A super simple recipe for melt-in-your-mouth pork sirloin roast that’s perfect for a weeknight or a special occasion!

Melt-in-Your-Mouth, Duck Fat Braised Pork Sirloin Roast (UPDATED with Instant Pot Version)

When it comes to the porcine popularity contest, pork sirloin roast rarely gets its due…

It’s no contender to the ever-popular pork shoulder, typically used to make classic “pulled” pork. It’s a far cry from crisp and addictive bacon (Hey, even vegans crave it!). And it’s unlikely that many top chefs will choose it over a bone-in chop that requires little more than a quick marinade and a toss on the grill for a succulent and delicious dinner.

Pork sirloin roast is one of those cuts of meat that can be easy to ruin. With its low fat content and ample protein, the results can sometimes be dry “cottony” meat that requires extensive use of fatty sauces or gravy to make it palatable.

But I’m here to tell you that pork sirloin roast is an unsung hero! With the right preparation (which I’ll show you below), it can be transformed into one of the most delicious and inexpensive healthy meals your family could enjoy.

Here are just a few benefits of this unloved and underappreciated cut:

  1. Very Affordable: Even when you buy the “best of the best” pasture-raised pork sirloin from US Wellness Meats, it only costs around $1.80 per protein-packed four-ounce serving. To put that in perspective, a McDonald’s Big Mac provides just 3.2 ounces of hormone and antibiotic-laden conventional beef… at a cost of $3.99.
  2. Packed with Nutrition: A 4-ounce serving of pork sirloin roast contains a mere 160 calories, seven grams of fat and 23 grams of protein. The high protein content will keep you feeling full, stoke your metabolism and boost detoxification. In fact, pork is one of the best sources of the amino acid glycine, an essential “ingredient” in producing your body’s master antioxidant and detoxifier, glutathione.
  3. Perfect for Make-Ahead Meals: When properly prepared, large cuts of meat lend themselves to freezing. That means you can cook once and enjoy multiple “heat-and-eat” meals in the days and weeks after.

Now that you know about some of the unrecognized benefits of pork sirloin roast, I want to share two of the easiest ways to make it succulent, moist and delicious.

Turn boring and bland pork sirloin roast into melt-in-your-mouth decadence with this super simple recipe. Perfect for a weeknight or a special occasion!

Braising: The Saving Grace for Lean Meats

The first method of making a moist, fall-apart pork sirloin is to braise it. The culinary term “braise” refers to a two-step process of cooking meats and vegetables using both dry and moist heat. Food is first seared in fat at a high temperature. Then it is finished in a covered pot (Dutch oven) with braising liquid and cooked slowly at a lower temperature. The results can be so “fork tender” that meats cooked this way will literally melt in your mouth.

And while this age-old technique dates back hundreds of years, braising is culinary chemistry at its finest. By searing meat in fat at high temperature, the exterior of the meat develops a crust. This seals in moisture and imparts deep flavor.

Next, using the elements of steam and low heat, muscle meats are cooked slowly and gently. As the meat is bathed in steam, the muscle fibers break down and aromatic compounds are driven deep into the fibers. The resulting dish is comfort food at its finest. Moist, juicy, tender, flavorful meat that pairs perfectly with a root vegetable puree or cauliflower mashers, accompanied in its own gelatin-rich broth.

You can braise with just about any large cut of meat, using a range of spices and braising liquids. Generally speaking, you want to use a healthy heat-stable fat for the first step. Tallow, lard and coconut oil are great choices, as is duck fat (my favorite).

In addition, a braising liquid that complements your meat is essential. Chicken broth or stock works well for poultry or pork braises. Beef stock works best for beef or bison braises.

Another important element in your braising liquid is the “acid”. Acids break down muscle fibers and help to tenderize meats. It also creates a better balance of the five flavors: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, umami. Acids to consider for your braise include vinegars (apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, coconut vinegar), citrus juices (lemon, lime or orange) and wine (white for chicken and pork, red for beef and bison).

Finally, the aromatics. While you can use just about any combination of herbs and spices, I find that making a rub using powdered blends works best. First, the increased surface area means more flavor molecules contact and penetrate the meat. Also, powders don’t tend to burn as easily during the searing step as whole herbs would. In the recipe below, I use a French-inspired combination of rosemary and fennel.

But don’t stop there – let your palate and creativity guide you to create your perfect braise!

Under Pressure: Another Way to Make a Succulent & Moist Pork Sirloin

Another way to accomplish all of the above is to use an Instant Pot Electronic Pressure Cooker. This has to be my favorite kitchen tool that I’ve ever owned. It makes everything you cook in it more flavorful (the pressure pushes flavor deep inside meat and vegetables you’re cooking). It is faster than almost any other cooking method – with easier prep and quicker clean up too.

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For this recipe, you would add the pork sirloin to heated fat in the bottom of the vessel for a quick sear on all sides. Then you add your liquids and put the top on the Instant Pot and bring it up to pressure. The result is very similar to a traditional braise (although perhaps even more tender and flavorful) in a fraction of the time.

While I have included the step-by-step preparations for both recipes at the bottom of this post, this description applies to a traditional two-step braise…

Duck-Fat Braised Pork Sirloin Roast with Fennel and Rosemary: The Step-By-Step

You’ll need a good Dutch oven (I love the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven), measuring cups and tongs, along with some cellophane wrap. You’ll also need a four-pound pork sirloin roast, some duck fat, chicken stock, white wine or lemon juice, as well as dried rosemary, fennel, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Add the spices to a Magic Bullet and blend to a powder (you may keep some fennel seeds intact for interest, if you desire). Place the pork roast on the cellophane and rub entire surface with the spice mix. Wrap tightly with cellophane and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.

Remove pork from wrap and cut into fist-sized chunks, about 4 ounces each:

Use this super simple recipe to turn boring and bland pork sirloin roast into melt-in-your-mouth decadence.

Heat duck fat in the Dutch oven over medium high heat. When the fat shimmers, add the pork chunks. Be sure to keep ample space between each piece of meat. Sear two minutes per side, then flip.

The perfect pork sirloin roast recipe for a weeknight or a special occasion!

Transfer seared pork chunks to a platter while you continue with the remaining pork.

Turn boring and bland pork sirloin roast into melt-in-your-mouth decadence!

Return all seared pork chunks to the Dutch oven. Add the chicken broth and wine until the liquid is about halfway to the top of the meat.

A super simple recipe for melt-in-your-mouth pork sirloin roast!

Cover and simmer for 3 hours. Serve over a Root Veggie Puree and top with a quick-sautéed Brussels sprouts and carrot shreds for a meltingly-delicious comfort food meal with a lovely presentation.

A super simple recipe for decadent pork sirloin roast!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pork Sirloin Roast: The Printer-Friendly Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 4lb. pasture-raised pork sirloin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. pastured duck fat (or coconut oil, tallow or pork lard)
  • 3 cups organic chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (or lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. In a blender or magic bullet, grind the fennel, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to a fine powder.
  2. Place pork sirloin roast on a large piece of cellophane. Sprinkle seasoning all over and rub into the meat. Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate six hours to overnight to infuse with flavor.
  3. Remove pork from cellophane and cut into large chunks (3 ounces each).
  4. Heat the duck fat in a large Dutch oven.* When the fat shimmers, add pork chunks in batches. Do NOT crowd the pan – this will result in steaming, not searing. Sear two minutes per side. Transfer seared pork to a plate and continue with the remaining pork.
  5. Add all of the seared pork back to the Dutch oven and turn heat down to low or simmer. Add the stock and the wine. Stir with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pot. The liquids should come just up to the halfway point of the meat. Cover and simmer, undisturbed, for three hours.
Notes
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, use a slow cooker for step two of the braising. Simply sear the meat in a sauté pan or skillet, and then transfer the seared meat to the ceramic insert of your slow cooker. Add the broth and wine to the sauté pan to scrape up the fond (or brown bits) from the sautéing step, then pour over the meat in the slow cooker. Typically the “high” setting on a slow cooker translates to about 195 degrees. This may mean you will need to cook the pork sirloin roast longer than if you used a true Dutch oven, but the end result of both cooking methods will be moist and fork tender.

UPDATE – Instant Pot Fork Tender Pork Sirloin Instructions

Want to make this recipe in the Instant Pot? Here’s how you do it:

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Instant Pot Duck Fat Braised Pork Sirloin Roast
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 4lb. pasture-raised pork sirloin
  • 1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. pastured duck fat (or coconut oil, tallow or pork lard)
  • 3 cups organic chicken stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine (or lemon juice)
Instructions
  1. In a blender or magic bullet, grind the fennel, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper to a fine powder.
  2. Place pork sirloin roast on a large piece of cellophane. Sprinkle seasoning all over and rub into the meat. Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate six hours to overnight to infuse with flavor.
  3. Remove pork from cellophane and cut into large chunks (3 ounces each).
  4. Heat the duck fat in the Instant Pot using the "Saute" function. When the fat shimmers, add pork chunks in batches. Do NOT crowd the pan – this will result in steaming, not searing. Sear two minutes per side. Transfer seared pork to a plate and continue with the remaining pork.
  5. Add all of the seared pork back to the Instant Pot. Add the stock and the wine. Stir the bottom of the pot to deglaze.
  6. Close and lock the lid. Set pressure to HIGH and time to 40 minutes.
  7. Allow pressure to release naturally (ideal), or quick release if you are in a hurry.
 

Nutrient Information Per Batch

About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.


Comments

  1. This is absolutely the BEST pork I’ve ever eaten! So moist and sooo tender! I will be making this again soon with just a little less salt 🙂

    • Kelley Herring says:

      Hi Amanda,
      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it! I am working on modifying this recipe for the Instant Pot too.

      Be Well,
      Kelley

  2. Do you know how you would adjust the time for the instant pot for just a 1.09lb cut? Thank you!!

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