Anyone who knows me knows that I detest the oppressive heat of the seemingly interminable Southern summers. My favorite time of year is the short period between the heat of the summer and damp cold of winter. Few fruits invoke my favorite time of year like the apple, with its sweet crispness and culinary versatility.
For years, my Memaw has praised the pairing of apples and pork. The meat complements the sweetness of the apples perfectly. In Baton Rouge, fall always seems reluctant to displace summer, so I thought I would help things along by pairing the perfect fall fruit with the perfect braised meat.
Pork loin has been on sale around here a lot recently, so I thought it would make a perfect pairing to help me put myself into the fall state of mind. Pork loin can be a tricky cut of meat — it is easy to dry out, and even easier to turn into a tough lump of dead pig — but is amazing when properly cooked to moist, tender perfection.
If you love the use of apples in a savory setting, , or just have a pork loin on hand that needs a sweet and salty twist; this is a perfect recipe for a lazy weekend in need of an autumnal twist. Check out some of my other braising recipes here.
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- Large Cutting Board
- Heavy Dutch Oven or Braiser Large Enough to Hold Pork Loin
- Broiler Safe Pan
- Basting Brush or Mop
- Pork Loin (3-5 lbs.)
- 1 Medium Granny Smith Apple Thinly Sliced
- 2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Pepper
- 1/2 Sliced Yellow Onion
- 15 Slices Bacon
- 2 cups Hard Apple Cider
- Preheat oven to 275° F.
- In medium sized mixing bowl, sprinkle apple slices with ground cinnamon. Toss until slices are coated in cinnamon.
- Place a layer apple slices and onion on the bottom of the pan.
- Add a layer of sliced apples on top of pork loin. Create a weave of bacon over the top and wrapped around the sides and tucked under the bottom of the pork loin.
- Place wrapped pork loin over layer of sliced apples. Place remaining apples around and on top of wrapped loin.
- Pour the hard apple cider over and around the pork loin.
- Securely cover and place in preheated oven for 3 hours, or until pork loin is fully cooked (reaches 160° on meat thermometer) and is tender.
- Remove pork loin from Dutch Oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes in broiler safe pan.
- Mix brown sugar and water, and brush over the pork loin.
- Preheat broiler to 475°.
- Broil pork loin for 3-5 minutes, or until the bacon is browned.
What Do You Think?
Does this put you in the mood for fall? Did you try it and make any changes?