Saturday, December 13, 2008

Roast Loin of Pork with Baked Apples and Cider Gravy

Cook Time: 2 hr 30 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 8 servings


* 2 (5 pound) pork loin roasts, rib bones attached, back bone
(chine) removed
* Small bunch sage, leaves chopped
* Small bunch thyme, leaves chopped
* 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 lemon, juiced optional


* 8 Gala or Golden Delicious apples
* 1 lemon, juiced
* 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 or 2 large corn muffins crumbled (1/2 cup), reserve some for
sprinkling on apples
* 1/2 cup golden raisins
* 6 sage leaves, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup hard cider
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the pork roast in a roasting pan with the ribs facing up, braced
against each other. Add sage and thyme to olive oil. Brush the pork
roasts with oil mixture and season with a generous amount of salt and
pepper. Roast the pork loin for 2 1/2 hours, until the skin is
crackled. (Put the apples in the oven along with the pork roast in the
last half hour of cooking.)

Remove the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 15
minutes before carving. Pour out some of the excess fat from the
roasting pan and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Sprinkle
the flour into the hot pan juices, stirring constantly with a wooden
spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook and stir the roux until its
light brown. Add the cider and continue to stir to incorporate. Pour
in the chicken broth; boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is
thick. Check for seasoning - add lemon juice if necessary. Serve the
cider gravy with the pork roast and baked apples.

To make the buttered apples: Core the apples with an apple corer,
making a good size cavity to hold the stuffing. Douse the cut sides of
the apples with some of the lemon juice to prevent them from browning
while you make the stuffing. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened
butter, muffin crumbs, raisins, sage, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and
pepper. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities of the cored apples;
stand them up, side by side, in a baking dish and sprinkle the tops
with the reserved muffin crumbs. Pour the cider around the apples and
bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees F, until soft when pierced
with a knife. Place the warm apples in the center of a round serving
dish. Spoon the cider sauce around the apples and serve with the pork

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