Cider Roasted Pork

The barrage of holiday recipes is ready to begin at any moment.  The interwebs will invariably fill up with posts about turkey this and stuffing that…all guaranteed to turn your holiday table into a Norman Rockwell/Martha Stewart mash up.  You know who gets left out in the cold by all those posts?  People who don’t like turkey.

I’ve gone of the record as being anti turkey.  Here’s a few reasons why I do not serve turkey for Thanksgiving:

Reason #63 – It takes too freaking long to cook.  The day we set aside to reflect upon the bounty in our lives should not start at the crack of dawn with me muttering and cursing under my breath about the “damn turkey”.  I prefer to spend Thanksgiving in the presence of my family and friends, not babysitting a bird in my oven.

Reason #14 – A turkey, even a small one, is too big for the two of us.  I know what you’re going to say…but you can freeze the leftovers.  I barely have room for frost in my freezer.  I’m not taking up precious cubic footage, to store a half eaten bird, that could otherwise be devoted to important things like ice cream and vodka.

Reason #40 – Cider Roasted Pork.  This recipe makes me buy apple cider year round.  The pork is moist and flavorful and doesn’t require me to hold its hand for five or six hours in the oven.  Two pounds of pork is enough for a satisfying dinner and a serving or two of leftovers so it doesn’t wear out its welcome.

Cider Roasted Pork Loin

Adapted from Cooking Light

BAH Note: The cider reduction can be made ahead of time and gently warmed on the stove over a very low flame until you are ready to use it to baste the pork.

  • 3 cups apple cider plus 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds pork loin, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

Bring 3 cups of cider, salt, pepper, and coriander to a boil in a saucepan.  Remove from the heat, add the ice, and cool completely.  Transfer the brine to a large zip top bag, add the pork loin, and refrigerate for 8 hour.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Insert a cooling rack or broiler pan coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Remove pork from brine and place on the prepared rack.  Spray the pork lightly with cooking spray  and sprinkle the rosemary and sage onto the pork.  Bake for 1 hour or until the temperature registers 155 degrees.

While the pork cooks, bring the remaining 2 cups of cider to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cook until it reduces to about 1/2 cup.

Use the reduced cider syrup to carefully baste the pork twice during the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

{printable recipe}

23 thoughts on “Cider Roasted Pork

    1. Kitch, I firmly resolve that my kitchen career shall never include roasting a turkey. There are too many other, more interesting, options.

  1. I personally love the Thanksgiving Day turkey, and the oodles of leftover turkey sandwiches. Seriously, leftover turkey sandwiches (with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mayo) might actually be my favorite food.

    However, this pork looks amazing. I think I’ll make it this week, and serve it with homemade applesauce.

    1. Jacki, I wish I shared your enthusiasm for turkey. The only thing that I miss by not doing a bird is crispy turkey skin. It’s like crack.

  2. I made TWO turkeys for Thanksgiving 2009, and two ducks and a turkey breast for 2010. This year, I’m turning over the turkey-baking to my BIL. As far as I’m concerned, he can keep the leftovers, too, as I don’t even like turkey.

    When we start having Tday dinner at my house, I’ll be making some other beast. The pork loin looks good.

  3. i agree with all your reasons to dislike turkey, especially requiring room in the freezer for important stuff like ice cream and vodka.

    girl, i am all about the pork loin!

    1. My freezer is absolutely incapable to accommodating a frozen bird of any type…and yet it’s not because of fun things like ice cream or vodka. I can’t even remember the last time I had those in the Frigidaire. I think it’s time for a freezer clean out.

  4. I’m with you on the turkey! I’m not a fan of the meat (I find it dry), of the cooking woes it can involve, or of the consumption of valuable freezer space. Your pork looks like a GREAT alternative, and your picture is totally cookbook quality. Seriously. It’s making my mouth water.

  5. I Love turkey … and don’t find it all that difficult to cook .. yeah you have to get it in the oven early and baste it now and then … of course the only time I really have turkey is for the holidays … other than turkey lunchmeat which I buy all the time …

    this pork looks delicious… a recipe I must try soon.

    1. Doreen, glad to hear from a turkey lover. If I enjoyed eating turkey more, I probably wouldn’t mind spending the time to roast one. As it is, I am happy to get my turkey fix at the deli each week.

  6. I usually make turkey for the big day even though it’s not my favorite. Your pork roast looks delicious, and I really like the idea of the cider in the brine. I will definitely try this recipe soon.

    1. @Troika, I’m sure the other folks at your table appreciate the effort you go to so that they can enjoy turkey on Thanksgiving. And yes, the cider in the brine is a lovely addition…makes it feel like a perfect fall dish to me.

  7. I really have to agree on the turkey. I’d much rather be doing other things. The whole family has been busy this year, and the other day, there was even talk of going to the local Chinese buffet for dinner. Yes sacrilege I know. But I gave in. I went and bought the bird today. It’s really not too bad as I cook simply on the holiday and prepare a lot of stuff ahead of time. I just hate dealing with the darned carcass afterward. So I think that duty shall be reassigned this year — meaning Not Me 😉

    Have a wonderful Holiday!

    1. CHINA BOOFAY!!! There’s a guilty pleasure. This year I took the easy out and picked up a ham to take as my Thanksgiving dinner offering. Good for you for delegating the carcass duty to someone else. Happy Thanksgiving hon.

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