Monday, September 13, 2010

Roasted Pork Loin on a Bed of Apples, Leeks & Potatoes

I have a dozen cookbooks & a pile of magazines I often flip through to inspire my weekly dinner menu. Often I'll stumble across something delicious, but before heading out to the grocery store I'll forget to jot down the ingredients. At the market I'll pick up everything I could remember, but ultimately, I usually mix up/ forget/ or invent veggies and herbs a recipe calls for. That's how this Sunday dinner came together.

My boyfriend, Bill, has a set of quintessentially New England parents. This past Saturday they brought over a dozen plus freshly picked apples. Since we already had a homemade cake we were working through, I decided to use the apples in a savory dish.

+ 3 med/large leeks, white parts and barely green bits coarsely chopped
+ 4 - 5 small or medium apples, cored & thickly sliced
+ 6 red potatoes, thickly sliced
+ 3 lb pork loin, fat trimmed
+ 5 tbsp butter
+ 2 tbsp olive oil
+ salt & pepper
+ thyme (fresh chopped = 1/8 cup; dried = 1 tsp)
+ few springs of fresh rosemary

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a large skillet & saute the leeks at medium heat for 5 minutes, until softened. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the apples and saute for another 7 minutes.

Meanwhile steam the potatoes (or if you don't have a steamer, just boil but keep a close eye) until they are 2/3 of the way cooked. About 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and toss the remaining 2 tbsp of butter & thyme.

In an oiled baking dish large enough to fit the pork lion. Layer the potatoes, then top with a layer of the apple mixture. If extra of either, line the outside of the dish with the remaining veg and a few sprigs of rosemary. Set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean and heat the olive oil. Season pork with salt & pepper to taste. Brown the pork lion on each side until golden (remember to take the loin out of the fridge to bring closer to room temperature to ensure even cooking).

Once browned, remove pork and place on top of veg mixture. Transfer pan to oven and cook for 45 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Remove from oven and let pork rest 5 minutes before slicing. Arrange pork slices over a bed of roasted apples, leeks and potatoes.

This recipe takes advantage of seasonal MA fare, and although takes a little time, can easily feed a couple for 3 nights!

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