Down here in the Deep South, we're in the throws of Winter. That, of course, amounts to a few weeks of cold, rainy weather - nothing you'd ever have to shovel. I know, hard to find anyone who'll feel sorry for us, right? Well, we earned this, dammit, for suffering through 100 degree heat factors with 100 percent humidity last August. It's a kind of trade-off. And I realize just how lucky we are as I watch the news and see cars turned into ice sculptures in their driveways. Yikes!
Anywho, since it's Winter, I've pulled out all my heartiest recipes to fortify the troops around here. These are the kinds of things we eat to fuel the inner furnace for our Winter activities. We're no strangers to the chill, you know. We get out there and 'rough it' too doing things like, oh, standing around on the street for several hours catching Mardi Gras beads or carousing the French Quarter, sampling great music from one club to another. Takes a stout heart - and full belly - to brave those kinds of hardships!
To wit, I picked up a lean pork loin to roast in the oven. Seems like "lean" and "pork" don't belong together, right? It's rather like "jumbo shrimp" and "stay-at-home Mom." But, in any event, to feed my Oxy Morons (the lengths I won't go for a grin), I'm taking that pork loin and smothering it in onions and apples. Let's get cookin'....
PORK LOIN WITH ONIONS AND APPLES
1/2 pork loin (about 3 lbs)
2 tbsp pork seasoning (I used McCormick's)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp thyme
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 apple sliced into thin wedges
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix the last four ingredients into a dry rub. Wash the loin and pat dry with paper towels. Place it into a deep oven-proof dish. Rub it all over with olive oil. Then sprinkle it with the rub you made, reserving 1/4. In a bowl, toss the apples and onions with a drizzle of olive oil and the remaining rub. Distribute the onions and apples evenly on either side of the pork loin. Add a little water, sherry or wine to the bottom of the pan and put it in the oven. Bake for app. 1.5 hours - checking the temperature at 1 hour with a meat thermometer.
When the loin is done, remove it to a platter. Put the pan with juices, onions and apples over a low flame on the stove. Thicken with corn starch (1 tsp corn starch + 1 cup cold water) and simmer till it thickens. Taste and season your gravy. Slice the loin and serve each piece with onion/apple gravy and mint jelly on the side.
P.S. Want to send a shout out to our newest friends in Switzerland!
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