If you’re looking for a simple way to cook a pork loin that will feed your family for the week, you’ve come to the right place!
This easy braised pork recipe is juicy and tender and perfect for tacos, burritos, bowls, sandwiches, or any way you love to eat pulled pork.
If you don’t have a cast iron dutch oven, I highly recommend you get one because they are so versitile! You can also use a heavy-bottomed pot, a small roasting pan with a tight-fitting lid, or a large skillet that has high sides and a lid, but you will get the best results with a cast iron dutch oven.
Easy Braised Pork Loin Recipe
First, start by preheating your oven to 300F.
Heat a cast iron dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat and add around 2 tbsp oil. Use an oil that has a high smoke point like avocado oil or grapeseed oil. Olive oil will work as well, but it doesn’t have a very high smoke point so be careful not to burn it. Take care not to use too much oil as you don’t need excess oil for searing.
Pat the pork tenderloin dry with a paper towel on a clean cutting board. For this recipe, we use a 2lb pork loin, cut into 4 equal pieces or 4-inch chunks but you can use a larger pork loin. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and cut of meat. Leave the fat on the pieces because this helps keep the pork tender!
Mix the seasonings in a small bowl and rub pork loin with the seasonings on all sides. Depending on the size of pork you’re using, you might have some seasoning left over. As long as it didn’t touch the pork, save it for later, it makes a great seasoning for salmon!
When the dutch oven is hot, add the pork pieces 2 at a time, fat side down to start. It’s important not to crowd the pan to ensure a good sear.
Sear pork on two sides for 4-5 minutes each, then transfer to a bowl until all the pieces are seared. The fat might look dark brown and burnt, but that’s okay!
Transfer all the seared pieces back into the dutch oven and cover with 1 cup of water. The pan will be crowded.
Cover the dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 – 4 hours or until it easily tears with a fork. You can also use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For pulled or shredded pork the internal temperature needs to be at 205F
Make sure to check on the pork every 30 minutes. If the pieces look dry on the top, flip the pieces over to keep them moist.
When the pork is done, remove from the oven and let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes.
Cut each piece against the muscle fibers and place it back into the dutch oven. Shred the pork with forks and mix it with the meat juices.
Serve in sandwiches, tacos, burritos, bowls. We love using this braised pork in tacos with some whole black beans, fresh lime, onion, and cilantro.
This recipe is great for a Sunday family dinner!
You can customize the seasonings to your liking or based on what you will be using this pork for by using sage leaves, fresh rosemary, bay leaves, chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, pale ales, or dry white wine with or instead of water. Fresh herbs are also a great addition!
Easy Braised Pork Recipe
2 lb Pork loin (cut into 4 equal pieces)
2 Tbsp Course Salt
2 Tbsp Paprika
2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Cayenne Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Tbsp oil (Avocado oil or Grapeseed)
1 Cup Water
- Preheat oven to 300 F Heat a cast iron dutch oven on the stove over medium/high heat.
- Add around 2 tbsp oil. You want to use an oil that has a high smoke point like avocado oil or grapeseed oil.
- Pat the pork loin dry and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Mix the seasonings in a small bowl, coat each side of the pork loin pieces in the seasoning, and add the pieces to the hot cast iron dutch oven.
- Add 2 pieces at a time to allow a good sear. Sear on 2 sides for 4 minutes each.
- Once all the pieces have been seared, transfer them into the dutch oven, it will be crowded.
- Add 1 cup of water, cover, and place in the oven to cook for 3.5 to 4 hours or until it easily tears with a fork.
- Check every half hour and flip the pieces if they look dry to keep them juicy!
- When the pork is done, cut each piece against the grain and place it back into the dutch oven.
- Shred the pork with forks and mix it with the juices.
- Serve with tacos, burritos, bowls, sandwiches, or anything you love to eat pulled pork with!
- The fat adds flavor and will help keep the pork tender. No need to trim the fat!