Apple Cider Rules When It Comes To Pork

Welcome to Fall, Bob’s Cooking readers! It is hard to believe that September 23rd is the first official day of fall. This time of year is all about slow-roasting flavorful meats rubbed in the last of summer’s fresh herbs and oven-roasting our favorite fall vegetables.

This recipe rocks an amazing herb crust on a pork loin that cooks in the oven on a bed of butternut squash, onions and carrots stewing in Apple Cider. The trick to making this recipe rock hard is starting at a very high heat – then turning down the oven as we go. That lets us evenly cook our pork (coming out medium and sorta-pink) and roasting our veggies. The cider reduces and coats our vegetables in a thick applesauce that compliments the pork like nothing else going.

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Herb Crusted Pork Loin

Ingredients

  •     2 sprigs rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
  •     2 sprigs sage, roughly chopped
  •     2 cloves garlic, smashed
  •     Pinch crushed red pepper
  •     Salt
  •     Extra-virgin olive oil
  •     1 (6-chop) pork rib roast
  •     2 large onions, sliced
  •     1 cup Carrots, 1/4″ slices
  •     1 cup Butternut squash, cubed
  •     1 bundle thyme, tied with string
  •     3 bay leaves
  •     2 quarts apple cider

Directions

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 vegetables 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 vegetables 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 vegetables 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.

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 vegetables braised in cider. Toss in 1/2 a cup of coarsely chopped walnuts with the squash, onions and carrots.

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