Baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce is a tender pork loin served with a creamy hazelnut gravy. Sounds rather fancy, but would you believe this is the easiest pork loin recipe ever. After a quick roast, the pork loin is baked in the oven with stout beer and cream. Then you just slice up the meat, blend the gravy and pour it over. If you want a cheap cut of meat to impress your guests you need to try this oven-baked pork loin with hazelnuts.
The easiest baked pork loin recipe
Would you believe that this baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce that I whip up whenever I want to impress my guests used to be one of my student meal options? No kidding. Pork loin is a cheap cut of meat. Roasted, it may come out a tad dry, but when you bake it with some beer and some cream and then drown it, sliced, in its own gravy it is both delicious and really practical. It keeps well in the fridge, reheats wonderfully in the microwave and when you have a lot of sauce left you can always use it for pasta.
There isn’t really a fancy list of ingredients, either. Check this out:
- Pork loin, often on discount
- Hazelnuts may be expensive in some parts of the world, but they’re the only fancy thing around here, really
- Stout beer – and you use half a can so you get to drink the other half while you cook
- One onion, that’s cheap
- Cream, also pretty cheap. As a baker I always have heavy cream around, but even one with less fat is a great cheaper alternative.
Well, that’s pretty much it. A handful of ingredients and the result is such a show stopper. Didn’t stop me even in my poorest of student days. Whenever both a can of Guinness and hazelnuts happened to be around at the same time in my kitchen you could bet I’d go out to the shop to get a pork loin.
How to make baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce
Baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce consists of very few steps. The total baking time is quite long, as this baby gets to stay in the oven for a total of 2 hours. Apart from some checking and turning from time to time, though, it is a fairly simple recipe to make. And you get your unused can of stout beer to keep you company while the pork loin is baking.
Step 1: roasting and toasting
You start off by rubbing some salt into the meat, properly massaging it in. Go easy, but try to rub some salt all over the surface of the pork loin, on all sides. Generously, but you’re not supposed to encrust it in salt. Lay your pork loin in a casserole dish and sprinkle some dried rosemary over it. Finely mince the onion and add it to the casserole pan. Grind the hazelnuts (I recommend using freshly ground hazelnuts for more flavour, if possible) and pour half of them all over the meat.
Transfer the seasoned meat to the oven and roast it at 250°C for 8-10 minutes. Take it out whenever you see that the hazelnuts have started to turn golden brown, making sure they don’t burn. Take out the dish and flip the meat over. Now sprinkle some dried rosemary on the other side and add the other half of the hazelnuts, nicely covering all the side of the meat. Return it to the oven at 250°C to roast the other side, and take out after about 8 minutes. This first step gives the meat a quick roast to seal the moisture in, as well as toasting the hazelnuts for extra flavour.
Step 2: oven-baking the pork loin
After the first roasting and toasting, decrease the oven temperature to 200°C. Flip the meat over and add 150 ml of stout beer to the pan. Cover with an aluminium foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, take out the pan again, remove the foil and flip the meat once again. Add the cream and return to the oven. Bake for another hour.
To test its doneness, you can insert a toothpick in the meat and check if it releases water when the toothpick is extracted. If no water follows the pricking, the pork loin is done. If you have a meat thermometer, pork loin is well done and the sliced meat will be nice and white when it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C.
Step 3: make the hazelnut sauce
When the meat is cooked, remove it from the casserole dish and cut it into 1 cm-thick slices. Pour the gravy that’s left in the casserole dish into another container where it will be easier to blend, and blend it. If using very thinly ground hazelnuts, the outcome may not get very smooth, but that is not important.
Return the sliced pork loin to the casserole dish and pour the hazelnut sauce all over. You can garnish it with some fresh herbs and some extra hazelnuts, of just dig right in. As a student I surely went for the latter. Then I got myself a food blog…
Why is this baked pork loin with hazelnuts awesome
Because it’s cheap. As I said, we’re using a cheap cut of meat and we’re turning it into a delicious main dish still staying on a student budget!
Because it’s delicious. Tender pork loin that’s oven baked in stout beer. A creamy gravy made with hazelnuts and onions, as well as the meat juices. You should be convinced by now.
Lasty, because it’s my dad’s recipe! All the cooking in my family has always been done by my mom. Except for one time, when my mom was abroad and I was still too young to care about preparing food. I though my dad was a zero in the kitchen and one day he came up with this. Oven-baked pork loin in a creamy hazelnut sauce. I was so impressed.
Years later, when trying to feed myself as a student I put my skills at work and tried to recreate my dad’s recipe. When my mom came back from her trip he never set foot in the kitchen again. I don’t even think he followed an actual recipe, and neither did I when I triend to recreate this pork loin recipe in my kitchen. I guess I just lucked out. Also, I’m pretty sure he used white wine and not stout beer, but that’s what student me was drinking at the time, versus my dad’s poison of choice. Both are great, really.
Here are more hazelnut recipes if you want to make it all about those lovely nuts:
- Hazelnut stuffed mushrooms
- Hazelnut no-churn ice cream
- Chewy hazelnut honey cookies
- Cheese ravioli in hazelnut butter sauce
- Nutellotti, nutella thumbprint cookies
This baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce recipe was originally published in October 2015 and was updated, with new photos, in June 2019. The original recipe remains a lucky one-off that my dad once whipped up in, ahem, 1997ish?
Baked pork loin in hazelnut sauce
- 900 g pork loin
- 100 g hazelnuts
- 1 white onion (medium)
- 150 ml heavy cream
- 150 ml stout beer
- 3 bay leaves
- dried rosemary and salt to taste
- Sprinkle a generous amount of fine salt all over the pork loin and massage it into the meat. Lay the loin in a casserole dish.
- Grind the hazelnuts in a food processor. Finely mince the onion. Scatter the minced onion around the meat and pour half of the ground hazelnuts over the meat. Sprinkle with dried rosemary.
- Place the meat in the oven at 250°C and roast for 8-10 minutes. After that, take the meat out, flip over and add the remaining ground hazelnuts to the other side of the loin. Sprinkle dried rosemary onto this side, too. Return the meat to the oven and roast this side for another 8-10 minutes. This procedure toasts the hazelnuts and gives the meat a quick dry roast.
- After the quick roasting is done, take the meat out again and lower the temperature to 200°C. Flip the meat again, so that the freshly toasted hazelnuts are now facing downwards. Pour the stout beer and cover the casserole dish with aluminium foil. Return the meat to the oven and bake it covered for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, take the meat out again and flip it over one more time. Add the cream and return the meat to the oven. Now bake it uncovered for 1 hour. Pork loin is fully cooked when it doesn't release any water when pricked with a toothpick, or when it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C.
- Take out the pork loin from the casserole dish, scraping down any hazelnuts coating it. Cut it into 1-cm slices. Transfer the gravy to a tall container and blend - if the hazelnuts were finely ground it may not get very smooth but that is not important. Return the sliced meat back into the casserole dish and pour the blended hazelnut sauce over it.