- 2.5kg Pork Loin Roast
- 1000ml Apple Juice (well chilled)
- 1000ml Water
- 500ml Apple Cider
- 100ml White Wine
- 600ml Brown Chicken Stock
- 100g Kosher or Sea Salt
- 2 Lemons (washed, and quartered)
- 1 Bunch Thyme
- 1 Bunch of Parsley
- 1 Head of Garlic
- 2 Carrots (trimmed, peeled, and sliced)
- 4 Onions (trimmed, peeled, and sliced) [2 for brine mixture and 2 for gravy]
- 2 Red Prince Apples (washed, cored and quartered lengthways)
- 2 Granny Smith Apples (washed, peeled, cored and sliced)
- 2 Star Anise
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 6 Whole Allspice Berries
- 12 Whole Black Peppercorn
- 30g Cornstarch
- In a large pot, toast the star anise, cinnamon, allspice and black peppercorn over medium low heat until fragrant.
- Add your salt, water, carrots, onions and garlic and turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- When the mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add your thyme, parsley and lemon. Stir to ensure everything is well combined and the salt is dissolved. Allow to cool before refrigerating.
- When chilled, add your apple juice and stir to combine.
- Truss your pork loin with string in 1 inch intervals throughout the entire length of the loin. Place your pork loin inside a food safe bag or container large enough to fit your loin and add your chilled brine mixture. Brine the pork loin for 24hrs before removing from the brine mixture, rinse the pork loin in cold water and pat dry.
Roast Pork Loin and Saute Apple Segments
- Remove your pork loin from the fridge at least 2hrs prior to roasting, and allow to come to temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Place your pork loin in a shallow roasting pan, and roast in the oven center shelf for approximately 2-2.5hrs. About halfway through cooking, turn your pan to help rotate and evenly cook your roast pork. Check your pork loin after about 2hrs, to see if it’s ready. Your roast is ready when the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
- While your pork is cooking, in a wide surface non-stick frying pan heat under medium high heat and saute your apple segments under medium high heat until golden brown and slightly softened. When cooked, remove and set aside.
- When your pork is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30mins before carving.
- In a pan, add your remaining onions, granny smith apples and a bit of olive oil and cook under medium high heat until soft and caramelized.
- Deglaze the roasting pan used for roasting the pork loin with the white wine, and pour into the pan for making the sauce. Turn up the heat to high and cook until the wine mixture has reduced to a syrup. Add your apple cider and cook under high heat until it has reduced by half. Finally add your brown chicken stock, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce your heat down to low and allow to gently simmer for 30mins.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pan.
- Dissolve your cornstarch with a splash of water and carefully add it to your apple gravy a little at a time. Checking the consistency after each addition to suit your taste.
- Pour some sauce at the bottom of your serving dish/tray. Arrange your cut pork loin on top, and garnish with the saute apple segments.
- A whole roasted pork loin will comfortably feed 8-10 people. However, if you’re looking for something smaller you can swap the pork loin with pork tenderloin. Just reduce the time in the brine to about 4-6hrs, and the cook time in the oven to about 30-40mins.
- Alternatively, this recipe would work well with Chicken as a substitute for the pork. If you’re using standard 3.5lbs whole chickens to roast, the cooking time should be roughly 1-1.5hrs in the oven at 325ºF. Check the bird after an hour in the oven. The internal temperature should be 165ºF.
- When checking the internal temperature of pork loin, insert your meat thermometer directly in the center of the thickest portion of the pork loin.
- Remember that due to the momentum of the residual heat from roasting will continue carrying on cooking the pork loin even after it’s been removed from the oven. So it’s best to pull it at around 155-160ºF and allow it to reach 165ºF on it’s own.
- For the brine mixture, you can use either kosher salt or sea salt interchangeably. However, table salt cannot be used as a substitute. If you happen to use table salt, your dish will result in being overbearingly salty.
- You’ll notice that the recipe omits any steps in seasoning the loin and sauce. The reason being the pork loin being placed in the brine mixture will help season your dish automatically in both the roast and pan drippings for the sauce.
- Most brine recipes result in a overly salty end product in my opinion. However, in this recipe the addition of the apple juice and the sugar contained within will help balance your brine mixture preventing it from becoming too salty.
- After roasting your pork loin, you’ll notice it comes out slightly glazed and golden brown even though it was roasted in low temperatures. This is due to the fact that the salt and sugar within the brine mixture assisting in the caramelization process for the roast pork.
- The amount of cornstarch needed for the sauce will be slightly variable due to personal preferences, so you may need a little more or a little less based on your preferences. So it’s best to adjust according to your taste instead of blindly following the recipe.
- For the saute apple slices, you can substitute with another variety of sweet and crisp cooking apple such as Fuji, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, etc. I just happened to use Red Princes in this recipe as they were available and good quality when I was shopping.