My mum and granny’s roast pork was one of my favorite meals growing up in Australia. Roast Pork Loin with Spiced Apple Compote makes for a lovely Sunday dinner or special-occasion meal. Pork and apples are a classic combination that simply can’t be improved on. The sweetness of the Fuji apples pairs perfectly with savory seasonings of Maldon salt, garlic, and marjoram of the pork.
Pork loin is actually one of the leanest cuts of meat, so keep the outer layer of fat: It bastes the meat perfectly as it roasts and keeps it from becoming dry. If you are concerned about fat content, simply trim excess fat away before carving and serving.
In preparing pork loin, the biggest mistake home chefs make is carving the roast right out of the oven without letting it “rest.” Resting allows juices to redistribute evenly through the meat instead of ending up on the cutting board. I recommend letting the roast rest for 30 minutes before carving, during which time you can prepare the apple compote.
The mix of bitter and crunchy in Endive Salad with Stilton and Roasted Walnuts creates a lush salad perfect for cooler months. The vinegar in the dressing adds a nice acidic balance with the rich pork, and the Stilton and nuts complement the pork and apple flavors as well.
Editor’s note: Look for Curtis as co-host of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking on PBS and as head judge of Top Chef Junior on Universal Kids.
Roast Pork Loin with Spiced Apple Compote
(Makes 8 servings)
- 1 3½-pound bone-in pork loin roast (with layer of fat on top still intact)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, preferably Maldon
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves, coarsely chopped
- 5 Fuji apples (about 1½ pounds total), peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¾ cup Calvados (apple brandy)
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
To prepare pork: Position rack on bottom of oven and preheat oven to 475°F. Using sharp knife, score fat that covers top of pork. Rub pork fat with sea salt, garlic, and half of marjoram leaves. Place pork on rack set in heavy roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and roast pork for another 45 minutes, or until instant-read meat thermometer registers 140°F when inserted into center of pork. Remove roasting pan from oven and allow pork to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Combine pan juices from roasting pan with remaining marjoram leaves and set aside to keep warm. Spoon off any fat that rises to top of pan juices.
While pork is resting, prepare apple compote: Combine apples, cloves, and cinnamon stick in large, heavy saucepan over medium to high heat and stir for 3 minutes or until apples just begin to soften slightly. Decrease heat to medium to low. Add Calvados to apples and stir for 5 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Cover pan and cook apples, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until they are tender and most juices have evaporated. Remove saucepan from heat. Remove cloves and cinnamon stick. Using potato masher, coarsely mash apples. If necessary, stir in sugar to sweeten compote slightly.
To serve: Thinly slice pork on cutting board and arrange pork slices on plates. Drizzle pan juices, and any accumulated juices that exuded from pork while it was being sliced, over pork slices. Spoon warm apple compote alongside pork and serve.
Make-ahead: The apple compote can be made up to 4 hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Rewarm the compote before serving.
- Calories: 380
- Total Fat: 14 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Sodium: 792 mg
- Carbohydrate: 15 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 41 g
- Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fruit, ½ fat, 7 lean protein
Endive Salad with Stilton and Toasted Walnuts
(Makes 6 servings)
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound Belgian endive (about 4 large)
- 8 ounces red endive or radicchio di Treviso
- 1 small red pear, cored, cut into thin, matchstick-size strips
- 1 cup red grapes, halved
- 2 ounces Stilton blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted
To make the dressing: In medium bowl, whisk vinegar, shallots, honey, mustard, and tarragon until blended. Whisk in olive oil. Stir in chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make the salad: Trim ends of Belgian and red endive and separate leaves. Continue to cut stem end of endives to allow each layer of leaves to be peeled away without ripping leaves. Cut leaves lengthwise in half. In large bowl, combine endive leaves, pear, grapes, and cheese. Coarsely crumble walnuts over salad. Gently toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Divide salad evenly among 6 serving plates, mounding salad in the center. Serve immediately.
Make-ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Let dressing stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and rewhisk before using.
- Calories: 261
- Total Fat: 20 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Sodium: 748 mg
- Carbohydrate: 18 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, ½ fruit, ¼ protein, 4 fat
Pick a side: Curtis Stone shares two more holiday favorites — Butternut Squash with Sage and Brown Butter and Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo — at saturdayeveningpost.com/holiday17-recipes.