Monday, March 1, 2010

Roasted Pork Loin with Apple Gravy

I love the homey feel of a roast in the oven on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and knowing my effort will pay off with an excellent dinner and lovely leftovers. I am trying to stay away from red meat as much as I can (which is hard for me), so I thought a nice pork roast would be a good substitute.

One thing I have learned so far is that you are far better off brining any kind of pork, it helps to flavor and also keep the meat moist. With pork being so lean, it really helps.

I served it with Crash Hot Potatoes, the recipe I borrowed from here. My potatoes sure did not turn out as beautifully as Pam's.

Brine pork in a large container or Ziploc bag
1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup of sugar, handful of peppercorns

Pour your salt, sugar and peppercorns into your container, fill up half way with really hot water, and mix until the salt and sugar is melted, then add several cups of ice cubes, continue to stir until they are melted and the brine is cold

Add your pork roast and put in the fridge for an hour up to 8 hours. When ready to cook remove pork from brine and pat dry

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-3 pound) boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, thickly sliced
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 stalks celery, thickly, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 apples, such as Cortland or Rome peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large ovenproof skillet heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herb sprigs, and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced apples, then push the mixture to the sides and set the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 140 to 150 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce. It may be slightly pink inside.

Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside (the only thing worth eating was the carrots). Remove and discard the herb sprigs.

Return the skillet to a high heat and add the vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add the cider and reduce by about half again. Pull the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove the strings from the roast and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side.


The Blonde Duck said...

This reminds me of a dish my mom used to make!

Pam said...

I love pork loin - the gravy sounds amazing. I think your crashed potatoes look tasty too. Thanks for the shout out and link.

Debbie said...

It looks and sounds delicious Cheryl. I love the gravy!!!

Lyndas recipe box said...

This is a wonderful looking pork roast...I'm sure it was really good, and the gravy a perfect addition! Yum!

teresa said...

mmmm, pork and apple is such a classic combo, this looks DELICIOUS!

sophia said...

Ah, that looks lovely, Cheryl!! I must admit I get intimidated by meat, I'm always afraid it will turn out dry! I'll have to give brining a try!

tamilyn said...

I really do like a good pork roast, but boy I can't give up red meat. Looks delish!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

The pork looks so good as does the gravy. I'm with you - a lazy Sunday afternoon, knowing an incredible meal awaits - that's what it's all about!

MaryBeth said...

Pork and apples certainly do go hand in hand...fabulous

Levinson and Axelrod said...

Wonderful pork dish. Looks excellent.

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