My husband and son are black pepper freaks. They put pepper on just about everything, and no matter how much I pepper a dish, they add more at the table. When my son and I ran across this recipe, my son demanded we make it, and God bless him, I’m glad he did. I am not a pepper fan, but I love this peppercorn crusted pork loin roast. It has amazing flavor and makes a great, versatile camp dish.
The pork can be sliced and served hot for dinner (I’d pair it with a pile of mashed potatoes) or you could allow it to cool and slice it thinly and make sandwiches for a lunch or a dinner. You could also wrap it up and throw it in a cooler for sandwiches later, but I’d make sure I could do that without compromising the chilling abilities of my cooler(s).
You can bake it in camp and serve it fresh or you could bake it at home and bring it to camp chilled and sliced ready for sandwiches.
Our plan was to chill it and make sandwiches, but we did taste it hot and it was delicious. For sandwiches, we chose a rustic French bread; however, you could use any type of bread. We also spread on some homemade Zesty Peppery Parmesan Aioli and piled on some arugula, which has a peppery and mustard-like flavor.
12-inch Dutch oven
Brush or spoon
3½-pound pork loin roast with the fat cap left on
½ teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 tablespoon canola oil
5 tablespoons butter
6 cloves garlic, minced or powdered
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons thyme
At home, mix together the sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt and rub it all over the roast. If the roast is too big to fit in your Dutch oven, just cut it in half. I did, and it came out great. Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and place it in your cooler. It can be “refrigerated” for 1 hour or as long as overnight.
Before you leave, crush or grind the peppercorns. (I have a coffee grinder that I use only for spices). You’ll want a medium to coarse texture. It should be a cross between ground black pepper and cracked pepper. This can be loaded into a small resealable bag or a plastic container.
At camp, Start 27 coals.
Blot the roast dry. Working on a plate that will collect what pepper falls off, rub the pepper into the roast. What doesn’t stick to the roast, save for the marinade.
Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook until the butter bubbles. Stir in the vinegar, thyme and remaining black pepper, and remove from the heat.
On a propane stove or over a bed of coals, heat the canola oil in a 12-inch Dutch oven. Sprinkle the pork with 1 teaspoon salt and brown the meat quickly on all sides in the hot Dutch oven. If you cut the roast into two pieces, you may have to brown the two pieces separately.
Once all pieces are browned on all sides, place all the pieces into the Dutch oven and brush or spoon on the pepper marinade. Place the lid onto the Dutch oven and move it to coals. Bake in a 375°F oven, using 18 coals on the lid and 9 coals underneath, for about 50 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 145°F. If you’re making this at home, use a cast iron skillet and brown it on the stove top and then put it in the oven.
Every 15 minutes, you’ll want to lift the lid and roll the roast pieces, basting them with more of the pepper marinade. Depending on your outside temperature and how quickly you work, you may want to have a second set of coals prepping because every time you lift the lid of the Dutch oven, you will lose heat so you may want to add some coals after every lid lifting to help your oven stay hot.
Transfer the meat to a platter or leave it in the Dutch oven but remove the oven from the coals and take the lid off and let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes, continuing to turn the pork in the pepper marinade.
Serve hot or chilled. Serves 10-12.