Pork Loin Roast with Peppercorn and Herb Crust

“Aromatic ingredients create a sophisticated flavor in this pork loin recipe, and with a simple trussing technique it’s evenly cooked to perfection.”

Looking to add flavor to an otherwise ho-hum cut of meat? Search no further than a homemade rub or paste. Pastes in the world of cooking are a collection of herbs, spices and other goodies like mustard and garlic that when ground and mixed together create a symphony of flavor. Many lean cuts of chicken and pork lack flavor and benefit from these pastes.

It’s worth mentioning that most rubs and paste are a flavorful and usually healthy way to complement foods. Herbs and spices offer health benefits, including antioxidants and minerals. Besides immediate health benefits, rubs and pastes add loads of flavor to even the leanest, blandest cuts of meat. That means you can serve friends and family a meal that tastes good and isn’t loaded with fat and calories.

Pork loin is a beautiful cut of meat that really shines when cooked in this simple peppercorn and herb blend. Serve it with a drizzle of the cooking juices for a memorable meal loaded with flavor.

This recipe for pork loin with peppercorn and herb crust involves tying up the roast before cooking. This may seem like a fussy, unnecessary step, but I would argue otherwise because I find that the roast cooks better and more evenly when tied. That’s because tying actually helps shape the pork loin into a consistent, cylindrical shape, meaning it will all cook at the same rate. This prevents portions from being overdone, tough and chewy or from being underdone, raw and inedible. See steps below.

Add a flavorful touch to your next pork loin roast by making this simple paste of peppercorns, garlic, mustard, olive oil, fresh thyme and sage. Aromatic ingredients add sophistication and elegance that will turn your pork loin roast into something truly special.

Food Safety Tip: There is a bit of handiwork that goes along with this recipe, especially with the tying. To prevent any possible cross-contamination, use a cutting board that is designated specifically for raw meats. After using the board, clean it in hot, soapy water and clean your work surface.

Trussing Steps

  1. Start with about 5-7 feet of kitchen twine for a 2 1/2 – 3 pound pork loin roast.
  2. Tie a know around one end of the pork loin.
  3. Wrap the long end of twine around our hand like you are making a slip knot.
  4. Grab the pork loin with that same hand to wrap the twine around it. Once the twine is around it, give the long end a tug to tighten it. Continue the slip knots down the length of the pork loin.
  5. You’re roast should look like this once you’ve worked your way down the pork loin tying knots.
  6. Flip the pork loin over, so that you can start feeding the twine through on the other side.
  7. take the long end of twine and begin threading it under and ovr the loops.
  8. when you get to the end, flip the roast over.
  9. Tie the short end and the long end together.
  10. This is what the underside finished product looks like.
  11. This is that the top side finished product looks like.

Pork Loin Roast with Peppercorn and Herb Crust

Recipe by Sara Haas, RDN, LDN


  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds boneless, center-cut pork loin, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, washed and leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, washed and dried, torn
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and pat it dry with clean paper towels. Place the pork on a cutting board or other clean surface and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. This helps bring the temperature of the pork closer to that of room temperature which will help the pork cook evenly. Note: Don’t leave pork unrefrigerated for over 2 hours.
  3. Make the paste by combining the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until combined. (For a more rustic taste and appearance, leave the black peppercorns whole, otherwise, go ahead and grind them for a smoother consistency.)
  4. Spread half of the paste all over the pork loin. Using kitchen twine, tie the pork roast (see instructions above). This creates a consistent shape which allows for more even cooking. Spread remaining paste over the pork then place in deep-sided baking or roasting pan, fat-side down.
  5. Place pork in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Flip pork over and roast an additional 40-45 minutes. Use a food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the roast reaches a minimum of 145°F.
  6. Remove pork from the oven and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Remove kitchen twine and slice, then serve with a drizzle of pan juices.


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Sara Haas
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and co-author of the Fertility Foods Cookbook. Read her blog, The Cooking RD, and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.