Friday, January 8, 2010

Roast Pork with Apples

I can haz traffic?  Meaning, of course, hi, I'm here and I PROMISE I will be better about posting this semester!  Or, promise to try to be better.  There isn't as much job search/five classes/law review note research going on.  So be, be optimistic, faithful readers.

My trip home was excellent; thank you for asking.  The fam all went to Disney, negotiated the hostile territory between three warring cats, cooked a lot of the freezer pig, put up decorations, took down decorations, and told terrible jokes in bad accents.  I also got my yearly fix of junk brain food, in the form of this, this, this, and, oh yes, THIS (this one is for Peter!).  Thank you, Melissa, and your devotion to Top 40 radio.  You have unearthed me from luddite-ism (luddism?), however temporarily.

Obligatory cute kitten photos!

Chewie, bewildered at the Christmas morning festivities.

Mom battles Chewie in backgammon... I think Chewie is cheating.

So, speaking of pork.  We were speaking of pork, right?  When is it ever a bad time to speak of pork?  If there is one, now is not it, and I give you a Crock-Pot delight.  This is a nice, basic recipe for the classic pork-and-apples combo, and has the added bonus of being non-labor-intensive.  The only complaint I have was that my apples were a little too mushy.  So, slice 'em thick, and don't push it with the time in the cooker if you can help it.

Also, I halved the recipe below in terms of pork and apples, but made the full amount of sauce.  It fed me for a few days.  Adjust accordingly!

Roast Pork with Apples
From Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

One 3- to 4-pound bones and tied pork loin roast, trimmed of visible fat and blotted dry (as the picture shows, mine is from reliably delicious and high-quality Barnes Farms)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 to 7 tart cooking apples, sliced (Arkansas Blacks from Jones Orchard, mmm)
1/4 cup apple juice, fruity white wine, or Champagne (or brandy, if you've none of the above!)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the broiler.  Season the pork roast with salt and pepper.  I like to do this the night before if I can think that far ahead, and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Place the roast in a shallow roasting pan or on a rack in the roasting pan if you have one.  

Brown the roast on all sides under the broiler or in a skillet over high heat to remove excess fat; drain well.

Coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Put the apple slices in the cooker and set the roast on top of them.  

Combine the brandy, brown sugar, and ginger in a small bowl and spoon over the roast, rubbing it all over.  Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.

Reduce the setting to low and cook until fork tender, 7 to 8 hours.  Transfer the pork to a warm platter and let rest for 10 minutes (let all the yummy juices redistribute!).  Slice and serve warm.  I had this with mustard and turnip greens sauteed in olive oil and lots of chopped garlic, which was yummy alongside the sweetness of the apples.

Goodbye for now; going to see off my dear friend Jessica at Blue Fin downtown.  Have been avoiding food all afternoon in anticipation of the sushi blow-out that awaits us.

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