Since wintry weather has arrived here, I've been a wuss and declined to fire up the grill, but the arrival on our premises of a really good-looking boneless pork loin prompted me to come up with a dry rub and give this feller the same kind of treatment that I'd normally reserve for the grill.

I took a 2 1/2-pound boneless pork loin and sprinkled it moderately heavily with a mixture of Chinese Five Spice mix, freshly ground nutmeg and black pepper, then wet it down with about 3 tablespoons of Kentucky Bourbon. Let it bathe in these aromatics for an hour or so, then preheated the oven to 425F, placed the loin in a dry roasting pan, and let 'er rip.

After 20 minutes, when it was sizzling, I took it out momentarily and flamed it with 1/4 cup Bourbon. After the flames died down, I flipped it over, put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes, then turned it again. After an hour I checked the temperature, found it just shy of the comfort level at about 140F at the center, and gave it another 10 minutes or so for safety's sake.

The finished product was perfect, with a pink-tinged edge very much like Texas barbecue, cooked just through with only the faintest rosy hue at the center; moist, tender and delicious. I couldn't have asked for a better chunk of pork, although I think when I do it again, I'll try doing the dry rub several hours in advance instead of just an hour, to see how it goes if the aromatics have more time to penetrate the meat.

Wine match? I went with an excellent California Syrah from Qupé because we were really in the mood for a red, but it proved a little intense for the pork. A rich white would have been a better choice.