Roast Loin of Pork with Baked Apples and Cider Gravy

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

Pork:

1 (5 pound) pork loin roast, with rib bones attached, back bone removed

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 handful fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 handful fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) bottle hard cider

1 cup chicken broth

Apples:

8 gala apples

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large corn muffin, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup golden raisins

6 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup hard cider

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place the pork roast in a roasting pan with the ribs facing up. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil with the sage and thyme to flavor the oil. Brush the whole pork roast with the "herb bath" and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast the pork loin for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is crackled. (Put the apples in the oven along with the pork roast in the last half hour of cooking.)
  3. Remove the pork roast to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Pour out some of the excess fat from the roasting pan and put it on the stove over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour into the hot pan juices, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. Cook and stir the roux until its light brown. Add the cider and continue to stir to incorporate. Pour in the chicken broth; boil and stir for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick; taste and check for salt and pepper. Serve the cider gravy with the pork roast and baked apples.
  4. To make the baked apples: Core the apples with an apple corer, making a good size cavity to hold the stuffing. In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter, muffin crumbs, raisins, sage, garlic, 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Spoon the sweet and savory stuffing into the cavities of the cored apples; stand them up, side by side, in a baking dish and sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Pour the cider around the apples and bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees F, until soft when pierced with a knife. Place the warm apples in the center of a round serving dish. Spoon the cider sauce around the apples and serve with the pork loin.