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Roasted Pork Loin with Braised Red Cabbage and Smoked Apple Puree

Pork, cabbage and apples are a classic autumn trio, and here, Chef Chris DiMinno raises the bar. He blends grated apples into braised red cabbage, which gets a savory boost from bits of crispy bacon. Smoked apple puree adds the finishing touch to this homey dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head red cabbage, about 2 lb., thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless pork loin roast, 4 to 5 lb., tied with kitchen string
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 lb. slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated on a box grater
  • 1 cup smoked apple puree (see related recipe at left)

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the 2 Tbs. salt. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, for about 1 hour.

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Set a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Add the pork to the pan and sear until nicely browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the pork on the rack-lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 145°F, about 35 minutes. Transfer the pork to a carving board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

While the pork is roasting, discard the fat from the sauté pan used to sear the meat. Set the pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the cabbage, brown sugar and vinegar and stir until well combined. Cover and cook until the cabbage is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the grated apple, cover and cook for 10 minutes more.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the smoked apple puree. Cut the pork into slices 1/2 inch thick. Spread the apple puree on a platter. Top with the cabbage and then the pork. Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Recipe Courtesy of Chris DiMinno, Head Chef, Clyde Common, Portland, OR.