If you've never cooked a pork loin before, I'm going to give you the EASIEST and most WONDERFUL flavored pork recipe. I use it for small & large crowds (sometimes I cook at churches, etc. for over 150 people). People who say they don't like pork & kids even love it.
Buy a pork loin. You nomally allow 1/4 -1/2 pound per person, but account for any small children and any BONE if you buy something with a bone such as a crown roast or whole turkey, etc. Better to have too much than not enough. In addition, I use leftovers for soups, stews, etc. or even sandwiches, if your family is sandwich eaters.
APPLESAUCE PORK LOIN
1 boneless pork loin (3 pounds)
your favorite rub or seasoning (I prefer KEY WEST seasoning by McCormicks if you can find it but use what your family likes)
2 T canola or olive oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 T Dijon mustard
1 T honey
fresh rosemary sprigs (a nice touch for company to the eye AND the nose!)
Sprinkle the roast w/ a little salt & pepper. IF your rub has salt & pepper in it......I SKIP this part! I use sea salt and grind my own pepper. Sprinkle or rub your spice rub on the loin, FAT SIDE UP (so the juices run down into the meat). I use a generous amount. Sometimes I even combine spices or spice blends, such as GARLIC PEPPER with a good steak seasoning or pork rub, depending on what is in it.
In a large skillet, I brown the meat on all sides. IF I AM DOING THIS FOR A LARGE NUMBER.......I COMPLETELY skip this part!!! You can't fit 15-20# of pork loin into a skillet!
Combine honey, mustard (the pork will NOT taste like mustard) and applesauce and pour over the pork loin.
I cover it, seal he edges and TENT the foil so that the applesauce stays on the pork. Bake at 325 degrees for 1.75-2.5 hours or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. You can find charts for cooking pork according to the type of meat and size in LOTS of cookbooks. If you don't have one, I'm SURE you can find one online.
I take off the foil the last 20-30 minutes so that the top can brown a little and give it a nice color and eye appeal.
This serves 10-12 people (again 3# allowing for about 1/4 pound per person since it is boneless.)
Hope this helps. YOU'LL LOVE it and it will be a HUGE hit. No need to prepare the night before UNLESS you want to do everything the night before and just pop it in the oven the day of. This will give the flavors a chance to go into the pork overnight and make it even BETTER.