The combination of pork and apples is a very popular combination that has been around for centuries. Not only is this a great flavor combination, but the acidity in the apples helps break down the proteins in the pork, making it more tender. And because pork is often a fattier meat than a lot of other meats, the acidity of the apples helps to make the fats more digestible too. Most savory foods that are cooked with fruit, or specifically apples, are older foods with a Northern or Central European history. Fruits were used as sweeteners for foods before sugar was readily available.
I did my own rendition of pork with apples when we had our Fall feast. I actually cook pork with apples quite often, but the sauce I made this time was a creamy apple-mustard sauce and just went perfectly with the pork loin. It was a big hit and received rave reviews from everyone. For the main entrees, I made a salad with roasted butternut squash and dates with a pomegranate dressing, roasted potatoes and the pork loin with the cream apply mustard sauce. I also made the crostini with the squash butter Crostini with Squash Butter and Ricotta Cheese and Caramelized Shallots and the roasted nut and pepitas. It’s a Bit Nutty We were all very full and very satisfied with our combined meal. It was festive feast filled with good food and good conversations.
Pork Loin with Creamy Apple-Mustard Sauce
1 3-4 lb pork loin or pork chops
salt & pepper to taste
Completely coat the pork with the salt, pepper and olive oil and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before cooking. When ready to roast the pork, set the oven hot at 450* F or about 225* C. Roast uncovered fat side up for about 30 minutes, or until the pork starts to form a crust and browns. Then reduce the heat to about 375* F and continue to cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of about 160* F and the juices run clear.
While the pork is cooking make the sauce
Creamy Apple-Mustard Sauce
3-4 firm cooking apples, sliced thin
2 TBSP butter
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 1/2-2 TBSP garlic
4 fresh sage sprigs, shredded + more for decoration
2 TBSP sherry vinegar
1 cup apple cider or applesauce
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1 1/2 TBSP Dijon mustard
Cook the apple slices in the butter and salt for about 5-7 minutes.
Remove the apples from the skillet and add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, then add the vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the sage and seasonings and mix everything together thoroughly.
Add either the apple cider or the apple sauce and the cream. This time I used apple sauce. I thought I had apple cider, but it turned out I did not, though I did have apple sauce. Once again, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Whisk in the mustard and the cream and combine well. Bring to a boil, then once again, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
Re add the apples back into the sauce and mix together thoroughly. I like to add a bit more butter to the sauce right at the end to finish it as well.
The sauce is now ready. Slice the pork and spoon this delicious sauce over your pork and enjoy. This sauce is also very good over chicken too. My friend Laura does not eat pork, so I served her chicken instead, and topped it with the sauce as well. This sauce is a winner with both chicken or pork.
You can dress up any dish at any time, and turn a simple meal into a feast. All you have to do is use your imagination and have fun with it.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.