Maple Applesauce on Herb Roasted Pork – learn how to keep this lean cut of pork extra juicy and compliment it with a tangy, sweet and sour maple applesauce. A perfect winter comfort food meal.
I’m a big fan of roast pork but will admit that leaner cuts like pork centre loin can be a bit tricky to roast without drying out the meat completely. There are two ways to overcome this problem and serve succulent, juicy, tender, well seasoned pork loin every time. The first, as I often mention here on Rock Recipes is to always use a meat thermometer. This completely eliminates the guesswork out of timing a perfectly cooked roast of any sort. I cook a pork loin roast to 160 degrees F and then let it rest for 10- 15 minutes before carving. It’s always perfectly cooked.
The second way to ensure a juicy pork loin and to season the meat completely through, is to brine the roast for 24-48 hours previous to roasting it. I add aromatics like garlic and bay leaves to my brine which infuses the meat with seasoning and great flavour. Cook a brined roast to 160 degrees F and you will no doubt have the finest roast pork you’ve ever tried.
The Maple Applesauce that accompanies this roast pork is not cloyingly sweet at all. The addition of some apple cider vinegar to the simple spiced applesauce balances the sweetness and gives it a tangy, almost sweet and sour flavour. You’ll find that it goes particularly well with baked ham too.
To complete this perfect winter comfort food meal we served it with roasted potatoes, roasted beets and roasted carrots. In the case of the carrots, I switched the mint in the recipe for thyme to match one of the herbs on the roast but you can use any herb you like if you are making them.
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For other great Sunday Dinner type recipes for days when you have a little more time to cook, check out the Slow Cooked Sundays section of of this website.
- 3 lb center loin pork roast
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp black peppercorns
- 3 leaves bay
- 3 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 large apples MacIntosh is a good choice for applesauce
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup you can substitute brown sugar if you prefer
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- cloves pinch ground optional
In a large glass or plastic bowl, dissolve the brown sugar and kosher salt into the water before adding the peppercorns, bay leaves and chopped garlic.
Submerge the pork loin roast into the brine. I usually add a small plate on top of the meat to weight it down and keep it completely surrounded by the brining liquid. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.
Before roasting, remove the roast from the brining liquid and pat completely dry with paper towels.
Mix together the sage, thyme and pepper and wrinkle evenly over the entire surface of the roast.
Finally rub the olive oil all over the roast and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.
Leave toe roast at room temperature for 30-40 minutes before roasting. This helps to ensure a more evenly cooked roast.
Roast in a preheated 375 F oven until the centre temperature reaches 160 F on a meat thermometer. My 3 pound roast took about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
While still on the roasting rack, tent the roast loosely with aluminium foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve wight eh warm Maple Applesauce.
Simmer all of the ingredients together for 25- 30 minutes or so until the apples break down and the liquid has mostly boiled off.