Prep 2 hrs
Cook 1 hr 35 mins
In 'Winter Gatherings' by Rick Rodgers
- 2 (12 ounce) bottles hard apple cider or 2 (12 ounce) bottleshard pear cider
- 1⁄2 cup table salt
- 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 1⁄2 cups ice water
- 1 (4 lb) center-cut pork loin, with bones (6 ribs)
- 2 white-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut lengthwise into sixths
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup hard apple cider or 1 cup hard pear cider
- 1 cup chicken stock
- To make the brine, about 8 hours before roasting the pork, bring the cider, salt, brown sugar, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel seed, peppercorns, and bay leaves to a simmer in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stirring often to dissolve the salt.
- Transfer to a large deep bowl and let cool until tepid.
- Add the ice water and stir well.
- Add the pork to the brine; cover and refrigerate, turning pork occasionally in the brine, for at least 4 hours and up to 6 hours, but no longer.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°.
- Drain the pork and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan, meaty side up.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Toss the sweet potatoes and apples together with the vegetable oil in a large bowl.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread around the pork and stir with the juices in the pan to coat.
- Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the roast reads 140°, about 40 more minutes.
- Transfer the pork to a platter and tend it with foil.
- Let stand for 10-20 minutes while roasting the sweet potatoes and apples.
- Stir the sweet potatoes and apples and continue roasting until they are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the rosemary, and toss gently.
- Scatter around the pork on the platter and cover again with foil to keep warm while making the sauce.
- Leaving any browned bits in the pan, pour out the fat.
- Place the pan over medium heat.
- Add the butter and let melt.
- Whisk in the flour and let bubble until very lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Whisk in the cider, then the stock, and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer until thickened and not taste of raw flour remains, about 3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into a sauceboat.
- Carve the roast and serve hot with the sweet potatoes and apples, and the sauce on the side.