This simple garlic pork loin roast is amazingly moist and tender, thanks to a couple of Granny’s secret tricks! My mom has made her pork roast this way for years and it always gets rave reviews!
Mémère’s Garlic Roasted Pork Loin
This recipe is so easy but it creates a wow entrée for your meal. It’s great when you have to feed a group but you also want something really easy.
My mom (Stacey’s Granny) told me that her mom, my Mémère taught her how to do the garlic this way. It’s supposed to make the garlic flavor the roast without leaving a bitter taste and help the garlic flavor be all through the roast.
Warning: During the last hour of cooking, you will want to pull this roast out of the oven and dig into it like a cave woman who hasn’t eaten in two days. It smells so good!
Related: Be sure to try Porcupine Meatballs, another of Mémère’s classic recipes!
For your convenience in re-creating our roasted pork loin recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.
What You Need
- 2-4lb Pork loin roast — Be sure to buy one with a generous layer of fat on top!
- Garlic — 2 small or 1 large clove
- Salt and pepper
That is it my friends! Three simple ingredients for a dinner that’s worthy of any special occasion or a weeknight treat!
Kitchen Supplies Used:
How to Pick the Best Pork Loin for Roasting
Like most simple recipes, a mind-blowing result depends on great ingredients and careful preparation.
This recipe uses a boneless pork loin. Stick with that for the best results.
For the pork loin, it’s important to buy one that has a nice layer of fat. Fat improves the flavor, keeps the roast from drying out, and is where the garlic will go. The garlic will melt into the meat as it cooks, imparting a subtle garlic flavor throughout the pork loin.
The fat cooks down during the roasting and creates a beautiful and yummy crust for your roast, so for serving keep that layer on.
Choose your pork loin size based on how many people will be eating it and do you want leftovers (for me that is always a big YES!)
For example, the roast I used today is 2.5 pounds. That should feed 4-5 people. If you have big eaters or a larger crowd, add another pound or two.
- Choose a boneless pork loin
- Select one that is between 2-4 pounds, depending on how many people you’re feeding
- Make sure there is a nice layer of fat on top
How Long to Cook Pork Loin Roast
Plan for about 4.5 hours start to finish. This recipe calls for 3 oven temperature changes, so it’s not entirely a “set it and forget it” recipe.
You’ll have to be around to turn the oven down a couple of times but other than that, it is a very simple preparation. I’ll go into more detail on that later but want you to have the time-frame in mind before you start.
The good news is that once it’s in the oven, you don’t have to do anything with the roast itself! No peeking! Let your oven and Dutch oven do its magic.
How to Cook a Pork Loin Roast in the Oven
This is traditionally made in a Dutch oven — I’m using an enameled cast iron one today.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Peel your garlic and cut into slivers and salt and pepper them thoroughly.
With a sharp paring knife, cut holes in the fat on the pork loin. Space them all over.
Use your knife to open up the slit in the pork and insert a sliver of garlic in each opening. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper all over the top.
Place your roast into the Dutch oven, cover with the lid, and put in the oven. Set your timer for 45 minutes.
At the 45-minute mark, turn your oven down to 375 degrees and set your timer for 1-hour.
When the timer goes off, lower the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Remove from oven, uncover, and let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Then you can transfer to a serving plate.
TIP: There will be some oil and sticky stuff in the bottom of your pot. This is the good stuff!! Pour off some of the oil and add a little water or stock to the bottom of pan and scrape up all that goodness. You can drizzle it over your pork loin when you serve it.
Here’s your little temperature cheat sheet:
400 degrees—45 minutes
375 degrees—1 hour
300 degrees—1 ½ to 2 hours
Before serving—let rest for 15 minutes
Why the temperature changes?
The hot temperature at the beginning helps the roast brown up while cooking. So, you get a nice browned exterior that looks and tastes amazing!
Then we lower the temperature for the duration of the cooking. Slow and low makes a tender roast!
What do I Serve with Pork Roast?
Pork roast is a simple, classic dish, so we always recommend side dishes that will complement those flavors. Nothing too complicated as to compete!
Roasted root vegetables are a nice pairing. Apples and pork are also a traditional pairing. Bread and/or potatoes are perfect for soaking up any of those delicious juices!
Here are some of our favorite sides to serve with roast pork loin:
- Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes (made in the crockpot so they don’t need the oven at the same time as your roast!)
- Cheese Soufflé
- Ginger Ale Glazed Carrots
- Cinnamon apples
- Grandmother’s Homemade Dinner Rolls
Boneless Pork Loin Roast Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Garlic Pork Loin Roast
- Dutch oven
- Paring knife
- 2-4 lbs Pork Loin with fat on top
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Peel your garlic and cut into slivers.
- Salt and pepper the garlic slivers thoroughly.
- With a sharp paring knife, cut holes in the fat on the pork loin. Space them all over.
- Use your knife to open up the slit in the pork and insert a sliver of garlic in each opening.
- Sprinkle additional salt and pepper all over the top.
- Place your roast into the Dutch oven, cover with the lid,and put in the oven.
- Set your timer for 45 minutes.
- At the 45-minute mark, turn your oven down to 375 degrees.
- Set your timer for 1-hour.
- When the timer goes off, lower the temperature to 300 degrees for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remove from oven, uncover, and let the roast rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove from pan. Put on a big plate so you can show it off. Then slice and serve.
- You can add water or stock to juices in pan to create a delicious sauce for the pork loin.
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