A heartier protein with a great sauce just can’t be beat. Sometimes, meat and potatoes really is the only way to go. That said, it’s time for some pork to make its serious debut on this blog.
Roast Pork Loin with Apples and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 (2-pound) boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium onion, thickly sliced (I used 2 shallots.)
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced (I used 5 smallish ones.)
- 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
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider (I used the reconstituted kind that you make hot like tea.)
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
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.
Note: The pork is supposed to be slightly pink inside to remain moist. Letting the meat rest is a MUST if you want to keep as much juice and flavor in the meat before slicing, so let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce. Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside. 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.
Cheesy Creamy Mashed Potatoes:
- 2 to 2 1/4 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar (I used sharp, but any of your favorite cheese will do.)
- 3 tablespoons chives, chopped or snipped
- Salt and black pepper
Cut potatoes in half and place in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Work on other dishes while you are waiting for the water to boil.
When water boils, add the potatoes and some salt, 2 big pinches, and boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and return potatoes to the hot pot. Smash potatoes with masher and combine with sour cream and cheese. When cheese melts into potatoes, add chives and salt and pepper and re-smash. Taste the potatoes and adjust seasonings.
Honestly, not the healthiest thing I’ve ever blogged but definitely a great dinner for a cold night.
Thanks and happy eats,