This is an adaptation of a traditional Goan recipe, contributed by Karen Andrade. You can read about Karen and her take on Goan food in this installment of Home Fires online over here.
While the original recipe calls for fatty pork belly or shoulder, Karen makes this dish often with lean pork tenderloin, marinating the meat a day ahead and cooking it quickly in a hot cast-iron pan. The warm aromas of cinnamon, clove, and black pepper add an incredible depth of flavor to this simple yet delicious dish.
Serve along with a bowl of thinly sliced cabbage dressed with a light vinaigrette.
Karen Andrade’s Goan Pigling Roast
1 pork tenderloin, 2–3 lbs
Salt to season
2 tsp cumin seed, toasted and powdered
½ tsp dried turmeric powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp clove powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp dried red chili powder
Vegetable oil for searing
Make sure to marinate the pork in the dry rub at least overnight.
Mix together all the dry rub ingredients along with 2–3 tsp of fine sea salt.
Place the pork in a large plate and let marinate in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
An hour before you plan on cooking the pork, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Make sure that you have all your windows open and your exhaust going: searing the pork will, invariably, produce a lot of smoke.
Drizzle 1 tbsp of vegetable oil over the pork and massage it in, making sure that the pork is completely covered with a thin layer of oil. Putting the oil on the pork instead of in the pan will help reduce the amount of smoke while you're searing the meat.
Sear the pork on all sides making sure that each side is thoroughly browned before turning it.
You can continue cooking the pork on the stovetop, turning it every couple of minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F when inserted into the thickest part of the loin. Alternately, you can put the pan into a preheated 350°F oven until it is cooked through.
Remove the pork to a cutting board, or place it on a cooling rack over a sheet pan (to make sure that the juices don’t run all over your counter). Tent it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5–10 minutes.
When ready to serve, carve the loin against the grain with a sharp knife.