1/26/22

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus

The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

There has never been an easier and more fool-proof way to perfectly prepare pork loin than this recipe. And I know that’s a big, bold statement but it’s true!

And the best part?! The insanely delicious au jus is made in the oven while the loin bakes!

I actually discovered this method of “baking the sauce” by accident. I was baking a loin in the oven and noticed the pan drippings were starting to burn. I didn’t want that to happen because I wanted to deglaze the pan later to make a sauce.

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

Making a quick decision and hoping for the best, I poured a little water into the hot, open pan which instantly bubbled up the almost burned, condensed pan juices into a gorgeous pan sauce. As the meat cooked and the sauce reduced, I’d add a little more water.

It was marvelous! And when the pork was done I had this perfect pan sauce to use as an au jus or to make gravy with! I was like… ummm… why isn’t this a thing??

I stepped up my game after that first time and made a two changes. The first thing I did was to roast the pork on a bed of onions so that when I poured liquid in the pan, the loin wouldn’t be sitting in it because I didn’t want the meat to boil.

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

The second thing was to use broth instead of water to deglaze the pan because it obviously has more flavor. I've used chicken and beef broth and like chicken best with this recipe.

There’s a tendency to want to cook pork low and slow. And for lots of cuts, that’s probably the best route to take. But low and slow only works for cuts of meat that have lots of fat, connective tissue and/or bones.

Super lean meat, like pork loin, is best when cooked hot and fast then allowed to rest. I mean to really, really rest. In this recipe, the roasted pork loin rests for at least 30 minutes.

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

HOW TO COOK PERFECT PORK LOIN WITH EFFORTLESS AU JUS

This is really a super simple recipe when you break it down to the basic steps. Don’t glance at the recipe card and think it’s more complicated than it is. I just write very descriptive instructions so it seems like a lot but this is not complicated at all!

  1. Slather the pork loin with spices.
  2. Bake the pork loin on a bed of onions.
  3. About halfway through cooking the loin, pour a cup of chicken broth into the hot pan. This deglazes the pan.
  4. About 20 minutes later, pour in another cup of broth.
  5. By the time the loin is done, you’ll have a flavor-packed sauce reduction ready to go with your perfectly cooked pork loin!

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

CONSIDER BRINING THE PORK LOIN

If you have time, brining the pork will make it even juicier and more flavorful. Just be sure to reduce the amount of salt in the actual recipe from 2 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon.

Make a simple brine by dissolving 3 tablespoons brown sugar into 1 cup hot water (from the tap is fine and what I use – it just makes the sugar dissolve quicker). Mix the sugar water with 2 cups cold water and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Submerge the pork loin in the brine then refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Depending on the size of the loin, you can brine it in a loaf pan or even a half-gallon pitcher. I use the huge 6-liter zip-top bags I pick up on our annual pilgrimage to Ikea. If you don’t have a resealable bag (or the loaf pan or pitcher idea doesn’t work out for you) you will likely need to double the amount of brine since you’ll have to use a larger container to brine the meat.

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

You’ll see this below in the recipe, but the pork loin can be served 2 ways: with the pan juices as-is as an au jus (say that fast 3 times!) or with the pan juices thickened into a gravy with cornstarch. I honestly can’t say I like one way better than the other.

I thickened the au jus into a gravy in the photos here. But only because I knew they would look sexier, not because I like it better. I literally like both versions equally. 

You also have the option to keep the onions in the pan juices or to strain them out. The flavor stays the same either way but the onions obviously change the looks of both the au jus or the gravy.

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.

NOTES ABOUT THIS RECIPE

  • This recipe is for pork loin, NOT TENDERLOIN. I don't know that you would be able to make the "baked sauce" if using a tenderloin because the cook time would need to be reduced so much.
  • You can pour the pan juices through a mesh strainer then discard the onions or you can leave the onions – it’s entirely up to you! 
  • Most pork loins are the about the same size in diameter so they will cook about the same whether they’re 10 inches long or 2 feet long. 
  • You can use a roasting pan with a rack instead of cooking the pork loin on onions if you prefer. If you do, feel free to add all of the chicken broth at once since the rack will prevent the loin from being submerged.
  • Feel free to change up the spices in the recipe. Thyme and oregano are great too! I don’t use fresh garlic because it can burn and become bitter at this temperature for this long.
  • Instead of onions, you could use apples or carrots. Just remember the sauce will taste like whichever you decide to use.
  • Using a smaller pan (with less surface area), covering the loin to cook and/or altering the instructions could result in watery au jus (and possibly overcooked pork). This recipe works because the chicken broth and pan juices evaporate some which creates concentrated flavor and slight thickening.  

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus! The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.
oven, baked, roasted, pork, loin, roast, juicy, tender, moist, best, au jus, drippings, gravy, sauce, low carb, keto, easy, how to, brine, brining
dinner, supper
american
Yield: 10 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus

Perfect Pork Loin with Effortless Au Jus

The absolute easiest, perfectly cooked roasted pork loin that’s tender and juicy every time with au jus that is deglazed in the oven as the roast bakes.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 Mininactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 H & 25 M

Ingredients

  • 1 pork loin (4-5 lbs)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Peel onion then cut into slices (about 1/3-inch thick). Arrange onion slices into a rectangle roughly the same size as the loin in the center of a 10x15 baking pan (pan needs to be at least 1-inch deep).
  3. Pat pork loin dry with paper towels.
  4. Combine olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and rosemary in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over pork loin then place the loin, fat-side up, on top of the onions.
  5. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Open oven door then carefully pour half of the chicken broth into the pan (not on top of the loin).
  6. Continue cooking for 20 more minutes then add the remaining chicken broth to the pan.
  7. Continue cooking for 5-15 minutes longer or until internal temperature is at 145 degrees.
  8. Remove pan from oven, tent with foil then let rest 30 minutes. Yes, 30 minutes – it will still be steaming hot when you cut into it.
  9. The pork loin can be served 2 ways: with the pan juices as an au jus or thickened into a gravy with cornstarch.
  10. For either option, it’s entirely up to you whether to strain the juices to remove the onions.
  11. Option 1 – Au Jus: Taste pan juices for seasoning then add salt if desired. Serve in dipping cups or drizzled over sliced pork loin. If au jus has cooled too much by the time the meat is sliced, simply reheat in a small saucepan.
  12. Option 2 – Gravy: Once pork loin has rested, pour the pan juices (strained or not – totally up to you) into a saucepan then bring to a low boil. Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/3 cup cold water. Drizzle in half then mix until thickened. Add the remaining slurry if needed (impossible for me to know how much liquid you're starting with so I don't know how much cornstarch you'll need). Taste for seasoning then add salt if desired.

Notes:

  • This recipe is for pork loin, NOT TENDERLOIN. I don't know that you would be able to make the "baked sauce" if using a tenderloin because the cook time would need to be reduced so much. If you try it, please comment below to let us know!
  • You can pour the pan juices through a mesh strainer then discard the onions or you can leave the onions – it’s entirely up to you! 
  • You can use a roasting pan with a rack instead of cooking the pork loin on onions if you prefer. If you do, feel free to add all of the chicken broth at once since the rack will prevent the loin from being submerged.
  • Feel free to change up the spices in the recipe. Thyme and oregano are great too! I don’t use fresh garlic because it can burn and become bitter at this temperature for this long.
  • Instead of onions, you could use apples or carrots. Just remember the sauce will taste like whichever you decide to use.
  • Using a smaller pan (with less surface area), covering the loin to cook or altering the instructions could result in watery au jus. This recipe works because the chicken broth and pan juices evaporate some which creates concentrated flavor and slight thickening. Any of these changes could also cause the pork to overcook.


Nutrition Facts

Calories

117.10

Fat (grams)

5.59

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.40

Carbs (grams)

2.21

Fiber (grams)

0.44

Net carbs

1.77

Sugar (grams)

0.85

Protein (grams)

12.63

Sodium (milligrams)

820.15

Cholesterol (grams)

7.80
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7 comments:

  1. Gonna try it with onions and celery as my base.

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  2. I used a 3 pound pork loin roast cause there is only me. OMG was this ever good. Thanks for posting this.

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  3. I love your recipies but I have a really hard time printing most of them

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  4. I've been cooking my pork roasts (both loin and bone in) like this for years. If there was one thing my Mom cooked exceptionally well was pork roast, and I learned from her. I start it with a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan, cook it on high heat for around 20-30 mins. then turn oven down to 350 degrees and finish it off. The only thing I do differently is while the roast is resting I use a packaged pork gravy mix and make my gravy. I love this recipe.

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  5. That pork loin looks so juicy and the sauce looks perfect. I can't wait to try this!

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  6. I can't wait to try this recipe. I have been looking for a good recipe for a sliceable and juicy pork roast. You have never steered me wrong.

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  7. Followed the directions to the T. Thought it was just a hair too much black pepper. But it wasn't off putting. Took about a half hour longer than the recipe stated. Only thing I did different was I strained the aujus and mounted it with butter to make the sauce. Turned out perfect

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy