Pork and apples are a perfect pair. I mean, if there's a Brady Bunch episode about something, it must be good. But there are a couple aspects of today's recipe that take "pork chops and applesauce" to the next level.
First we brown the seasoned pork loin roast to create a tasty crust. Then we nestle the pork into sauteed vegetables and apples so all the flavors meld while they cook in a hot oven. Now—here's the key to juicy, tender pork—use your instant thermometer to check the temperature and pull that roast out of the oven when it reaches 135-140 degrees. It will continue to cook while the meat rests. Finally, we create a rich-but-simple apple pan sauce. You'll be going back for seconds. Probably thirds.
Pork Loin Roast with Apple Gravy is the kind of hot dinner that would make Peter Brady proud.
Let's get cooking!
Pork Loin Roast with Apple Gravy
Adapted from The Food Network
2 pounds pork loin roast
Salt and pepper
3/4 teaspoon Fines Herbes*, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 carrots, cut into 1" chunks
3 ribs of celery, sliced 1/2" thick
1 onion, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut 1/2" thick
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple juice or cider
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or grainy mustard
1 tablespoon butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Season pork generously on all sides with salt and pepper and half of the Fines Herbes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork and cook until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate and set aside.
Add carrots, celery, and onion to now-empty skillet. Season with salt and pepper and remaining Fines Herbes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in apples.
Move veggies and apples to the side and nestle pork in the center. Place skillet in the oven and cook until pork reaches an internal temperature of 135-140 degrees, about 45-50 minutes. Transfer pork, vegetables, and apples to a plate and tent with foil. Allow pork to rest until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees.
Meanwhile, return skillet with cooking juices to high heat. (TIP: Put an oven mitt over the handle of the skillet so you don't accidentally grab the hot handle. I learned this the hard way, and it hurts.) Whisk in vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits, and allow to cook until it's reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Whisk in apple juice and allow to cook until reduced by half again, another 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in mustard and butter.
Serve sliced pork with apples, vegetables, and apple gravy.
*Don't have Fines Herbes? I'm a big fan, and this might be a perfect excuse to try something new! But if you don't feel like it or if you've gotta get dinner on the table stat, just skip it or try substituting tarragon or thyme. Honestly, I often sniff around (literally) in my spice cupboard and see what smells good. Make it your own!