Pork

Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegetables

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Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegegetables

Hello! It’s been so long that my fingers nearly forgot how to type. You see, we’ve been updating part of our house from the early 60’s golds and the late 90’s greens to NOW. Yeah, it’s been a long haul but I’m ever so pleased with the results. All that’s left for me anymore is finishing up the staining and varnishing of the open staircase. That’s being whittled away at; every other step, then the OTHER every other step, then the railing, then the spindles and stringers, and lastly, oh glory, the landing. So that, my friends, is my excuse. I hardly had time to cook, let alone write about it and take pictures.

I really wanted to get a maple recipe in with the bumper crop of syrup Ontario producers had this year. My daughter and I made a whole table full of maple-glazed cinnamon buns for their sugar shack open house earlier this spring. Those were very good, but… I had no time to write about them. I made two Egg Cheeses for two separate occasions over Easter, but… my first post was about that delicacy. Click here to read it. What to post?

My husband’s favourite meat is pork; probably because his inner child remembers porcine meals in the days when their family raised hogs. Pork is an economical meat and it pairs naturally with maple syrup. I had a nice assortment of vegetables lolling about from Martin’s Family Fruit Farm waiting for such a time as this. Plus, last weekend we gifted some Ohio friends with a bottle of the golden liquid and I was telling their young son how good it is brushed over a chipotle-rubbed pork loin! It seemed the right time to develop this recipe.

I have discovered that roasting the meat and the vegetables takes roughly the same amount of time and temperature. That’s so handy! I do like handy meals like that. I chopped and sliced the vegetables, putting the ones that take a longer cooking time into a separate bowl from the fast-roasting ones. Then I drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with the seasonings and a bit of balsamic vinegar. I stuck the slow-roasting veggies in the oven while I prepared the pork loins.

Next I oiled and dry-rubbed spices onto the pork loins, pricked them all over with a meat fork, squeezed a lime over them and popped them into my oven. About fifteen minutes from the finish I brushed the loins with maple syrup and added the fast-cooking veggies to the tray. Dinner was ready in an hour from start to finish. It would also work great on a barbeque grill!

Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegetables

Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegetables (3)

There is a great assortment of winter vegetables at Martin’s Family Fruit Farm, including these cute little fingerling potatoes, as well as an increasing amount of spring veggies such as greenhouse peppers and green beans. Pretty soon there will be asparagus and fiddleheads too! I added parsnips because we like the unique flavour they add to a vegetable medley like this. 

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Delicious roasting veggies!

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. The recipe and comments are my own. 

Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients

For the Vegetables:Maple-Glazed Pork Loin over Roasted Vegetables

  • 6 fingerling potatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 6 mini red-skinned potatoes, quartered lengthwise
  • 3 large carrots, sliced 1/4″ thick on the diagonal
  • 3 large parsnips, sliced 1/4″ thick on the diagonal
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 pound asparagus or green beans, cut in half
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry herbs of your choice, optional
  • salt and pepper

For the Pork Loin:

  •  2 to 3 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole lime or half a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning, or more if you like it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice or cloves
  • 2 tablespoons Italian herbs mix
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • generous grinding of pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup maple syrup

Directions

Preheat oven to 400° F (204° C) on regular bake or convection roast (my favourite setting for this recipe). Put the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onions in one bowl. These vegetables will take longer to roast. Cut the asparagus or beans, red pepper and garlic in another bowl. Drizzle the olive oil, balsamic, and seasonings over each bowl and toss the veggies. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Spread the bowl of root vegetables on the sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare pork loins for roasting. 

Drizzle second amount of oil into another lined baking sheet. Mix all the spices and the garlic together. Place tenderloins on top and roll them in the oil until they’re covered. Prick all over the top with a meat fork. Squeeze the lemon or lime over the loins. Sprinkle with the mixed spices and garlic. Roast, uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pork loins, to about 150° for medium. The juices should run clear when pierced with a fork. This stage could also be done on a barbeque grill with fantastic results, I’m sure.

After 30 minutes, add the bowl of short-cooking vegetables to the roasting tray and toss with the other veggies. Return to oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes. At the same time, remove pork and baste with the pan juices before brushing with half the maple syrup. Return to oven and roast again for 15 minutes. Brush with the remaining maple syrup after removing. Let the meat stand for 5 minutes before slicing. It should be slightly pink inside and juicy. Slice it into 1/2″ thick slices and fan out slightly on top of vegetables for a pretty presentation. Drizzle with pan juices.

Festive Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Topping

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My husband grew up farming hogs before his family delved into the world of apples, so it is probably no coincidence that his favourite meat is pork. Nor is it surprising that he especially loves pork and apples together. They are a natural team – everyone knows that, even those of us who didn’t grow up raising pigs and apples in our formative years.

Many years ago, I discovered this recipe for an Apple Crusted Pork Loin.  I have made it many times when I want an entree that has significant Wow Factor. It is stunning, flavourful and out of the ordinary, without an excessive amount of care. In fact, I made it for TV celebrity chef Lynn Cawford when she joined us for an evening of “Mennonite food”. True story. I told her this is a dressed-up version of the typical sausage or ham dinner that Mennonites love to serve and eat.

Apple Crusted Pork Loin
Apple Crusted Pork Loin The original recipe without cranberries – it’s still pretty, though.

Most recently, I made it for a local youth Christmas banquet that we were catering. Before you ask, the answer is “No.” We don’t have a catering business; it is simply a hobby that we exercise occasionally for people that we really love. For this particular event, I decided to add chopped fresh cranberries and a few more spices than the original recipe has. It had a wonderful depth of flavour and the cranberries sparkled like jewels nestling in the chopped apple topping. So if you’re still dithering about which meat to serve at your Christmas dinner, look no further!

Ask your butcher for a 4-5 lb pork loin roast. This is not those little pork tenderloins, it is a round tied roast about 4 inches in diameter. Pork loin is actually a lean meat; do not overcook it or be afraid to eat it!

 

I have simplified the original recipe somewhat because of the amount of times I roasted larger quantities. Be sure to snip and remove the strings BEFORE topping with the apples. Just trust me on this one; you will regret it later if you don’t.

Festive Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Topping
Updated recipe with little red bits of cranberries peeking through! Served on kale and garnished with Martin’s Apple Chips and my own pickled crabapples.

For this dish I chose to use Crispin (also known as Mutsu) apples, because they hold their shape nicely when cooked. Plus the flavour and crunch of them is phenomenal right now. I love to eat them fresh too. The Crispin is a large, firm, yellowish-green apple. 

We still have frozen Ontario cranberries from the bogs of Bala, Ontario!

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Crispin (Mutsu) Apple

This post is sponsored by Martin’s Family Fruit Farm. All recipes, views and stories are my own. 

 

Festive Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Topping

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flourFestive Pork Loin with Apple Cranberry Topping
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (yes! get it if you don’t own it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper seasoning
  • 1 boneless rolled and tied pork loin (4-5 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Apple Cranberry Topping:

  • 1 cup finely chopped unpeeled tart firm apple (Crispin, Empire, Spy)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed or snipped chili flakes (optional)

Directions

Important: Do Not Cover This Roast Or Any Other Loin Cuts At Any Point During Cooking. You will end up with a rubbery product that will disappoint you.

Set pork loin on a shallow foil-lined baking pan. In a small bowl, combine the flour with the seasonings. Rub them over the roast on all sides and the ends. Drizzle with oil and bake uncovered at 500° F for about 10 minutes. Lower heat to 325° F and bake uncovered for 1 1/4 hour longer.

Meanwhile, combine the topping ingredients. Remove roast from the oven; snip strings and carefully pull them out of the meat. Spread topping over the top of the roast and bake uncovered for another hour or until meat thermometer reads 160° F. You don’t want to overcook it or the meat will be dry. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing into 1/4″ slices. An electric knife works well for this. Arrange on a bed of kale and garnish with apple wedges, grape tomatoes, pickled crabapples or fresh/frozen cranberries. Serve and bask in the oohs of delight.