Grilled or roasted pork loin or tenderloin with fresh rosemary or thyme and orange

6 to 8 servings
  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) boneless pork loin or 2 whole pork tenderloins, each about 1 pound
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme or as desired, stems removed, leaves slightly crushed and divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • About 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel or as desired
  • Additional sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme and thin orange slices for garnish

With a sharp knife, cut pork loin or tenderloin(s) in half lengthwise.  Evenly arrange half of the rosemary or thyme over the bottom half of the roast.  Arrange top half of roast over the bottom half.  Tie roast together in several places with kitchen twine.  

Arrange pork loin roast, fat-side up, or tenderloins on a grill rack in a barbecue grill, set at the highest level, above slow charcoal coals (very ash gray) or at the low to medium setting of a gas grill.  Cover and grill, about 1 to 1½ hours for pork loin and about 30 to 40 minutes for pork tenderloins, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast, away from fat, or tenderloins, registers 155 to 160 degrees F. 

After roast has started to brown, season with salt and pepper to taste and arrange remaining rosemary or thyme sprigs over pork. 

Turn pork loin or tenderloins over about halfway through grilling time. Transfer pork loin or tenderloin(s) to a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil; bring foil up around sides of pork roast, but leaving top open.  In a 1-cup measure, combine orange juice and orange peel.  Pour orange juice over pork; continue to grill as previously directed; baste roast with orange juice frequently.  Be careful not to burn or overcook pork loin or tenderloins.  (Add more charcoal as needed, warming first at the edge of the barbecue firebox.)  (If cover is not available with grill or will not close tightly, loosely cover grill with heavy-duty aluminum foil.) 

With a sharp knife, remove any fat from roast.  Allow roast to stand at room temperature for a few minutes and then cut into thin slices.  Remove rosemary or thyme from top of roast.  Arrange meat slices on a platter or individual plates.  May pour pan juice over pork, if desired.  Garnish with additional sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme and thin orange slices as desired.

Oven Roasting Method: Prepare pork loin or tenderloins as previously directed.  Arrange pork loin roast or pork tenderloins on a rack in a roasting pan; bake, uncovered, in a preheated very hot oven (450 degrees F.) for 10 to 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange remaining rosemary or thyme leaves over roast.  Add orange juice/ orange peel mixture to pan, basting roast frequently.  Reduce temperature to slow (325 degrees F.) and continue to bake, uncovered, until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 155 to 160 degrees F. (time will vary according to thickness of roast). Allow roast or tenderloins to stand at room temperature and serve as previously directed.

Variation: May omit pork; use boneless chicken breast pieces.  Top each chicken piece with rosemary or thyme leaves and then top with a second chicken piece.  Tie each with twine and proceed as directed for pork, grilling for about 30 to 40 minutes, or baking in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 45 minutes or until chicken is fork tender.  Do not slice chicken prior to serving.  Pour pan juice over each serving, if desired and garnish as previously directed.

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