Pork Loin: How am I going to cook it?

One thing I like to do is get started in the kitchen without having the slightest idea how I’m going to prepare something and just let myself be guided by “karma” and what I have available.

I’d sourced a pork loin so that was easy enough as the base. I also had some solid bacon drippings still sitting in the bottom of the cast iron. OK, step one: brown the loin in the bacon drippings.

But wait! I have onions. Let’s get a little onion flavor going first.

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Fried Onions

But wait! I can use those onions. Save them.

But wait! I have a bulb of garlic. Let’s toss some peeled cloves in too!

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Browning pork loin in onion infused bacon fat with garlic

But wait! Let’s save those gaaahlic cloves, too.

But wait! Let’s stuff the loin. 4 slits. Garlic clove x 4. Chopped fried onion divided by 4, right on top of each clove. Garlic clove x 4 again, to seal it off.

Then it was into the oven at 350F for 40 minutes while I deglazed the pan with chicken stock, then added more and reduced. Added some parsley, dried clove, and at the end—still a bit watery tasting—just a pinch of tarragon which fixed it right up (less is more with tarragon). Then strain it so it doesn’t have all that stuff in it.

But wait! What to put alongside? Check the fridge. There’s leftover rice. Also, leftover cabbage. Pork, cabbage and rice go together like the Holy Trinity. Dumped the rice in a pot, chopped the cabbage, added that, dashed it with chicken broth, covered and let it sit on low heat to reheat and constitute, along with some seasoning.

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Slice & Serve


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Then Eat!

No waiting.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Lesley McHugh on January 24, 2013 at 09:07

    Save me some.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 24, 2013 at 09:13

      Sorry, Lesley. Beatrice took the leftovers for lunch.

  2. Pauline on January 24, 2013 at 09:10

    Beautiful. A good cook makes great food with the keen art of using his hands, taking whatever’s available in the kitchen and combines – using all his senses to make something sensational. My partner often says I make amazing meals from nothing. Its deeply meditative and so satisfying. The first bite is with the eyes!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 24, 2013 at 09:15


      When Bea and I lived in the urban lofts, we used to sometimes do collaborative dinners. Everyone brought stuff from their fridge and 2-3 of us would get busy in the kitchen and create a many course meal. There’s nothing like it.

      • Anna A on January 24, 2013 at 12:03

        We call those dinners ‘loaves and fishes’ in our neighbourhood- nothing better!

      • Pauline on January 25, 2013 at 01:10

        I remember once just having potatoes in the house on the weekend, I parboiled, saw fresh cream and cheese in fridge, found some nutmeg. Well I just threw that together and made potato dauphinoise without realising it. Sliced potato, covered with cream topped with cheese and baked. That was one of the best suppers we had and we still talk about it.

  3. Galina L on January 24, 2013 at 10:27

    I just prefer pork but roast so much more than pork lion… You are right, Richard, pork lion could be cooked perfectly.

  4. Reid on January 24, 2013 at 17:18

    Richard, how do you clean your cast iron pan? Looks delicious by the way.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 24, 2013 at 17:42

      Like my skin and hair: water only, though hotter than the shower.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 24, 2013 at 17:43

      …In France, I saw some people who use a block of salt, like mined salt I guess. It’s like a stone, but salt, and they clean the cast iron that way.

      • Reid on January 24, 2013 at 19:18

        I usually sprinkle some salt on mine and scrub well with a wet paper towel. It works pretty well but can be difficult.

  5. Galina L on January 24, 2013 at 19:04

    When I discovered that US has the perfect heirloom cast iron possible, I also discovered permaculture articles by Paul Wheaton about cast iron . Just scroll down to the “cleaning the cast iron” chapter. I acquired some good quality pieces on e-bay, which became working horses in my kitchen. I also have some stainless still skillets with thick copper bottom and a pan (used it to try Ramsey-style scramble eggs). I discarded all teflon and ceramic staff (didn’t last longer that months).

    • Reid on January 24, 2013 at 19:17


  6. Ulfric on January 25, 2013 at 13:29

    Are your plates really pink?

    • Richard Nikoley on January 25, 2013 at 13:46

      Absolutely. Since I was young, I was like, “mom, I want pink plates and I want them now!”

      While most guys, leaving home at 18 look for cars, pussy, and other meaningless stuff, for me it was pink plates.

      Check out my food porn going back to 2007 or so.

      Pink plate, or DEATH!

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