This takes a little while to get cooked up, but it is worth the effort. Try this with your next dinner and your guests will rave. Pfui – never mind the party, do a small one for yourself and your spouse. It will be appreciated.
Enough pork loin for the people at hand, maybe ¾ lb per person, fat still on. This is variable, usually a 6 pounder will feed 8 people. A 1.5 pounder will feed two. If you are lucky, you might have enough left over for a sandwich the next day or so. The cooking times will probably need adjustment up or down a bit depending on the size and shape thereof.
Cut diamonds or squares about 1” apart in the fat side. Roast at 350° for 1 hour fat side up. Lube the pan enough not to burn, you want to capture the juices below the cooking rack. I put some water in my pan and just deduct from the water in the sauce.
While it is roasting make up a paste. For every 1.5 lbs or so of loin:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove minced garlic. If you’ve got a garlic press with different meshes, use the largest, Otherwise, just smash and mince with the knife.
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. It is really better not to use ground clove. It is better to use clove buds spiked into the center of each square or diamond. Just like mama used to do with a ham. The reason is that the paste is mostly going to slide off as heat softens it. The cloves help anchor the paste to the top. Just use your hand and thoroughly mold the paste around the clove anchors. Don’t worry, the flavor will get through just fine.
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 myrtle leaf if you can get it, bay leaf, otherwise. I like the subtle taste the myrtle gives. Don’t get too heavy, a little is good. A lot is NOT better. Kitchen scissors work well here. Clip the tip and the stem, chop the rest fine with the scissors.
kosher salt to taste, probably around 1/4 teaspoon per 1.5 lbs loin.
fresh ground pepper again too taste. Probably 8 to 10 grinds per 1.5 lbs loin.
Scale the paste up or down as needed. Just mix up the paste in a small bowl with a kitchen fork, then add enough dark rum to make a stiff paste – NOT a slurry, just enough run to help hold it together. Let the paste mellow in the bowl while the loin finishes the first hour of cooking.
When the loin has roasted, remove from the oven, save all the pan juice, pack the paste firmly onto the fat side, and roast another 30 minutes. Don’t overcook it, when your instant thermometer reaches 155° take it out and let it rest. It will coast up to 160°, which is just done pork.
While the roast rests make the following dip. Per 1.5 lbs of loin:
1/2 cup simmering water
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon cornstarch
If the reserved pan juice has a layer of fat floating, just skim it off. Stir in all the pan juice and the bouillon. Add the cornstarch to just enough cold water to dissolve it and then stir that in to the simmering mix.
Slice up the pork and serve the sauce in dipping dishes.