October 22, 2007

Roast Pork with Cider Sauce

I made this last nite. Once before I made pork roast with cider gravy and darn if I could find the recipe around here so I used this one I found online. I will tell you I thought the use of vinegar to be a bit strange. Ive seen it used in marinades but never in the actual cooking of a roast. I do know vinegar tenderizes which is why using a little bit in a marinade is a good thing but this uses alot . I had hoped it didn't taste like vinegar when it was done, while I love that I knew the rest here might not. I used my own combo of vinegar tho after scouting online thru some recipes. This called for 1c. cider vinegar. I used half cider vinegar, 1/4 balsamic vinegar and 1/4 of a special fig balsamic vinegar I bought at Dean and Delucca in Napa Valley. You must cook this on low like it says. The sugars in the vinegars will burn otherwise. I was in a hurry tho and it was a frozen roast. I did what I always do then I turn the oven way up to brown it at 475 or higher till it starts to brown then lower the temp. to 325 degrees. I do that with my beef roasts too and they come out awesome. The juice did tho start to burn a bit so I added more apple cider instead of water. I figure apple cider will be used in the gravy , it could only make it better. I was right.
This roast turned out perfect! It was tender, juicy and even awesome in sandwiches today for lunch. The gravy is nice, a touch of bitter, touch of sweet, touch of garlic but you do not taste vinegar. If I had time yesterday I would have throw some apples in the last half hr to serve on the side but I was busy doing laundry and didn't have much time to fuss.
Garlic-Studded Roast Pork with Cider Sauce
1 (4 pound) boneless pork loin roast
6 cloves garlic, each cut into 6 slivers
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme leaves
8 bay leaves
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water

Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

With a small knife, pierce the top and sides of the roast in 36 places. Force garlic slices into the cuts. Rub roast with olive oil and generously sprinkle the roast all over with salt, pepper and thyme. Set roast, fat side up, on the bay leaves in a shallow roasting pan. Pour vinegar in the bottom of the pan.

As pork roasts, continue adding water as necessary to keep pan bottom moist. Cook until a meat thermometer registers between 150 and 160 degrees F (65 - 75 degrees C), about 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. Leaving the roast in place, turn on broiler; cook until roast is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove roast from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour pan drippings into a small saucepan, add apple cider and bring to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; whisk into the drippings and continue to simmer until sauce is a thin consistency, about 5 minutes. Cut roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve with sauce.

* I also didn't cut slits in the pork for fresh garlic this time since it was frozen, I just used garlic powder I sprinkled on the top along with the thyme.

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