Pork roast with chipotle-glazed apples September 13, 2010Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Pork.
In my ongoing attempts to persuade spring to come and stay in Melbourne, I decided to make a roast. However, rather than making a heavy, beef-based roast, I thought I’d try a pork roast. I picked up a rolled pork loin from my butcher and began on the preparation. I very roughly followed this recipe from Epicurious; however, I did not marinate the meat overnight and it still came out very nicely.
To start with, I made a spice mix of brown sugar, cumin, salt, pepper and chili flakes. I packed it onto the pork as best I could, erring on the side of too much rather than not enough spice mix. I added some water to the bottom of the pan so that the extra sugar didn’t turn into a sticky mess.
One thing I do like about roasts is that you can put them in the oven and forget about them – at least for a period of time! In this case, it wasn’t a huge roast, so I prepared the side dishes while the roast was cooking.
One element I was curious about was this side dish of chipotle-glazed apples. While I didn’t have any tinned chipotles, I did have some dried ones. I toasted one, chopped it up, and placed it in a pan of water for the pieces to soften.
I chopped up a couple of apples into thin slices – I didn’t bother peeling them. The recipe said to toss them in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar but since I still had the spice mix left from the pork (which was mostly sugar), I added a bit of cinnamon to ot and tossed the apples in that instead.
By this time the chipotles had softened and the water had boiled off. I added a bit of oil, and then the apple pieces. I flipped them as they cooked. It didn’t take long to cook them all – maybe 5 minutes or so.
By this time, the roast was done. I left it to rest on a plate while I used the juices from the pan to make a sauce. I added red wine, salt and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.
I also made a quick salad of chopped cabbage, radish and a soy sauce-based dressing. When everything was ready it was time to serve.
The verdict: the cabbage and radish was a very nice combination, and added a nice textural element to the dish, although I was a little disappointed the radishes were not spicier. The pork was delicious, with the spice mix adding a sweet/sour combination which went very well with the meat. But this dish was all about the apples – they were delicious! Sweet from the sugar, spicy (without being overpowering) and smoky from the chipotles – I was sorry I didn’t make more. The thinner slices had gone almost crispy while the thicker ones were soft and provided more apple flavour. Such a great combination of salty, sour and sweet.
So you may be wondering if my attempts to cook spring into existence have worked. I think I have been moderately successful although not 100 percent. The sky stays lighter for longer, and the wind isn’t quite as cold – there is a hint of spring in the air although it is still not here yet. I try to encourage it as much as I can!