roasted pork loin w/cider & chunky applesauce

One of my favorite shows on the Food Network is Secrets of A Restaurant Chef w/ Anne Burrell. She has really hammered home the idea that preparation is the key to success. She's right. Chef Burrell also challenges her viewers to try new things, to create awesome food. When I saw this recipe I knew immediately what I was going to make with the remainder of the pork roast I had purchased for Jerry's birthday.

After tasting this dish I truly believe that God made pork roast to be married to applesauce. It was phenomenal! Creamy, herby yumminess. The recipe was fairly easy to put together and worth the effort. I served it with mashed potatoes and asparagus. This is a perfect Sunday supper, so give it a whirl. You will be cooking like a restaurant chef before you know it.

Celebrate the Feast!

Roasted Pork Loin with Cider and Chunky Applesauce
Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

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.