feasting at home: Grilled Pork Loin with Apple, Sage, Serrano and Hard Cider Sauce

October 2, 2013

Grilled Pork Loin with Apple, Sage, Serrano and Hard Cider Sauce


Nestled in the beautiful foothills of Mt Spokane, Green Bluff is home to over 30 family owned orchards and farms. Each fall, thousands of visitors make the 15 minute drive north of Spokane and find themselves surrounded by gentle rolling hills, charming old barns and picturesque landscapes. During the months of September and October, the apple harvest is celebrated with festivals happening each weekend. Bushels of apples are available to purchase, or venture out in the orchards and pick your own. The festivities include live music, food, corn mazes, hayrides and petting zoos. If crowds are not your thing, visit the apple orchards during the week and experience the tranquility of being outside in this serene and beautiful area.

This apple recipe was inspired by a couple whose wedding we catered over the weekend.  The groom, an avid home cook, described this dish in detail and how he wanted to have this served at their wedding reception, so for several weeks now I have fiddled and fiddled with this recipe in order to get it just right. The pork marinates overnight in a mixture of real maple syrup, fresh lime and orange juice and becomes infused with pure goodness. A quick char on the grill gives it a nice smokiness. Paired with Pink Lady apples, thickly cut and sauteed with sage and topped with a hard cider sauce with Serrano chili and a little cream- even I, a person who generally shies away from pork, had to admit how delicious it was.  

Before we get started…..I recently started posting my recipes on Pinterest and would love to have you take a look at some of my Pinterest boards. Pinterest really helps spread the word about my blog. Every time you "pin" a photo, it links it to back to this recipe. It's a great way to save recipes on your own boards and share with friends…so get pinning!!



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There are three tips to cooking pork loin:

Don't over cook it.
Don't over cook it.
Don't over cook it.

Pork loin is very lean and dries out easily if cooked even for a few minutes too long. For me the secret is to use a thermometer and  to remember that even while it rests, the temperature is still gently rising.
Pork loin is too small to be treated like a roast and too big to be treated like a steak. The secret is to sear it on the grill, or on a grill- pan on the stove on a higher heat to give it a lovely char, for about 12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140 F, then turn the heat off, wrap it in foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. That's it.


The marinade is made with fresh lime juice, orange juice, their zest and maple syrup. The pork tastes best the longer it marinates -so plan ahead.


Apples are left unpeeled and sliced. Sauteed in a little butter with fresh sage, until just tender, they are the perfect compliment to pork loin.





For the sauce, hard cider and chicken stock are infused with a bit of Serrano chili and reduced. A little whipping cream is added and its further reduced until it turns a lovely golden color. Do not try subbing half and half, it will separate. Leave the salting of the sauce until the very end, depending on how much the stock reduces and becomes concentrated, you may not need too much.



The pork is grilled on high heat until the internal temp reaches 140F, then wrapped in foil and rested for 10 minutes. Slice, arrange apple and sage mixture around and spoon cider cream sauce over it.




If you are more of a lean eater, leave the sauce on the side, but make sure to a least try a small spoonful of it.


I recently started posting my recipes on Pinterest and would love to have you take a look at some of my Pinterest boards. Pinterest really helps spread the word about my blog. Every time you "pin" a photo, it links it to back to this recipe. It's a great way to save recipes on your own boards and share with friends…so get pinning!!

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Print Recipe

Grilled Pork Loin with Apple, Serrano, Hard Cider Sage Cream

Pork:
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin whole
1/4 C fresh lime juice and zest from one lime
1/4 C fresh orange juice and zest from one orange
1/4 C maple syrup
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Hard Cider Sauce:
1 T butter
1 large shallot finely diced
1 cup hard apple cider
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 of a whole serrano chili, seeded and finely diced - or more for more spicy
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream ( half and half will curdle)
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste ( add last)

Apples:
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 Apples (Honey crisp,gala, granny smith) unpeeled and thickly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage
1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
splash cider

Instructions:
1. Marinate pork, placing first 6 ingredients in a sealable bag, refrigerating and let marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. The longer the better. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

2. Make the Hard Cider Sauce. In a medium pot, saute shallot in butter until tender. Add cider, chicken stock and serrano chili, bring to a boil, then turn heat to med-low and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until reduced by half. Add heavy whipping cream. (Don't use half and half). Stirring occasionally, continue to simmer until sauce thickens and turns into a lovely pale golden color, about 15 more minutes. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste.

3. In a heavy bottom skillet, saute apples in butter and olive oil, on medium heat until golden and tender. Add sage, salt and sugar, and a splash of cider ( 2 T). Once cider has evaporated, turn off heat and set aside.

4. Grill Pork Loin on Medium heat, turning often until all sides are seared ( about 12 minutes) . Turn grill to low and continue to cook (or place in a 350F oven) until internal temperature reaches 140 F. This is important. Do not overcook- or pork will be dry. Once internal temp of pork is 140 F, promptly remove from heat and wrap tightly in foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

5. Slice pork into 1 inch portions, placing apple mixture over and around. Garnish with fresh sage. Spoon Hard Cider sauce over top.


13 comments:

  1. This is fantastic wedding food Sylvia! Pork with fruit is one of my top combinations, and you're so absolutely right about the three tips!

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  2. Can't wait to try this recipe! Gorgeous photos!!

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  3. The looks delicious and the photography is so lovely. It looks like Fall! I have a question-what exactly is hard cider? And is there one you recommend? Thanks, Kate

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    1. Hard Cider is the kind with alcohol in it :)

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  4. Lately every time I see an image that grabs I end up here. You are quickly becoming an addiction. GREG

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    1. Yes , you are addicting ! I first discovered you when I Googled Berebere . I love your Ethiopian Lentils . I also love your Creamy Poblano Enchiladas with Chicken ! I logged on tonight to check out your Posole Verde Soup so I could gather my ingredients and harvest the rest of my wonderful Poblanos from the garden before the first frost . And then , I see this awesome new Pork Loin recipe ? So , Posole first , Pork Loin second and then I might finally get to make the Rosemary Chicken Lasagna ! Thank you for the wonderful recipes !




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  5. Sound excellent. I'm wondering if any of these steps can be done ahead; for example, could I make sauce and apples in advance and reheat later?

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  6. LOVED THIS RECIPE. GREAT FALL DINNER. MADE A FENNEL, APPLE, ROASTED WALNUT, SALAD WITH A FENNEL VINAGRETTE. NICE GLASS OF WINE TO ACCOMPANY -GREAT HIT.

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