I had a friend coming to stay with me for a few days, and I wanted to prepare a meal that would offer good leftovers. The problem was, I would be out of town for a couple days before she arrived. I picked up some pork loin in the grocery store which I’ve cooked before in the past, but it’s been a long time. I don’t really recall much of how I cooked it previously except that I had stuffed sliced garlic cloves in it. This time, I knew I had the opportunity to try something new.
I did a quick Google search to find out if there were any safety concerns with marinating pork for two or more days, and learned that as long as I don’t use vinegar, I should be fine. No vinegar? No problem. I sliced up the pork loin in four pieces so that they’d fit nicely in my glass dish. I started sprinkling the meat with Cavenders, salt, cumin, coriander, garlic salt, ground mustard, minced onion, and minced garlic. I also added a little bit of steak rub — I like to use Szeged’s which is a Hungarian brand. I splashed a bit of soy sauce over it and followed it with some honey. I turned over each piece of meat and repeated the process of seasoning on the other side, adding again a bit more soy and honey.
I chopped up some red onion and tossed it into the marinade surrounding the meat for some added flavoring. I covered the dish in plastic, stuck it in the fridge, and packed for my trip. Two days later, when I returned home, I simply turned the pieces in the dish, re-covered it, and placed it back in the fridge for one more day.
My plan for a two-day marinade had become a three-day marinade. I wasn’t sure what to expect — what if the flavors became overpowering? After a full three days, I was ready to cook the pork. I removed the plastic and placed the dish in the oven to bake at 425 for an hour. During that time, I pulled it out a few times to turn the pieces and ensure it was cooking properly all the way through.
While the pork was cooking, I enjoyed some wine and washed and prepped my vegetables for tasty, healthy sides to compliment the dish. As the pork was nearing completion, I cooked fresh green beans with light seasoning (coriader, cumin, salt, pepper, ground mustard) and a touch of olive oil and minced garlic in a pan covered with a lid to steam them as they cooked. In a separate pan, I sauteed chopped red and yellow bell peppers with the exact same spices as well as some chopped red onion, again, with a lid. Both of these were cooked on medium-low heat so that I could take my time while the pork was finishing up. Both vegetables were cooked through just enough to remain crispy.
My friend and I were pleasantly surprised with the tenderness, juiciness, and incredible flavors of the pork, and how perfectly the crisp vegetables complimented it. In fact, we both had seconds. I do believe this might be one of my new favorite meals to prepare for company because it’s so easy to prepare in part ahead of time, and the cooking doesn’t take much effort so it’s perfect to gab over wine while doing so.
One thing about it was that my home was quite aromatic even into the next day. Next time, I’ll be sure to open the windows. I loved how this tasted, and I think I will make a point to do three day marinades moving forward.