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Recipe

Cider-Sage Pork Loin with Potatoes and Apples

Servings: 6 to 8

Cider in a brine for pork loin imparts nuance and sweetness. Here, the cider does double duty, also starring in a pan sauce that gets drizzled on the finished dish.

Ingredients

For the brine

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-3/4 oz. kosher salt (about 1/3 cup Diamond Crystal)
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut in half
  • 3 lb. center-cut pork loin

For the pork

  • 16 leaves fresh sage, 4 torn into large pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large Granny Smith apples (about 3-3/4 lb.), peeled and cut into 2-inch wedges
  • 1-1/2 lb. small creamer potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, halved
  • 1 large red onion (about 1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups apple cider

Preparation

Make the brine

  • Put 2 cups of the cider in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and whisk in the sugar, salt, and garlic, adjusting the heat to maintain a simmer. Once the sugar and salt dissolve, remove the pan from the heat, add the remaining 2 cups cider, and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the loin to a large bowl or zip-top bag, pour in the brine, cover with plastic wrap or seal the bag, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Roast the pork

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 425°F. Remove the pork from the brine, and transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels. Discard the brine, and pat the loin dry. Using kitchen twine, tie the loin in three places at even intervals. Slip the 12 whole sage leaves between the twine and meat, and season with 1 tsp. pepper.
  • In a large roasting pan, toss the apples, potatoes, and onion with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the oil and 1 tsp. salt. Roast until mostly tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, set a large heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil, and heat until shimmering. Set the loin in the skillet fat side down. Sear, undisturbed, until the meat browns and easily releases from the pan when you lift an edge with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and sear the remaining sides, about 1 minute per side, or 6 minutes total. Set the skillet aside.
  • Put the pork on top of the apples, potatoes, and onion in the roasting pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers 145°F, about 80 minutes; start checking after about 60 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • While the pork is resting, make a pan sauce. Pour off and discard any fat from the skillet, and set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter, flour, and torn sage leaves. Cook, stirring to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until the flour is lightly browned, about 1-1/2 minutes. Add the cider, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the twine from the roast, and thinly slice the pork. Serve with the apples, potatoes, onion, and a generous drizzle of the sauce.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • ellen_in_charlotte | 12/07/2018

    Very disappointed in this. Did they not test this before posting it? I made 1/2 the pork/vegs, full sauce and cooked the pork & vegs accordingly. 1/2" onion wedges were tough, stringy pieces of onion, potatoes overcooked. I did not add the apples until near the end & ended up caramelizing them on the stovetop. The "pan sauce" was basically thickened cider, even though I added some drippings. Timing for everything seemed off. I am finding more and more of Fine Cooking recipes to be ordinary at best, disappointing for the most part. Something has changed at the FC kitchen, and not for the best.

  • Helen_W | 11/01/2018

    My husband liked this very much, me not so much. The apples turned to mush. The pork, however was very moist and flavorful. I think I will do the pork as the recipe outlines but will experiment with the vegetables. Potatoes were very good, onions ok, apples not so much. Somewhat disappointing really.

  • User avater
    dabooboo | 10/26/2018

    I had the apples turn to mush as well as another reviewer, but they were still good. Almost ended up like another sauce. Onions and potatoes turned out fine, just needed a bit more salt in my opinion. The pork was delicious, as was the pan sauce.

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