Talking about Pork (loin) roast may not be the most exciting thing, but if you want to cook one, and aren't sure how to go about it, then I will guide you through the whole process, with an end result that will want you cooking up more!! (**Go to recipe page for my "Hard Cider Pork Loin Roast")
I am posting this "Pork: Cuts of meat" chart, (courtesy of the Pork Information Bureau), to illustrate where the pork loin roast comes from on the pig. Although the "tenderloin" is the prime cut from the animal, the "loin roast" also comes from the same area of the animal and I cook these cuts very similarly. Because the fat content of these particular cuts is very low compared to the rest of the animal, I won't "sear" the meat directly on stove top, (you could if you want to, but is not necessary). Instead, I put the roast in the oven at 425F for the first 15-20min. of cooking to cook the outsides quickly to create a crust, and build flavor. After about 20min., I then turn the oven down to 325F to cook the rest of the way at a low temp. Why? So the meat shrinks less, holds in it's flavor, and has a higher moisture content! No one likes dry meat! If you cook tender cuts of any meat at a high temperature for a long duration of time, it will toughen by shrinking the proteins, which results in excessive loss of moisture. It is very important to cook any pork product to a temp. of 145F or higher to kill any trichinosis that may be present. (**Trichinosis is a disease caused by a type of parasite found in pigs, and is killed at a temp of 137F. For safety reasons, the USDA recommended that it is cooked to a higher temp.) For re-heating, make sure you temp. at 165F or above.
Can you eat pork that is a bit pink or "medium"? The answer is yes- as long as the meat is temped at 145F or higher! (The USDA standard for the temp recently changed from 160F to 145F!)
Because the meat is a bit fattier, (and a tougher cut), I find it best cooking a pork butt roast, "country style" ribs, or any other cut from the shoulder region, all day in a crock pot- the meat turns out so incredibly tender!
Leftovers? Thinly sliced pork roast is great on cold or hot sandwiches, shredded pork is wonderful mixed with your favorite BBQ sauce for sandwiches or re-heated slices, and you can also use cut up leftovers for soups, stews, casseroles, stir fries, etc. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
***If you don't own a "bio-therm", (or a meat thermometer), go out and get one today- it is an absolute necessity to have on hand in any kitchen for properly temping meats and re-heated food items for safety reasons! (Make sure to always wash your hands well before and after handling any raw meat products, and to also NEVER cross-contaminate! (Don't use the same cutting board or utensils for cutting raw meats, and then cut raw/cooked veggies, etc. with or on those same utensils without washing/ sanitizing first!) Yuck- we don't want to get people sick!