Ham is a typical holiday main course. However, if you are not a cured meat fan, here are three ways to slow roast a pork loin with all the trimmings for your next holiday party.
By Annie Rigg
Already planning your Christmas dinner party? Serve a slow roasted, crackling pork loin with apples three different ways. Your guests will be satisfied, three ways.
Tara Fisher Copyright © 2015
This article was originally posted as, “Slow Roasted Pork Loin Served with Apples Three Ways” on Relish.
For the pork
- 6 1/2 pounds bone-in pork loin chined and skin deeply scored
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 teaspoons sea salt plus extra
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 lemon finely zested
- 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- 1 crisp sweet apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
- 10 sage leaves finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 14 ounces good-quality sausage meat
- 1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 ounces sliced pancetta finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the relish and gravy
- 2 tart apples peeled, quartered, and cored
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cups hard cider
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- A pinch of crushed red pepper
- A grating of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the fennel and coriander seeds and black peppercorns. Add the crushed pepper, oregano, salt, garlic, and lemon zest and mix to a paste. Push the mixture into the slits in the pork skin using your fingers.
- Place the pork, skin-side up, in a roasting pan and rub the skin with the olive oil. Season well with sea salt and black pepper and roast on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the skin starts to crisp.
- Prepare the stuffing: Cook the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan until soft but not colored. Add the garlic, cook for another minute, then transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
- Add the remaining ingredients, season well and, using clean hands, combine thoroughly. Roll the mixture into 12 to 16 balls, arrange on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
- Turn the oven down to 350ºF and cook the pork for another 2 hours.
- Prepare the relish: Place the apple quarters in a small roasting pan, dot each with a pat of the butter, sprinkle with the sugar, add the cinnamon stick, crushed pepper, and nutmeg, and splash in 3 tablespoons of the cider. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for about 25 minutes until the apples are tender and have reduced to a thick pulp.
- Remove from the oven, taste, and add a little more sugar if needed. Turn the oven up to 425ºF, add the stuffing balls to the oven and continue to cook the pork for another 20 to 25 minutes until the skin is very crisp and the stuffing balls are golden brown.
- Transfer the pork and stuffing to a serving dish, cover with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the gravy: Spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan and place over low heat. Stir in the flour, cook for 30 seconds, then add the remaining cider. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and incorporating any bits from the bottom of the pan. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, and perhaps a little sugar to balance the acidity from the cider.
- Slice the pork and serve with the apple relish, stuffing, and cider gravy. And don’t forget the crackling.
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