Pork loin with apples is one of those comforting and homey dishes that is easy to prepare, as long as you are careful not to overcook it. The meat is succulent and tender and the caramelized apples add a touch of sweetness which is counterbalanced by the savory, tangy flavors of the herbs and the cider vinegar and mustard sauce.
I love to serve this dish with a white wine made from Chenin Blanc, an aromatic and versatile grape which can produce dry, off-dry, sparkling and sweet dessert wines. If you aren't familiar with the Vouvray region of the Loire Valley where Chenin Blanc is almost exclusively grown, read more in my article on Grape Collective's online wine magazine.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
- 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
- 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
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
1) 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.
2) 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. (See Cook's Note.)
3) Transfer the pork to 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.
4) 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.
Cook's Note: Pork cooked this way will be slightly pink. If desired, cook the pork to 160 degrees F, but be aware that this lean cut will not be as moist at the higher temperature.