Auntie Em's Guide to Life

A guide to all the important things in life- marriage, family, cooking, gardening, reading, travel, Christian living… And whatever else grabs my attention!

Second-Generation Meals: Pork Loin

A friend recently posted on FB a recipe for pulled pork chili that was a big hit with her family. She had used some pulled pork she bought but also put the recipe for Carolina BBQ pork. I remembered my 6-pound pork loin growing old in the freezer (bought on sale around Christmas) and determined that this would be a good way to “use it up” and I make second-and even third-generation meals from it!

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons peppercorns, crushed
1/2 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon mustard powder*
6-pound pork shoulder roast**
Mix vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, salt & mustard.
Place meat fat side up in a crockpot. Pour the sauce over the top. Cook on low for 10 hours. (Alternately, you can bake the roast: Place meat in a large casserole dish. Pour the sauce over & cover with foil. Bake @ 250 for 7 hours or to 190 degrees F.)
Transfer the meat to another pan, pull apart. Set aside for chill until ready to use.
Pour the juice from the crockpot or pan into bowl & set aside to cool. Chill until ready to make chili or ready to serve the meat. (Strain the sauce & drain off the fat to moisten the pork if you’re having sandwiches.)

*I didn’t have dry mustard, so after looking online, I substituted 3 TBS Dijon mustard.

**I had a pork loin.

Second-Generation Meals- pork loin 20130224-073337.jpg


The first night we had sliced pork.

The second night we had pork-stuffed baked potatoes! (Recipe: Bake potato in microwave; split. Chop and heat pork with juice. Put on top. Grate cheese. Done!)


The third night we had red beans and pork! (Recipe: Chop a cup or so of pork and add to Auntie Em’s New Orlean’s Red Beans , and serve over Granny’s cornbread. It was so fast and easy I didn’t even take any pictures.


Auntie Em’s Grilled Pork Loin, AKA The Truth Will Set You Free *updated *

Remember in Auntie Em’s Guide to Life, the number one rule was to BE HONEST? The truth will set you free. How in the world am I tying that into pork loin, you ask?

A MEAT THERMOMETER!                             

The truth is, a lot of my grilled meat used to be overcooked, dry, and tough. Once I accepted the truth that I couldn’t rely on my eyes to see if something was done, I became Queen of the Grill! Today we had grilled pork loin for lunch. The directions said cook for 35-40 minutes, and Mr X couldn’t wait that long, so I cut that 1.25 pound roast in half, seasoned it with salt, pepper, and Ranch dressing mix, and put it on the grill. (I had it on high and it had heated about 5 minutes.)

I checked it and turned after 10 minutes, checked the temp in another 10 minutes and it wasn’t quite ready, so I put it on an uncooked side and left it another 5 minutes. Once more, the truth set me free, when my sensibilities said, “No roast can cook in 25 minutes!” My meat thermometer said it was DONE, so I took it off, let it rest 5 minutes, and… the heavens parted and the angels sang. Behold the beauty. Amen.

For my friend Deb, who writes at Folksy Musin’s (Go over and see her post about back-to-school dressing for goddesses, then come back when you regain your composure!), step-by-step directions:

1. Turn your gas grill on high. (And if you have a charcoal grill, do whatever the prep equivalent is– get it ready to cook!) If you are really with it, spray with a non-stick spray.

2. Get your  boneless pork loin.

3. Cut in half if you just cant wait! It’ll cut the cooking time down.

4. Salt and pepper on all sides. I like the texture of kosher salt, but whatever you have is fine. This is also the time to add other dry seasonings, like Ranch dressing mix. Save marinades or sauces till it’s almost done, so they won’t burn.

5. Grill on high heat. (I realize that this probably varies depending on your grill. I have a large infrared gas grill.)

6. If you are not on intimate terms with your grill, start checking after 5 minutes. The grill marks should be evident, like the pics below, and it shouldn’t stick to the grill. It took mine 10 minutes per side.

7. Turn over and grill the other side the same amount of time. Check the temp, and if it’s not up to 145, turn to an edge. I don’t like to recook the cooked sides. I had to add about 5 minutes on one edge.

8. Let it rest about 4 minutes… see the pool of juicy goodness?

9. DIG IN!




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