell cooking basic cooking utensils.
Commonly used fresh or dried herbs for pork loin include thyme, rosemary, coriander, sage and dill. Use seasonings sparingly to avoid saturating the meat.
For more tender pork, marinate the meat in a sweet liquid like orange juice overnight, patting the meat dry before cooking. The sugars in the liquid will help to draw out extra moisture during the cooking process.
Pork not cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit can make you sick. If the meat is not fully cooked after 45 minutes, put it back in the oven for five minute increments without aluminum foil, checking the temperature every five minutes.