John’s Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

John’s Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

My second (and first November) Thankful recipe is dedicated to my husband.  I can’t even begin to express what he means to me or how thankful I am for him.  His steady support through all my mental health challenges, his patience with my short temper, and the wonderful father he is to our son is overwhelming.  He’s so supportive (even when it means a kitchen covered in flour and a sink piled high with the dishes of 10 baking experiments) and so kind.  He is easily the best person I know.  So this recipe, with all the amazing feelings I have for him, is dedicated to John.

Roast Pork with Beets and Applesmonster cake meter

minced sageLet’s start with the herbs.  I, when I possibly can, use fresh sage for this dish.  There are so few flavors that we want the best of the best!  It seems like this is a lot of sage, a lot of seasoning, but trust me – you’ll want it all.  We are basically making an herb crust over the pork.  So take the pork out of the fridge to take the chill off and wash the sage.  You’ll want to mince it until it’s fairly small.  To do this well simply place one hand on top of the knife near the end of the blade and rock back and forth, rotating through the pile.  Stop every few rotations to readjust and remake the pile, turn 90-180 degrees, and continue rotating to ensure that everything is minced evenly.  Put the sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir and toss with your fingers to mix it thoroughly.

coat the loin

Next we’re back to the old standby – pat dry the pork and rub each side and the entire length with all the seasoning. Now, if it’s a whole pork loin it will actually be two separate loins. That’s okay, simply separate them and treat them the same.  Again, it feels like a lot, but the flavor is to die for.  Set it aside and allow it to rest.

While the pork is lightly brining (for more information about pork brines, check out this recipe) chop the beets and apples into large pieces.  I slice the beets and then cut each slice in half.  Slice the apples off the core and then cut thinly.  The onion should be sliced and then each slice quartered to leave longer pieces of onion.

sear the loin

Add oil to a heavy-bottom pan that can be used in the oven (I use a braiser) and heat on medium.  If you don’t have this you can use a regular frying pan and then an oven safe 9×13 pan.  When the oil is hot add the pork and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes.  You want the sear to be nice and strong so once it’s laying down don’t move it for the entire 2-3 minutes.  You want to see the sear cook depth when you look at the pork from the side.  Repeat on all sides and then sear the ends.  Remove from the oil and place on a plate to the side.

veggies and fruit

Next add the onions and the beets to the same pan and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the beets have lost their extremely hard feeling.  You still want them to be hard, by the way, just not rigid.  Then add the apples and continue to saute for 2 minutes, or until all the apples are shiny.

pork on veggies and fruit

Add the pork back on the veggie/fruit mixture.  You’ll want it resting on top to prevent the juices from getting into the pork and braising instead of roasting it.  If you’re transferring everything to a 9×13 pan first lightly grease the pan, place the fruit/veggie mix in, and lay the pork on top.  Then put the whole thing in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  At this point you’ll want to test the center of your pork with a meat thermometer.  It needs to read 145F (for medium rare) to 160F (for medium).  If it’s not quite there simply continue allowing it to roast until it reads your comfortable temperature.  Pork inherently has some kind of nasty diseases if it’s raw, so be sure to cook it properly!  I don’t want anyone getting sick on my watch!

cover with foil

When it’s ready remove the entire pan from the oven and cover with tinfoil, allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes but not less than 5 minutes.  This is to help the juices stabilize so you don’t lose any of that flavor when you cut it.  Serve and enjoy!

pork and stuff

John's Roast Pork with Beets and Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Roast pork loin with a sage herb crust with beets and apples

Ingredients

  • 1 2-3 pound pork loin
  • 5-6 large beets
  • 3 medium apples (I prefer granny smith for this recipe)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage (packed)
  • 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Remove the pork out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Wash and mince the sage by placing one hand on top of the knife near the end of the blade and rocking the knife back and forth, rotating through the pile.  Stop every few rotations to readjust and remake the pile, turn 90-180 degrees, and continue rotating to ensure that everything is minced evenly.
  3. Put the sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir and toss with your fingers to mix.
  4. Pat dry the pork and rub each side and the entire length with all the seasoning. Set it aside and allow it to rest.
  5. Chop the beets and apples into large pieces. Slice the beets and then cut each slice in half. Slice the apples off the core and then cut thinly. Slice the onion and then quarter the slices.
  6. Add oil to a heavy-bottom pan that is oven safe and heat on medium. (If you don’t have this you can use a regular frying pan and then an oven safe 9×13 pan.).
  7. When the oil is hot add the pork and sear on each side for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Repeat on all sides and then sear the ends.  Remove from the oil and place on a plate to the side.
  9. Add the onions and the beets to the same pan and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the beets have lost their extremely hard feeling. (The beets should still be hard, just not rigid.).
  10. Add the apples and continue to saute for 2 minutes, or until all the apples are shiny.
  11. Add the pork back on top of the veggie/fruit mixture. Or transfer veggie/fruit mixture to a greased 9×13 pan and place the pork on top.
  12. Put the entire whole thing in the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  13. Test the center of your pork with a meat thermometer.  It needs to read 145F (for medium rare) to 160F (for medium).
  14. When it’s ready remove the entire pan from the oven and cover with tinfoil, allowing it to rest for 5-10 minutes but not less than 5 minutes.
  15. Serve and enjoy!

Salt-Grilled Meat

Salt-Grilled Meat

I’ve done salt-grilled prime meat but it’s summer, which means I want to grill like crazy.  So while that mood lasts I made salt-grilled meat.  Instead of choosing just a choice cut of steak instead of a prime cut of steak I tried to think about what Link actually eats in the game.  There’s a lot of birds and a lot of wild pigs.  So it came down to chicken and pork.  Now, if any of you grill you know that you never, never, ever grill chicken.  It is incredibly difficult to get cook through without drying out.  However, if you do cook pork, you know that you fell victim to one of the the classic blunder, the most famous of which is never get in a land war with Asia but only slightly less well-known is this, never grill pork unless death is on the line…  But we have a few tricks to help you build up an immunity to grilling pork.  Follow these steps and you should come out the victor.

Salt-Grilled Meatsalt grilled pork meter

If you are going to use fresh herbs first wash and then mince the herbs.  You want to make sure you have a really sharp blade to mince greens.  If you don’t, instead of cutting they tend to bruise.  Mix both the thyme and sage together and set aside.

The most  important thing is the very next step.  If you skip this step we may as well quit now…  We have to tenderize the meat as much as possible so the pork doesn’t dry out while we grill.  It’s called a brine, bro.

slicing the pork fat

The pork you purchase should be at least 1.5 inches thick.  Any thinner and it will cook too quickly.  Take your pork loin out of the fridge.  Pat each piece dry.  Now we gently slice the fat at 1 inch intervals.  You want to slice the fat but do not slice the meat.  If you have a thick piece of fat along the side slice about 1/4 inch in.  If you have a thin strip of fat cut all the way through but do not cut the meat.

 

seasoning the pork

Brush or rub the pork on both sides with oil, preferably olive or avocado.  Then rub the pork generously with salt, pepper and the herbs.  Now we let them sit for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t get impatient.  Remember, 30 minutes is the minimum for how long we want to brine.  Closer to an hour and the pork will be even more tender and juicy.

Since not everyone has an outdoor grill I decided to make this using our stove-top grill.  Heat on medium high when the pork is nearly ready to cook.  When the grill is hot lay the pork down away from you.  Allow to sear and cook for 8ish minutes.  Along the side you’ll see how far up the pork is cooking.  When you can see that the cook of the pork is nearly to the middle but not quite (maybe 1/3 of the way up) render the fat by holding it fat-side down on the grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute if the fat is thick. When that’s done flip it over and cook on the other side.  It should be nicely and beautifully browned.

lay the pork on the grill

Cook for about 8ish minutes on this side as well.  This is where you have to start using your judgement.  It should be mostly cooked.  You have a 10 minute minimum rest time so you want the pork to be cooked medium so it can finish up while it’s resting.  This means pulling it off when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F.  You want the final temperature to be 145F.  If it’s not quite ready flip over and cook for a minute or two, then flip again and cook for a minute or two.  This will prevent it from over cooking on one side and still cook through.

grilling pork

Take the pork off the grill and place on a plate to rest.  Cover with foil and let it sit for about 10-12 minutes so the juices can equalize.  If you try and skip this step it’ll be a little tough and the juices will all run out.

 

 

pork close-up

Uncover and serve with whatever you’d like!  If you want to wait till next week’s recipe this pairs really well with that!

Link’s Salt-Grilled Meat

    • Raw Meat or Raw Bird Drumstick
    • Rock Salt

Salt-Grilled Pork

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Salt-grilled pork with thyme and sage


Filling

  • 4 pork loin, 1.5 inch thick
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh sage (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried sage)

Directions

  1. If you use fresh herbs wash and then mince the herbs. Use a very sharp blade to mince in order to prevent bruising. Mix both the thyme and sage together and set aside.
  2. Take your pork loin out of the fridge and pat each piece dry.
  3. At 1 inch intervals gently slice the fat but do not cut the meat.  If you have a thick piece of fat along the side slice about 1/4 inch in.
  4. Brush or rub the pork on both sides with oil, preferably olive or avocado. Rub the pork generously with salt, pepper and the herbs.
  5. Allow the pork to sit for at least 30 minutes. If you choose to brine for longer start them in the fridge and finish the last 30 minutes out of the fridge.
  6. Heat your grill on medium high when the pork is nearly ready to cook.  When the grill is hot lay the pork down away from you.  Allow to sear and cook for 8ish minutes.  Along the side you’ll see how far up the pork is cooking.  When you can see that the cook of the pork is nearly to the middle but not quite (maybe 1/3 of the way up) turn it and render the fat for each chop.
  7. Flip the loin and cook on the other side for another 8ish minutes.
  8. At this point your chop should be mostly cooked.  You have a 10 minute minimum rest time so you want the pork to be cooked medium so it can finish up while it’s resting.  This means pulling it off when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F.  You want the final temperature to be 145F. If it’s ready remove from the grill and place onto a plate.
  9. If your pork isn’t quite ready flip it over and cook for a minute or two, then flip again and cook for a minute or two.  This will prevent it from over cooking on one side and still cook through.
  10. Take the pork off the grill and place on a plate to rest.  Cover with foil and let it sit for about 10-12 minutes so the juices can equalize. Uncover and serve!