Pork Loin with Apples & Sage
To save time in the kitchen, ask the butcher to tie the roast for you, or purchase it already tied. The compact shape ensures even cooking and neat slices.
- 1 boneless pork loin, 2 1/2 to 3 lb., trimmed of excess fat, rolled and tied
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 tsp. dried sage
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 6 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored and cut into wedges
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
Brown the pork
Season the pork loin on all sides with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the pork and brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a slow cooker. Sprinkle the sage over the roast.
Make the sauce
Return the fry pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth and 1/2 cup of the cider, bring to a boil and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Pour over the pork. Add the cinnamon stick, cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 6 hours according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Arrange the apple slices around the meat, cover and cook until the apples are tender, about 1 hour more.
Finish the sauce
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and remove the strings. Transfer the apple slices to a bowl. Cover the pork and the apples with aluminum foil.
Put the slow cooker on the high-heat setting. In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup cider until dissolved. Slowly pour the cider-cornstarch mixture into the cooking liquid in the slow cooker while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until it thickens to a creamy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the pork across the grain and serve with the apples. Spoon the gravy on top. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Slow Cooker, by Norman Kolpas (Oxmoor House, 2007).