We’re having pork for dinner. Yes, again.

Cuban Roast Pork Loin

In mental preparation for Billy the Kid’s introduction to trick-or-treating tomorrow, Team Peña will sit out this particular date night and pack it in early after a big hot supper. It’s a great season for loin, and this is an easy way to pull of an unconscionably succulent piece of meat. As opposed to Pork Tenderloin with Guava Chutney, this recipe uses the intact, unsplit tenderloin and roasts rather than broils it. The resulting presentation is more handsome than dainty, but surprisingly light due to the not-too-sweet citrus marinade.

1 whole pork tenderloin
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 C fresh orange juice
1/4 C fresh lime juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter

Combine the garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork to form a paste. Go ahead and rub that all over your loin. Put the seasoned meat in a gallon ziplock bag and pour in the lime and orange juices. Seal it up and stick it in the fridge for 2 hours.

Set your oven to 325. Put a medium roasting pan over two burners on your stove and turn both to medium. Heat the butter and the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the pan until the foaming subsides, then brown the pork on all sides (this takes about 8 minutes in total). Turn off the stove, pour the marinade into the pan, and cover it up with aluminum foil. Roast the loin for 45 minutes until cooked all the way through (always 160 degrees for pork), then let it stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/2-inch rounds.

I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone to inspect their garlic at the store before checking out. In my hustle to complete today’s grocery trip quickly and spare my favorite market from a certain grabby-hands, I selected what appeared to be a perfectly healthy bunch from the bin. Back at the kitchen, I broke off the first clove and my eyes immediately teared up from the physical smack of Satan’s breath mint. I  consider myself fortunate to have lived this long without encountering bad garlic, and after one more hour airing out the house, this lesson should hold me indefinitely.

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