Cooked in the same pan with the roast, the chunky apple-brandy sauce picks up the herb rub's savory flavors.
1 (2 1/2-pound) rolled boned pork loin roast
1 tablespoon dried rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 teaspoon margarine
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup thawed apple juice concentrate, undiluted
1/2 cup applejack (apple brandy)
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
2 2/3 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
How to Make It
Unroll roast; trim fat. Combine sage, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub inside surface of roast with one-third of sage mixture. Reroll roast, securing at 1-inch intervals with heavy string. Rub outside surface of roast with remaining sage mixture.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Place a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add roast; brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan; set aside. Melt margarine in pan. Add onion and celery, and sauté 5 minutes. Return roast to pan. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, apple juice, applejack, and broth; pour over roast.
Insert a meat thermometer into thickest portion of roast. Cover and bake at 425° for 20 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325° (do not remove roast from oven), and bake 30 minutes. Add apple; cover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink). Remove roast from pan, reserving cooking liquid. Place roast on a platter; cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.
Combine water and cornstarch, and stir into reserved cooking liquid. Bring mixture to a boil, and cook 1 minute or until sauce is slightly thick. Serve sauce with pork.
Note: Use 1 cup apple juice concentrate and omit apple brandy, if desired.
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Made exactly as directed using the all apple juice option. Everyone (husband, myself, 3 1/2 year old and baby) enjoyed it. The pork had nice flavor all on its own but the apples and sauce really made it something special. I'll definitely make again, probably in the Fall.
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