When you're thinking about doing something special for dinner you might want to consider a pork loin roast. Impressive and relatively low maintenance, it's the perfect solution for dinner on a cold winter night or anytime for that matter.
Our local Sprouts had pork loin roast on sale yesterday and honestly, I couldn't pass it up. I whipped up a quick brine and let the little 4 pound beauty soak all day before it hit the oven. While it roasted away, I whipped up a sauce that included green onions sauteed in butter followed by orange juice, cranberry sauce, chicken stock and a touch of apple cider vinegar. A quarter cup of the reserved sauce mixed with an equal amount of tangerine/kumquat marmalade worked as a glaze on the roast during the last 45 minutes of cooking.
Removed from the oven, it looked and smelled amazing and after a brief resting period, thinly sliced and slathered in more sauce, it was incredible. Moist, tender, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection, the brining really is the key to a moist and flavor filled plate of awesomeness. Like a little sauce with your meat? How about fluffy creamy mashed spuds? Ya, that's what I thought!
Recipe adapted from Jackson Hole Cooks by Rebecca Woods
3-1/2 to 4 pound boneless rolled pork loin roast
4 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
6 cups ice cubes
Bring water, sugar, salt, bay leaves and peppercorns to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat and add ice cubes, stirring until they’re melted and the mixture is cooled. Place roast into a container big enough to hold the brine and roast or a zip top bag. Refrigerate covered for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight if you can.
Preheat oven to 350. Remove roast from brine and dry well with a paper towel. Discard brine. Place roast into a roasting pan and sprinkle liberally with coarse ground black pepper. Roast uncovered in the middle of the oven for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce:
½ cup chopped green onions, tops included
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 bay leaf
1 16oz can whole berry cranberry sauce
½ cup chicken stock
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup orange marmalade
Melt 1 Tbsp butter in skillet over medium high heat. Sauté green onion in the butter for 1 minute. Add orange juice and bay leaf and stir constantly for 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, cranberry sauce, cider and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens – about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and stir in pepper and remaining butter. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaf. Remove 1/4 cup of mixture and pour into a small bowl. Cover the remaining sauce and hold.
To cranberry sauce in the small bowl, add marmalade and whisk well to blend.
After pork has roasted for 1 hour, brush cranberry marmalade glaze over the meat. Return roast to oven and bake an additional 45 minutes or until thermometer inserted into middle of roast reads 160 F. Remove roast from oven and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve sliced pork with reserved sauce.
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