Sunday, December 7, 2008

An Apple a Day

I had heard great things about Ann Burrell's recipe for Roasted Pork Loin with Cider and Chunky Applesauce. This sounded like a good choice for dinner tonight. Please note that the pictures will jump around from dish to dish as I am showing the order in which I worked to make dinner.

Here I have cinnamon and apples for the applesauce. Onion, kosher salt, apple cider, dried thyme, bay leaf, fresh rosemary, fresh sage, a garlic clove and one pork tenderloin are ready for the recipe. The butter and crushed red pepper flakes seem to be camera shy and are missing from the picture. I halved the recipe for the meat since I have a smaller cut than the recipe requires.

First, some sliced onion, salt and olive oil go into a baking dish.

Then some cider, the bay leaf and some dried thyme are added.

The rosemary and sage are finely chopped. I grate the garlic and toss in a pinch of red pepper flakes and some kosher salt. I add olive oil to make a paste.

The pork loin is placed on top of the onion and the herb paste is spread on top of the meat. I then set this aside while I work on the next dish.

I think I'll make a potato gratin. I couldn't decide on a recipe, so I made one up. Here I have some Yukon Gold potatoes, milk, black pepper, kosher salt, bacon, garlic and a shallot. I later decide to add some Fontina cheese to the dish.

I peel and slice the potatoes. Then I put down a layer of potatoes in a greased baking dish. I mix some salt, black pepper and the grated garlic in with some milk. A bit of the mixture is poured over each layer. Then I add a sprinkling of minced shallot and a grating of Fontina cheese. Repeat until all the potatoes are used. The remaining milk mixture and the shallots are poured on top and a generous amount of cheese is added. The diced bacon is sprinkled on top.
At this point I preheat the oven and when it is ready, I put in the pork tenderloin. After 15 minutes have elapsed I place the potato gratin in the oven.

Now it's time to work on the applesauce. I peel and core three apples before cutting into chunks. I soften them in melted butter.

A bit of cinnamon and some apple cider are added to the pot and the apples cook over medium-low heat.

The apples are soft and ready to eat. I did deviate from the recipe at this point, as I didn't want to add cream to the apples.

The pork loin is rested and sliced.

And the potatoes are done.

This was a nice and easy dinner, but I would have to say that I was a bit underwhelmed by the pork loin. I think I might try marinating the pork loin next time. We all loved the applesauce, but agreed that it needed more cinnamon. I would likely also mash up the apples a bit more the next time. I would have to say that the potato gratin was a success. Not bad for never having made a gratin before.

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