Move over, ham and prime rib. It’s time for herb-crusted pork loin to have its moment on the holiday table. This dish is as easy to cook as your favorite pork loin recipe, but it’s elegant enough to serve at Sunday dinners, special occasions and holiday gatherings. Bone-in pork loin gets coated with an herb-and-cheese crumb mixture that cooks into a golden crust, locking in moisture and ensuring the pork stays juicy and tender.
Ingredients for Herb-Crusted Pork Loin
- Bone-in pork loin roast: We use bone-in pork loin, also called pork rib roast or rack of pork. The rib bones regulate the temperature of the pork as it cooks, keeping the roast nice and juicy. In a pinch, however, you can substitute boneless pork loin. Be aware that you’ll likely need to adjust the total cook time if you use boneless.
- Pork seasoning: We season the pork with a flavorful rub of ground mustard, lemon-herb seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Dijon mustard: This tangy mustard helps the coating stick to the pork.
- Bread crumb coating: Soft bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic and olive oil create a flavorful crust for the pork.
- White wine: Wine helps loosen the fond (read: pan drippings) from the roasting pan. All those roasted bits become part of a reduced wine sauce that’s served alongside the pork. You can substitute chicken broth for the wine if you prefer.
Step 1: Season the pork loin
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, stir together the ground mustard, lemon-herb seasoning, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture over the pork loin.
Editor’s Tip: If you’re up for an extra step, truss the pork loin with butcher’s twine. This creates a uniform shape so the roast cooks more evenly.
Step 2: Brown the pork loin
In a large skillet, brown the pork loin in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Step 3: Add the bread crumb coating
Place the pork loin, fat side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Brush the top of the meat with mustard. Stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic and remaining olive oil in a small bowl. Press the bread crumb coating evenly onto the pork loin.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t have a roasting pan with a rack? Layer the bottom of a 13×9-inch dish with coarsely chopped veggies like onions, carrots and celery. Then, simply place the pork loin on top. The veggies will cook gently and add to the flavorful pan sauce.
Step 4: Bake the pork loin
Bake the pork loin, uncovered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the meat reads 145°. Transfer the pork loin to a warm serving platter. Let the meat stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
Editor’s Tip: Bone-in pork loin roasts take longer to cook than boneless roasts. If you use a boneless roast, pay attention to the internal temperature, and adjust the cook time as needed.
Step 5: Make the wine reduction sauce
Stir the wine into the roasting pan, scraping to loosen any browned bits. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced by half. Serve the reduced wine sauce with the sliced pork.
How to Store Herb-Crusted Pork Loin
Store any leftover pork in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat sliced pork in a covered skillet, stirring occasionally, with a splash of water or broth to prevent it from drying out. Leftovers are also fantastic in hash brown pork skillet, pork sandwich spread or Cuban pork wraps.
Can you freeze herb-crusted pork loin?
To freeze the herb-crusted pork loin, first let the slices cool. Store them in freezer-safe containers for up to three months. To use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat as directed above.
Herb-Crusted Pork Loin Tips
How do you carve bone-in pork loin?
There are two ways to carve a bone-in pork loin. If the butcher has removed the chine bone (the thick backbone or spine), slice in between the bones to create bone-in chops. If the chine bone is still attached, your knife will get stuck and you won’t be able to make the cut. Never fear. You can simply carve the meat off the bones, then cut the roast crosswise into slices.
Do you bake pork loin covered or uncovered?
We bake our herb-crusted pork loin uncovered so the crust becomes golden brown and crispy. The bread crumb coating locks in moisture, keeping the meat tender and juicy on the inside.
How do you prevent the pork loin from drying out?
Resting the pork loin for at least 15 minutes is the best way to keep pork from drying out. This resting period lets the juices redistribute within the meat instead of immediately spilling out onto a cutting board. Also, it’s important to avoid overcooking pork, so remove it from the oven once it reaches an internal temperature of 145°. It’s OK if the pork is pink as long as it reaches this safe temperature.
What do you serve with herb-crusted pork loin?
Serve herb-crusted pork loin with your favorite quick and easy side dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts, honey-glazed carrots or garlic roasted broccoli. It’s also fantastic with classic holiday sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing and soft buttermilk dinner rolls.