This is the dish I made exactly 16 years ago on the night I proposed to my dear wife. Well, this is actually way better than that dish – back then it would have been marinated in cheap bottled dressing and cooked in the oven until it was bone dry. In 15 years of marriage I’ve managed to become a better cook, and a better person. Thanks for loving me, hon!
Italian Pork Loin
1 4-6 pound boneless pork loin
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Put the loin on a cutting board, fat side up. Score the fat cap by making shallow diagonal cuts in a diamond pattern at about 1-inch intervals.
Toss everything, except the pork, in a blender and give it a buzz until it’s all blended together. Put the loin in a zip-top bag and cover with the marinade, toss to coat the loin and make sure to work the marinade into the fat cap. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and put it in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is better.
You’ll need a flame-proof roasting pan (I use an old 9×13 baking pan) with a rack. Set the grill up for a 3 hour indirect cook over medium heat (400°F). On the Big Green Egg this means using about half a fire box full of lump charcoal, an inverted plate setter to diffuse the heat, and a trivet to set the roasting pan on.
Roast the loin until the internal temperature of the pork hits 140°F (about an hour). Move to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
It was our anniversary dinner, so of course the meal was good and the company was lovely. I liked the way the fat on the loin crisped up, but it might get even crispier if I skip the roaster next time and do it direct on a raised grid. The marinade was just a little too sweet, so the recipe here reflects reducing the sugar to 1 tablespoon.