Sunday, October 12, 2008

Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce

Ingredients:

For the stuffing:

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped Golden Delicious or other  baking apple (I used Northern Spy apples)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (I used 3 smallish cloves)
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apples or 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricots (I used apricots)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup apple cider

For the Pork:

1 boneless pork loin, 2 1/2 lb.
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 cup apple cider, plus more as needed
2 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400º

To make the stuffing, in a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the apple and onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the dried apples (apricots), raisins and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Add the apple cider and boil, stirring occasionally, until the cider is absorbed by the stuffing, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Position a rack in the center of an oven. Have ready 4 pieces of kitchen string, each about 18 inches long.

Butterfly the pork loin by making a slit down its length, cutting just deep enough so that the loin opens up to lie flat like a book. Do not cut all the way through. Spoon the stuffing evenly onto the meat. Close up the loin and, using the strings, tie at even intervals so it assumes its original shape. Push in any stuffing that escapes from the ends. Sprinkle the surface with the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Place the loin in a baking pan and add 1/2 cup of the cider to the pan.

Roast the loin for 30 minutes. Baste with the pan juices and add the remaining 1/2 cup cider to the pan. Continue to roast, basting at least twice with the pan juices at regular intervals, until the meat is firm to the touch and pale pink when cut in the thickest portion, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 150°F, about 45 minutes more.

Transfer the loin to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Scrape the pan bottom to dislodge any remaining bits, then pour the pan juices into a measuring pitcher and add additional cider as needed to measure 1 1/2 cups total. In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup of the pan juices and the cornstarch, and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Then add the remaining pan juices. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour the sauce into a warmed bowl.

Cut the loin into slices and arrange on a warmed platter. Serve the hot cider sauce on the side. Serves 8.

Source: Williams-Sonoma

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