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October 1st, 2008

Salt-Baked Pork Loin with Creamy Roquefort Sauce

This recipe goes with my Washington Post piece on baking in a salt crust.

Salt-Baked Pork Loin

(4 servings)

The salt serves as a buffer between pork and hot oven, ensuring that no flavorful juices are lost. The Roquefort sauce offers a sharp counterpoint to the intensely flavored meat.

2 large egg whites
3 pounds coarse sea salt or coarse kosher salt
2- to 21/2-pound boneless pork loin (it may be necessary to tie the pork loin with kitchen string to maintain a uniform shape)
Creamy Roquefort Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have ready an ovenproof baking dish large enough to accommodate the loin, such as a 9-by-9-inch or 9-by-13-inch dish,

In a large bowl using your hands, mix the egg whites and salt until salt feels thoroughly damp.

Spread about 1/3 of the salt in the baking dish evenly. (You should have a layer about 1/2 inch thick.) Pat it down into an even layer. Place the pork on top of the salt and cover it completely and evenly with the remaining salt, patting the salt firmly onto the pork in an even layer about 1/2 inch thick. Be sure the entire piece of pork is thoroughly and evenly covered.

Bake the pork until the salt forms a hard, lightly browned shell, about 50 minutes. (Figure 20 to 25 minutes per pound.) Remove the dish from the oven. To check if the pork is done without breaking away the salt shell, work an instant-read thermometer through the salt and into the center of the pork loin; it should register between 155 and 160 degrees.

Bring the dish to the table with the pork still encrusted in salt. Bring a large bowl for the salt crust and a cutting board. Using a hammer, carefully break the shell open by tapping gently. Using your fingers, pull off the larger chunks of salt and discard. Transfer the pork to the cutting board. Using a pastry brush, brush away any remaining salt. (Some grains of salt may remain.) Cut the pork into slices about the thickness of a pencil and transfer to a platter. Serve with Creamy Roquefort Sauce on the side.

Per serving (pork only): 243 calories, 37 gm protein, trace carbohydrates, 9 gm fat, 97 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 113 mg sodium, 0 gm dietary fiber

Creamy Roquefort Sauce

(4 servings)

This sauce also goes well with boiled or roasted new potatoes.

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
2 ounces Roquefort cheese, crumbled

In a small bowl, whisk the cream and cheese until it forms a thick, chunky mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 and up to 12 hours.

Just before serving, remove from the refrigerator and whisk to recombine.

Per serving: 155 calories, 4 gm protein, 1 gm carbohydrates, 15 gm fat, 54 mg cholesterol, 10 gm saturated fat, 265 mg sodium, 0 gm dietary fiber

© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Posted by jeffkoehler in  recipes  |  

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