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Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce

Apple-Stuffed Pork Loin with Cider Sauce
This roast is also good as part of a buffet. Slice the loin thin, but do not serve the cider sauce. For a more seasonal stuffing during the winter holidays, add 1/4 cup dried cranberries to the apples.

Ingredients:

For the stuffing:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Golden Delicious or other
      baking apple
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried apples or 1/2 cup
      finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 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:

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, 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 and preheat to 400°F. 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.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Holiday Celebrations, by Marie Simmons (Time-Life Books, 1998).