A good dinner. A homemade dinner. The balance of flavors sweet and savory, served with a tall glass of water and the gentle hint of spring flowers in the air. This pork roast, served with a sweet sauce of apples, honey, and thyme, is a succulent main dish that will serve a dinner perfect to share with friends. Add a salad of fresh-from-the-garden spinach and caramelized onions for crunch on the side. With a little garlic and some care, this budget cut of meat becomes the star of a satisfying down-home meal.
Roasted Pork Loin with Honeyed Applesauce – Serves 8
Adapted from Roasted Pork Sirloin by The Domestic Man
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 90 minutes
For the roast:
1 4-lb pork loin roast
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt or slightly less table salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
For the sauce:
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
3/4 cup chunky applesauce (no added sugar)*
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a sprinkle of dried thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil and a wire rack. In a small bowl, combine garlic, herbs, and seasonings. Rinse the roast, pat dry, and rub with the herb mixture, then place the roast on the rack.
Place the roast on a lower rack in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350. Roast for up to another 60 minutes, checking the internal temperature after 45. When the roast has reached an internal temperature of 145, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board covered with foil. Tent the foil around the meat and let it rest for ten minutes.
When the roast has only about 10 minutes left in the oven, combine all sauce ingredients except thyme in a medium saucepan. Simmer on medium heat for five minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir in thyme and, after removing the roast from the oven, the pan drippings from the pork.
Thinly slice the roast and serve with enough sauce to lightly glaze each bite.
*I used the last of the applesauce that I canned back in September for a truly homemade touch.