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Crispy Pork Loin. Photo by Joshua Weissman

If you don’t already know Joshua Weissman of Houston, he is the young author of The Slim Palate (also the name of his blog). It’s also a Paleo cookbook, but that’s beside the point (as far as I’m concerned). And yes, it’s a lovely book with intriguing recipes and photographs that floored Donna, especially given that Josh was 17 when he took most of them, and is only 18 now. When I got an email request to blurb the book, I thought little more than “Ugh, OK, send me a PDF, I’ll try to have a look.” And I did, and it was good, and I did a little more poking around on his site. My turn to be floored. Watch this excellent video to meet Josh and hear his uncommon story—he’s an inspiration. This is more than a cookbook—it’s an extraordinary example of the power of food to transform our lives. Josh not only generously offered this post and recipe, he’d like to give away a signed copy of his book. Just leave a comment with your favorite cooking technique or method (grill, sauté, braise, etc.) and you’re entered. Take it away, Joshua!—M.R.

 

by Joshua Weissman

I am incredibly honored and excited to have the privilege to post on this website. When I was venturing through my journey in rediscovering food, Mr. Ruhlman was and still is one of the biggest influences on my views and choices on how I choose to look at food. He also made me quite the pork fanatic, so I figured I should share one of my favorite swine recipes.

Scored Pork Skin

This recipe is adapted from one of my very favorite recipes in my cookbook. When I ended up receiving a pork loin from a local farm, which offered it to me with the skin on, I was ecstatic because I rarely get skin-on cuts like that. As soon as I laid my eyes on it I had a plan to make alluring crispy skin. In adapting the pork loin recipe from the book, I simplified some of the ingredients, added in some others, and reworked the oven temperature and timing to work for a thicker fat cap and skin-on loin. This way you’re left with an intoxicatingly crunchy skin with a slightly different flavor from the original but still wonderful recipe in the book. It’s almost surprising when you take that first bite of this roast as that explosive crunch rings in your ears when you bite into the crispy skin, which of course is followed by the rich and slightly sweet juices of the pork. Not to mention it’s difficult to ignore the wonderful flavor of the pork fat running through the loin that helps flavor the skin.

Sage Leaves On Pork Loin

I think that those who truly love food probably also appreciate the beauty behind crispy skin. It’s like a reward for your hard work and persistence in preparation. In my experience, the key to crispy pork skin (or any animal skin, for that matter) is to keep it as dry as physically possible before you cook it. The more moisture that you leave in the skin, the more likely it’s going to turn out chewy and rather unappetizing. Many people go to great lengths to get pork skin dry, like blow-drying it for hours, but I’ve found that a diligent dabbing with a paper towel on the skin until it’s as dry as you can get it works fairly well. If you really want to be a perfectionist, I’ve also had great success by dabbing it dry and then leaving it in the fridge uncovered to air-dry overnight. That’s not required, but I usually do choose to let it air dry because I’m somewhat of a perfectionist like that. Plus I actually enjoy the process behind cooking, so while I enjoy quick cooking meals I also enjoy meals that are a journey in themselves. But like I said, if you’re not that person then you can skip the air-drying in the fridge.

Tied Skin On Pork Loin

I actually wish more people would take a day off and just make something in the kitchen that takes a bit of patience and labor to make. Eating is not only a daily thing that we have to do in order to survive but it’s also an incredible pleasure, so I think it’s important to make a fun adventure out of it every once in a while. Listen to the clicking sound of the burner preparing to erupt in flames or enjoy the various and changing aroma of the food as it progresses through different stages of cooking. Slow down and just enjoy the moment and the process of a creation that might just become another hobby for yourself while nourishing your body at the same time.

Ultra Crispy Skin

Herbed Crispy Roasted Pork Loin

Recipe adapted from The Slim Palate Paleo Cookbook

  • 5 shallots, unpeeled, cut in halves
  • 2½–4 pound boneless skin-on pork loin
  • 1 lemon
  • 10–15 sage leaves
  • 5 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced marjoram
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or high-heat oil of choice
  • Kitchen string for tying the roast
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C and place a wire rack inside a roasting tray. Scatter the shallots around the bottom of the roasting tray.
  2. Pat the pork loin completely dry and do your best to keep the skin as dry as possible. Score the skin of the pork loin in straight lines about halfway down the fat cap but not all the way to the meat. Repeat this at ½-inch intervals all the way across the skin of the pork loin. Flip the pork loin over so the skin is facing down. Starting about 1 inch above the fat cap, cut into the meat of the pork loin lengthwise and open it up like a book until it lies flat, being careful not to cut all the way through the meat.
  3. Zest the entire lemon over both sides. Lay all of the sage leaves over one side of the pork loin, then lay the parsley, marjoram, and garlic on the opposite side. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle ½ tablespoon of the oil over it. Carefully close the pork loin and tie the roast fairly tightly at 1-inch intervals. Pat the skin once more to ensure that it’s as dry as possible, then drizzle the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil over the skin. Season the whole roast generously with salt and pepper and mop up any of the seasoning with the sides and bottom of the roast. Season the skin side once more very generously with salt, working the salt into the slits made earlier. (You really want to season the skin quite generously here.)
  4. Place the roast on the wire rack in the roasting tray, skin side up, and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 395°F/200°C until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°F/60°C when a thermometer is placed in the deepest part of the meat, 30 to 35 minutes. Increase the temperature to 500°F/260°C and continue roasting until the skin is slightly puffy and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes more.
  5. Let the pork loin rest for 15 to 20 minutes, slice, and serve.

 

Note 4/7/14: Congrats to Nancy McDermott, of Jackson, NJ, winner of the Slim Palate Cookbook.

 

Other links you may like:

© 2014 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2014 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.

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119 Wonderful responses to “Introducing Joshua Weissman
(Crispy Pork Loin and Giveaway!)”

  • Nina

    Braising is my favorite method of cooking as it requires the least amount of work on my part in turning something into deliciousness.

  • BDW

    Braising. Good for almost any cut of meat (or veggy, for that matter), little work, and always great results.

  • Erin Seto

    Grilling. There’s something about the way food is cooked over open flame that makes everything taste amazing!

  • Adele K

    Grilling I guess, is my favorite cooking method, since it is healthy and there are so many cooking methods you can incorporate on a good grill.

  • Tyson

    Low & Slow in a wood fired smoke pit…! Great pics and great recipe. Look forward to trying it. I’ll be checking out your book!

  • Sheena

    I find myself pan frying most of my food. Meat and veggies pan fried in some bacon fat is just where it’s at.

  • Ronda Snyder

    Wonderful ideas Joshua especially for drying the pork first and your pictures are very good as well. My favorite way to cook is to stand back and let my husband do it, who takes great pride and time at it. My favorite way to cook is making broths from leftover roast chickens or turkeys, usually thighs, I save them up along with whatever was left in the pan during the roast, skim off the fats for panfrying something again and then make a terrific veggie soup or chili or something with that broth. Ala Nourishing Traditions..

  • Jim Challenger

    Roasting. Pan frying. Stir frying. Deep frying. It’s all good because the all the smells fill my house all afternoon on a good day.

  • Chad

    I’m usually the cook and dishwasher for my wife and 3 kids (the oldest is almost 4), so I like to grill. Everything tastes great, and clean up is easy.

  • Susan B.

    Braising–not only makes wonderfully flavored and tender meats, but makes your home smell good.

  • Cindy M.

    I find myself doing a lot of roasting lately, be it with meats, poultry, or vegetables.

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    Wow, what an inspiration. Love to see such talented young folks! My favorite cooking method… I guess I’d have to say grilling, but more for the atmosphere of being in my backyard among 100-foot pine trees than the actual cooking process :)

  • sean

    I find a marinade gives me the most bang for my buck. I then will take it to the grill for that wonderful char note.

  • Paul

    I’m digging deep frying right now. Had access to an industrial kitchen last week and had a blast. Best surprise: deep fried Pate (homemade Pate Grandmere from Charcuterie, mind you)!

  • Tony

    I had always been more of a griller, but recently I’ve turned toward braising to add more complexity to my dishes.

  • marcella

    Pan roasting is a favorite – start something on the stove in a hot pan and finish it off in the oven.

  • Marcia

    Looks and sounds wonderful. I plan to give the recipe a try asap!

  • Mantonat

    Great recipe and pics!

    I love the results of multi-day techniques, like making homemade Ukrainian garlic sausage. Marinating or curing the pork, grinding and stuffing the sausage, smoking for a couple of hours to finish. It’s great sliced and served at room temp, but I always freeze a few links before Christmas so I have some to oven roast a couple of months down the road – makes for a pretty good late winter meal.

    • Tyson

      Ok… a bit OT here, but care to share a recipe for the Garlic Sausage? I’ve been chasing a childhood memory of this for so long, but without perfect success yet :-(

  • Paul

    Nicely done Joshua! It was great to see that pork loin in the video. I love all the dry heat cooking methods but my favourite would have to be pan frying.

  • James D Nelson

    I like to Sous vide pork. I can get some of the most tender and juicy pork cooked that way.

  • Sandy

    My favorite method depends on what I’m cooking at the moment. But I have to say grilling is my all time go to!

  • Ouida Lampert

    Favorite: Roasting. Low and slow, mostly. With a reverse sear.

  • Pat

    I love to grill. I love the sounds that come with grilling. The sizzle of the fat cooking and getting that crunch is the best!

  • Marlene

    Sauteing, without a doubt! This recipe looks great. I will definitely try it.

  • Toni Warmuth

    Pick one..soo hard to do. It depends on the day, my mood or the protein I have but I’d have to say braise. There’s nothing like the juice you get from it!

  • Lori H

    Roasting! Looks like a great book and interesting story on Joshua. Can’t wait to see photos, if it impresses Donna that’s saying something…

  • dominique

    Depends on the meat, but generally for big cuts of pork I like low and slow in the oven at 250 for 8 hours, or to make a pernil cooked on the grill–but low and slow again, and cooked with smoke.

  • Jon In Albany

    Grilling over lump charcoal. Propane has its uses, but grilling isn’t one of them.

  • Jim B

    Roasting meats is my ultimate favorite. Just kosher salt and cracked pepper.

  • Erin O'Brien

    I am not proud to admit it, but one of my preferred preparation methods is “cook the living s#*t out of it until the living s#*t is cooked out of it.”

    Hey, what can I say? I’m a utility grade individual.

    Joshua’s pork looks much better than the roast I did over the weekend. Perhaps I should reconsider my (ahem) methods.

  • Chris

    Id say braising as well. But I am starting to really like my sous vide. brined short ribs last week for pastrami, smoked them yesterday and then into the sous vide last night. Tuesday’s dinner should be great.

  • Tracey

    What a great post! I have always wanted to know how to get a crispy skin like this so I will definitely try this! My favorite cooking method is braising.

  • Brian W

    Confit! Although i dont get to do it much,is there really anything better than confit?

  • Leslie lakeman

    I love to braise. Transform a cheap cut of meat into something amazing, warms your home and fills it with the scent of veggies & meat for hours

  • Brad

    Grilling is my favorite. Love the smell of grilled meats. Researching Paleo now, as I am in the beginning stages of dropping weight and want to use Paleo to finish and maintain.

  • Janis

    Braising — it spells comfort food for me. Love the complexity of flavor it brings out and the way it transforms tougher cuts of meat into succulent goodness!

  • Joe

    Now that winter is almost over grilling over hard wood, not charcoal, gives a wonderful flavor, crust and visual appeal.

  • Doug Aanes

    I go with low and slow, whether it be a braise, a low grill,, or sou vide.

  • Jeannette Grace

    I love the Big Green Egg BBQ because I can get the heat really hot for searing or really low for slow cooking. I love teaching our 9 year old son to cook. He has recently mastered fried eggs, and as of last night, flipping his food in the air w/ a spatula. The best part is his enthusiasm and desire to share his joy and stories.

  • Mike Riley

    My chicken gets roasted (or grill roasted), but my pork gets braised…or smoked. I look forward to reading more from you.

  • Carolyn Z

    Roasting meats and steaming veggies. Sauteing and covering with a lovely sauce. Then simmering gently until done . . .

  • Brad Barnett

    You’re the man Joshua!! You’re book will soon have a home on my shelf. Well Done!!

  • genie garage door

    They are also the entry through which very many people enter their
    homes at the end of long days. Tilt up doors use fir, spruce and other soft wood;
    roll up uses oak, redwood or plywood. He loves his house and can’t stop talking about the great people, the bustling library, and wonderful food that visitors can find in the
    area.

  • Elizabeth Lamontagne

    Roasting is definitely my new favorite method of cooking. Tonight I tried Nom Nom Paleo’s warm roasted brussels sprouts slaw. Delicious!

  • Cassie

    I’m fondest of a roasting. Roasting is the greatest! You can get such a broad variety of textures, and it’s such an easy and foolproof technique.

  • Jennifer

    Love to grill, but have recently become a big convert of the braise, and a lot of wonderful slow cooked Spanish food. Wonderful story. I’ll be checking out the blog.

  • Loren

    We commonly saute most food in our house… though steaming has become more prevalent now that we make soo much cauliflower rice/mash since moving over to the paleo/low carb lifestyle.

  • Sheila

    Had no idea my method of cooking was called “Braising,” but that’s my favorite way to prepare meats. I love my cast iron skillet and it gets used every day!

  • Allen

    Natural source of heat or cold, sun dried in the actual sun.
    We call our back porch the Canadian refrigerator Fall thru Spring.

    The ultimate slow cooking is the sun during hot months, you can dry tomatoes, jerkey, salmon, herbs.
    To me, that gives it a very special preservation.

  • Janet

    I love my Smart Pot for slow cooking meat after pan searing. I just set it and forget it!

  • Ed

    All I want to say is: Whow! I am blown away by the talent and intelligence of this “kid”! How inspirational.

  • Tristan A

    Joshua, you are amazingly accomplished. Congratulations on your book. My favorite cooking method is braising. It’s really versatile and the results are certain to be luscious.

  • Kandie

    I am just finishing up a winter of braised meats. I love this technique.

  • Kim

    The book looks amazing! Can’t wait to see it ….I love roasting for the flavor..the smells and the sounds!

  • Gaye Hancock

    Cooking on our wood fire grill. Great taste.
    Clearing out the hot coals in the evening from the wood stove, you have instant heat.
    Thanks for all the great recipes.

  • Tim Donahue

    I’m learning about sous vide but what I really love is a good braise.

  • Rachael

    Oh! We love grilling at our house! Thanks for the recipe and introducing me to Joshua Weissman. Fab!

  • Jennifer

    Braising! Especially for pork belly, there is nothing more delicious than a slow-braised Chinese pork belly with sugar and soy sauce.

  • Mark

    Pork looked great.favorite cooking method all of them love to cook and eat! Does anyone know the average lifespan of people who eat the paleo diet?

  • Jack

    I am a big fan of pan searing… except for cleaning up the stove afterwards.

    For easy cleanup I love the sous-vide!

  • Bri

    Pan frying, hands down. It’s a mess, but the crispy bits for sauces are the best.

  • Sarah

    I love to grill & braise. Such amazing flavor from both methods! =)

  • KELLY L

    Smoking! It takes good food to another level…esp. a whole smoked chicken!

  • chancy realce

    ..roasting & sauteing!…wow,i just found a new inspiration in you,Joshua :) …i’ve been wanting to try the paleo approach but haven’t had the right ‘push’ to do it…will definitely try this beutiful recipe :)

  • Christine

    I love grilling! I can’t wait for warm weather so we can grill outdoors again!

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