Pork Loin with Cider-Braised Leeks and Apples
Like all the best recipes, this pork looks like more effort than it actually is. There are no fancy techniques here, no sudden movements. This dish will forgive you if you get distracted and walk away from the stove for a minute. Still, it looks pretty nice all plated up, either family-style on a serving platter or on individual dishes.
The best part? The whole thing is done in an hour, so it’s certainly manageable on a weeknight. You can use the final 20 minutes of cooking to throw together a salad, some potatoes or some other tasty root vegetable. Or you could pour yourself a glass of wine. Why not? It’s cold outside. You deserve it.
Another great feature of any weeknight-cooking endeavor: leftovers. Pile some of the extra pork and relish (either hot or cold) on a potato bun and you’ve got yourself a very tasty lunch the next day.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 boneless pork loins
- sea salt, black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tall glass hard dry apple cider
- 1.5 tablespoons Cognac
- ½ tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 leek, quartered, sliced and washed
- 1 green apple, cored, peeled and diced
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Take the pork out of the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Generously salt and pepper each side.
2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven until quite hot, over medium high heat. Sere each loin for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. Remove the pork to a plate.
3. Deglaze the Dutch oven with the cider and the Cognac, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits. Add the brown sugar, and then let the cider reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the onion and then the leek, and let them simmer away for about 5 minutes. Add the apple to the pot, and incorporate. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Toss in two sprigs of thyme, and then settle the pork loins on top of the onion, leek and apple. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid completely, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pork loin is just cooked through. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes before slicing it.
Or, the next day sandwich version:
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