Roasted Pork Loin with Maple-Mustard Crust
To learn more, read the article:
Leave some fat on the outside of the pork because it browns beautifully and bastes the roast. For the juciest results, let the pork sit in the brine for at least 8 hours but preferably 16 to 18 hours. You can scatter wedges of fennel and apple in the pan to absorb the wonderful drippings during cooking. They also prevent the glaze from scorching on the bottom of the pan.
The point of this dish is to serve the pork loin on a special night with ample leftovers to make zesty, weekday meals like Grilled Roast Pork Cubano Sandwiches, Chinese Pork & Mushroom Wraps, and New Mexican Pork & Green Chile Stew.
Serves four as a main dish, with enough leftovers to make all the remaining dishes.
Roast Pork for Today & Tomorrow
For the Brine:
8 cups cold apple cider or juice
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
One 4-lb. boneless pork loin roast (or two 2-lb. loins), trimmed only if it has a thick layer of fat
For The Roast:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs. whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper; more to taste
1 large fennel bulb or 2 small bulbs, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Brine the pork:
Combine 2 cups of the apple cider or juice with the salt, brown sugar, garlic, and thyme in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring so the salt and sugar dissolve, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining apple cider or juice and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a large container, add the pork, cover, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 18 hours.
Roast the pork:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, mustard, thyme, and pepper. Drain the pork and pat dry with paper towels. Brush the pork all over with the mustard mixture.
In a medium bowl, toss the fennel and apple with the oil, salt, and a few generous grinds of pepper. Scatter the mixture in the bottom of a large roasting pan (large enough to hold the pork with a couple of inches of space around the perimeter). Put the pork, fat side up, on top of the fennel and apples. Roast the pork until the crust just starts to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin registers 145°F, 30 to 50 minutes more.
Let rest for 10 minutes and then thinly slice a quarter to a third of the pork. Serve, topped with the fennel, apple, and juices. Allow the remaining pork to cool to room temperature, wrap well with foil, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Serve with Classic Roasted Potatoes
and an Arugula & Fennel Salad
nutrition information (per serving):
based on 5.6-oz. serving;
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 90
, pp. 38
December 4, 2007