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Irish Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce: A Taste of Traditional Irish Cuisine

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Irish Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce is a classic dish that combines tender pork loin with a flavorful sauce made from apple cider, onions, and herbs. This recipe captures the essence of Irish cooking, where simple ingredients are used to create dishes that are hearty and delicious. The pork loin is seared to perfection, then simmered in a savory-sweet apple cider sauce that complements its natural flavors beautifully. Whether served for a family dinner or a special occasion, Irish Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce promises to be a memorable and comforting dish.

Ingredients:

For the Pork Loin:

  • 2 lbs pork loin, boneless
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage

For the Apple Cider Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (such as Granny Smith or Braeburn)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Pork Loin:

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Pat dry the pork loin with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  • Season the pork loin generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper on all sides.

2. Sear the Pork Loin:

  • In a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the pork loin to the skillet and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Add minced garlic, dried thyme, and dried sage to the skillet during the last minute of searing, stirring to coat the pork loin with the herbs.

3. Roast the Pork Loin:

  • Transfer the skillet or Dutch oven to the preheated oven.
  • Roast the pork loin for 25-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145°F (63°C) for medium doneness.
  • Remove the pork loin from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let it rest while preparing the sauce.

4. Make the Apple Cider Sauce:

  • In the same skillet or Dutch oven used to cook the pork loin, melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion to the skillet and sauté until softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add sliced apples to the skillet and cook until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes more.

5. Simmer the Sauce:

  • Pour apple cider and chicken or vegetable broth into the skillet, stirring to combine.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in Dijon mustard and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

6. Serve Irish Pork Loin:

  • Slice the rested pork loin into thick slices and arrange on a serving platter.
  • Spoon the apple cider sauce over the sliced pork loin.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness.

Tips for Success:

  • Pork Loin Cooking Time: Adjust cooking time based on the size and thickness of the pork loin to ensure it is cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  • Apple Selection: Choose apples that hold their shape well when cooked, such as Granny Smith or Braeburn, for the sauce.
  • Sauce Consistency: If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of broth or cider to thin it out. If it’s too thin, simmer it a bit longer to reduce further.

Variations:

  • Maple Glaze: Replace apple cider with maple syrup for a sweeter glaze.
  • Herb Infusion: Add fresh rosemary or thyme to the apple cider sauce for added herbal notes.
  • Pork Tenderloin: Substitute pork tenderloin for pork loin for a quicker cooking time.

Conclusion:

Irish Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce is a comforting and flavorful dish that embodies the essence of Irish cuisine with its tender pork loin and sweet-tart apple cider sauce. This recipe is perfect for showcasing the natural flavors of pork and apples, making it a versatile option for both casual meals and special occasions. Enjoy the rich and savory taste of Irish Pork Loin with Apple Cider Sauce, and savor the delicious combination of tender pork and aromatic sauce that is sure to please your palate.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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