Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Evening Dinner

Pork loin was on sale this past week, so I just had to get a small roast for us. The preparation for this meal actually began Saturday evening.

I found a recipe for Bacon-Wrapped Maple Pork Loin that sounded perfect. Bacon and maple syrup - what's not to love?

Here I have 4 cups water (since I have a smaller roast), whole black pepper corns, garlic, fresh sage, bay leaf, pure maple syrup, kosher salt and my pork loin.

Oh goody, I got to use my new mortar and pestle.

I heated the water for 5 minutes in the microwave before adding the bay leaf, the torn sage leaves, cracked black pepper corn, kosher salt, smashed garlic clove and maple syrup. I then added 2 cups of ice to cool down the brine and bring the liquid up to the right level.

After carefully placing the pork loin in the brine, I covered the container tightly with plastic wrap and placed it in the refrigerator.

While I waited for the brine to do its thing, I cleaned out my fridge and cleaned the containers in the sink. Now I have a clean refrigerator, clean plastic containers and clean dishwater hands.

All right, now back to the pork loin. I have dried sage, corn starch, maple syrup, three thick-cut slices of bacon, two large garlic cloves and the brined pork loin.

I removed the pork from the brine and patted the meat dry. I placed a rack in a baking dish to keep the roast off the bottom of the pan. The grated garlic, sage and one tablespoon of maple syrup were mixed together before being spread on the loin.

The bacon was wrapped over the pork loin. Then, since I had room, I cleaned and chopped some red-skinned potatoes and placed them in the bottom of the baking dish. I salted and peppered the potatoes and inserted a remote digital temperature probe into one end of the pork loin. This went into a preheated 350 degree oven.

I ignored the recipe's temperature suggestions in favor of Ina Garten's recommendations. When the probe alarm went off at 130 degrees, I removed the pork loin from the oven and brushed a mixture of one tablespoon apple cider and one tablespoon maple syrup over the bacon-wrapped pork loin. This went back into the oven so that the meat could continue cooking and reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

I removed the pork loin from the oven and covered it with foil and a kitchen towel so it could rest and reach a final temperature of 145 degrees. The meat will be slightly pink on the inside, but it perfectly is safe to eat, not to mention moist and delicious.
Meanwhile, I placed the potatoes in a bowl and returned them to the still-warm oven until service time.
After draining the excess grease from the baking dish, I poured the juices into a small pan and added one teaspoon water with 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed in to the pan. I stirred and removed from the heat before adding in one more tablespoon of maple syrup. This was then poured over the cut pork loin roast.

Now we are ready to eat.

This pork loin was tender, moist and delicious. The maple flavor was a nice companion to the pork but it was not overpowering.

The potatoes were crisp and had absorbed some of the flavors from the drippings from the bacon and the roast.

I think this dish will have to go into my recipe rotation. It was that good.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

That does look good. Immona have to try it.