Apple Cider Braised Pork Loin

Brunel had been pestering me, I mean inspiring me, to make some sort of pork dish. He also likes the whole meat instead of shredding it so I had to find a recipe that didn’t call for hours of cooking, and also enough of a flavor profile for the meat to be the star. Oh I found it all right. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require a lot, but imparts tons of flavor into the meat and anything else you put with it. I pretty much followed the recipe, except I didn’t have thyme so I left it out. I’m sure that would have been even better, but alas, I did what I could. I also loved the marinade the recipe calls for. I may adopt this (with slight variations) for a lot of my marinades because it very simple and basic, but really adds a lot of depth. When the meat was cooked I set it aside to rest and then took the juice with the onions and reduced it to make it a sauce. Extra caramelization of the onions is always good, plus a dash of salt to counteract the sweetness of the cider. I didn’t make the applesauce because we were too hungry but I’d like to try it at some point.

I’d like to note that there is some discrepancy between apple cider and apple juice. My dad still believes that apple cider is the same as apple juice. I don’t blame him because the bottle I got said apple juice on it and the actual apple juice said apple cider. I will make this abundantly clear. Apple cider is UNFILTERED. It’s the one that’s not clear and has a bunch of stuff at the bottom. Apple juice is FILTERED and looks clear and clean.


2 sprigs rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs sage, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Pinch crushed red pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 (6-chop) pork rib roast
2 large onions, sliced
1 bundle thyme, tied with string
3 bay leaves
2 quarts apple cider
Chunky Applesauce, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the chopped herbs with the garlic, crushed red pepper, a generous pinch of salt and enough olive oil to make a paste. Brush the paste on the outside of the pork rib roast.

Toss the onions with olive oil, and salt, and place in the bottom of a roasting pan. Add the thyme, bay leaves and 2/3 of the cider. Place the pork on top of the onions and place in the preheated oven. Roast the pork at 425 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pork has developed a lovely brown crust. Check the pork, stir the onions and cider if they are starting to burn. Add more cider when the level starts to go down.

Lower the oven to 375 degrees F and roast for another 30 to 35 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer reads 150 degrees F. If the crust on the pork starts to get too dark, cover it with foil. Remove 1 1/2 cups of the cider from the bottom of the roasting pan and reserve for the applesauce.

Let the pork rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. When ready to carve remove the pork from the bone and cut the loin into thin slices. Serve with the onions braised in cider and Chunky Applesauce.

Chunky Applesauce:
3 tablespoons butter
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (toss the apples in lemon juice if not using right away)
1 1/2 cups of the reserved cider from the Roasted Pork Loin with Cider
1/4 cup apple cider
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Melt the butter in a saucepan large enough to accommodate the apples. Add the apples and saute over medium-low heat until the apples start to soften. Add the reserved cider, apple cider and cinnamon and cook over low-medium heat until most of the cider has evaporated and the apples are cooked and very soft.

Add the heavy cream and walnuts and cook until the cream has reduced by half. The end result should be a very chunky, sweet/savory applesauce.

I got this from the Food Network


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