Pecan-Coated Pork Loin Roast

Fit for a celebration.

Pecan-Coated Pork Loin Roast
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
15 mins
Chill Time:
12 hrs
Roast Time:
1 hrs
Rest Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
13 hrs 25 mins

You'll find this stunning pork dish on culinary historian Jessica B. Harris's Kwanzaa table, alongside her Any-Season Succotash. "Kwanzaa, which runs from the day after Christmas through New Year's, uses Swahili as its language. Seven is an important number for the holiday, with seven days, seven principles, and seven symbols that are used on the centerpiece for Kwanzaa." Over the past two decades, an opulent feast has been a staple of Harris's holiday celebrations. "There was always a groaning board buffet that was loaded with foods from the African diaspora. It featured everything from American fried chicken and collard greens to Jamaican jerk chicken and rice and peas to Trinidadian curries and rotis."

This Pecan-Coated Pork Loin Roast is certainly fit for a celebration. This elegant roast is rubbed with a mixture of dark brown sugar and herbs and then marinated overnight for an extra-rich flavor. A crust of chopped pecans adds a little crunch that balances the tender meat beautifully.


  • 4 pounds boneless pork center-cut loin roast, trimmed

  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons dried sage

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from 1 garlic clove)

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup pecan halves 


  1. Rub pork loin all over with 3 tablespoons of the oil. Pulse brown sugar, sage, salt, thyme, garlic, and pepper in a food processor or blender until finely ground, 8 to 10 pulses. Drizzle in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, pulsing until mixture forms a thick paste, 8 to 10 pulses. Slather mixture all over pork. Wrap pork with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or 12 hours).

  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pulse pecans in a food processor or blender until finely chopped, 10 to 12 pulses. Remove pork from refrigerator, and unwrap. Roll pork in chopped pecans, and place in a roasting pan. Tent with aluminum foil, being sure to completely cover pecans to prevent burning.

  3. Roast in preheated oven 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (do not remove pork from oven), and continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of meat registers 140°F, about 40 minutes, removing foil after 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let pork rest 10 minutes (temperature will rise to 145°F as pork stands). Slice and serve.

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