Roast Pork Loin with Blood Orange and Red Onions

Pork Loin with Blood Orange and Onions2

When I still lived back in Michigan, there were two places that I lived without that have now become a rather significant part of my grocery shopping/cooking experience:

Trader Joe’s, and the Whole Foods Market.

My hometown doesn’t have a Trader Joe’s and up until a few MONTHS before I moved, it didn’t have a Whole Foods either. Now that I’ve lived on the West coast for nearly a year (whoa, canNOT believe it’s been that long already),  I really don’t know how I did without them–especially Trader Joe’s.

In the first place TJ’s brand of foods is pretty awesome; I highly recommend their hummus, cauliflower rice, ginger snaps, vanilla wafers, and of course, the friggin cookie butter. In the second, the produce you get from there (even when it’s non-organic) I’ve just found to taste A LOT better than the produce you can get in regular grocery stores. The difference is absolutely worth splitting our grocery runs into multiple places to get the produce there and everything else at Target or the like.

My newfound love of Whole Foods has come because of my discovery that they sell certain ingredients that I previously had never seen in grocery stores in the Mitten. I know that the ‘Whole Foods Whole Paycheck’ jokes are gonna flow, but I will also say that they have a bulk spice assortment that is pretty inexpensive; especially when you’ve walked down a spice aisle and seen a 4 oz jar of a spice that can run anywhere between $6-14. (I wish I was kidding, but my fellow cooks know I’m dead serious).

One of the ingredients that I’ve since found in Whole Foods, and is extremely relevant to today’s post is the blood orange.

Don’t freak out. This has nothing to do with blood. The blood orange is a variety of the orange citrus fruit and is so called because whereas the inner flesh/pulp of the orange is…orange, blood orange inner flesh is a dark crimson red–y’know, like blood. The flavor is also far more intense; I would describe the taste like a VERY tart raspberry or an extremely sweet, slightly less bitter grapefruit. I first heard of blood orange from watching an episode of Iron Chef America several years ago, and the mystery ingredient(s) used in the battle were an assortment of conventional and unconventional citrus fruits. One of the chefs used blood oranges in their dishes and I was intrigued as to how the sweet fruit would work in a savory dish.

That curiosity stuck with me up until the day I was picking up some spices from Whole Foods and suddenly noticed that they had blood oranges in their produce section (because, of course they did). I remembered how I had always wanted to try them and decided to just go ahead and take a chance.

Pork loin is a very inexpensive cut of meat, and I know from past experience, including from other recipes on the blog, that quite a bit of fruits (like apples and peaches) pair wonderfully with it. For that reason I decided to let a pork loin roast with blood orange as the main flavor be my introduction to not only cooking with blood orange, but tasting it in general.

I love when my cooking curiosity pays off–especially when it means I get to share with you all.

I really enjoyed this. First, blood oranges are very tasty. I think I may even like their flavor a tad bit better than regular oranges. Second, combined with the right flavors, they absolutely do work in a savory dish, much like this one. The seasoning on the pork itself is balanced with the addition of fresh rosemary, sweet paprika, garlic and coriander to cut some of the sweetness of the blood orange. The sauce is my favorite part: it manages to still have that noticeable tartness from the blood orange, but also has a sweet and tangy flavor from the addition of white wine, Dijon mustard, among other ingredients. Put them together and you have an easy meal that you can brag about to your friends who til now may have never even heard of blood orange before themselves.

Sharing at the Fiesta Friday #181, co-hosted this week by CH @ Cooking From My Heart and Nimmi @ Adorable Life.

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Roast Pork Loin with Blood Orange and Red Onions

Recipe Adapted from Food Network Magazine

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Ingredients

For Pork

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pound boneless pork loin
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive, vegetable or canola oil
  • Zest and juice of 4 blood oranges
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Seasoned salt and pepper
  • 3 red onions, quartered into large chunks

For Blood Orange Sauce

  • Juice of 8 blood oranges (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 honey
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • A few dashes of fish sauce
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Seasoned salt and pepper

 

Directions

In a small bowl combine the oil, zest, juice, garlic, rosemary, coriander, sweet paprika, onion powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix until it forms a loose paste, then rub the paste over the pork loin evenly on both sides. Place in a Ziploc bag or a sealable plastic container and refrigerate at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the pork from the fridge and allow to sit for 1 hour to come to room temp. Heat about one tablespoon of oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium high heat. Sear the pork on both sides about 3-5 minutes per side until a browned crust forms.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil in the bottom of a roasting pan or sheet tray, then place a wire rack over that. Spray lightly with cooking spray then place the pork on top of the rack. Roast in the oven on the lower rack until a thermometer inserted into the middle reads 145°, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the juice, white wine, golden raisins, sugar, honey, rosemary, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the Dijon mustard in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and allow to reduce until syrupy and slightly thickened, about 30-35 minutes. Take off the heat and add the remaining mustard and the vinegar. Set aside until pork is ready.

Line another sheet pan with aluminum foil. Toss the onions with about 2 tablespoons of the sauce, then season with salt and pepper. Roast on the top rack until softened and just about to char, about 25 minutes. Set aside until pork is finished.

Allow the pork to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce and red onions.

Roast Pork Loin with Apples

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So here on Cooking is My Sport, I throw a lot of meat recipes at you guys. However, I’m willing to share a little secret with you:

There was a period in my life where I was a vegetarian. I even went a step further and became a Vegan. (90% of the time, anyway. I would eat meat once a week for dinner.)

It didn’t last. In fact, it was a pretty miserable time.

You know why?

Because I friggin love my friggin meat.

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Love, love, LOVE it.

Chicken. Beef. Turkey. Pork. I don’t discriminate.

Except when it comes to fish. I’m very discriminatory with fish, but you get the idea.

Eggs and beans and starches like potatoes and beans are great, but no matter how many vegetarian main dishes I’ve cooked (and I’ve made quite a few), none of them have ever been able to give me the satisfaction that comes with plate of thick, juicy meat.
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Beyonce felt the need to make this ‘great big’ announcement this past week on Good Morning America that she had gone Vegan and that it made her feel better, lose weight and improved the quality of her sleep.

And that she was releasing a Vegan food line with her trainer that everyone should buy. Whoop dee doo for her. You do you, Boo. (eye roll)

Don’t get me wrong, guys. I understand that some people have given meat up for ethical or religious reasons. Others really do do it for their health. I get that.

I don’t judge. I won’t criticize. I won’t even mock. Different strokes for different folks.

Just don’t ask me to hop back on that bandwagon. Cause I won’t. I will be over here with my meat and a great big smile on my face.

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My family comes from the South. We are huge carnivores. I think loving meat is in our DNA. It has to be, because, well, Bacon.

We’re meat and potatoes people, with a HUGE emphasis on the meat part of that equation. I honestly think they’d laugh at me if I even suggested us all going vegetarian or vegan. Then they’d tell me to stop fooling around and ask what I was ACTUALLY making for dinner.

Whenever I’m not using chicken, that answer is usually some kind of a roast.

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If there was ever any reason to be a meat-lover, I think that a delicious roast would have to be right there at the top. It smells good. It tastes good. And it feels pretty good in your stomach after you’ve eaten it. That’s why they call it Comfort Food.

There’s really just nothing like a good roast when it’s done right. And I’ve reached a point in my cooking skills where I can do the “Roast Thing” rather well.

That was  me bragging, in case you couldn’t tell. I make very good roast….anything.

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Does that mean that sometimes I cut the corners and throw a cut of meat in my crockpot, set it and forget it? Sure. It comes out just as good.

But most times I will actually do  the extra work of searing the meat first then roasting it in my oven, then thickening the juices over the stove into a rich, hearty gravy.

Like a boss.

This pork loin recipe is pretty easy to follow and straight forward. And delicious, did I mention delicious? Meat lovers will gobble it up. Non-meat lovers will probably want to anyway. No matter what side you’re on, there’s no way you can look at this roast and feel absolutely NOTHING. I refuse to believe that’s possible.

I’ll be taking my pork roast, as well as my meat loving derriere to the Fiesta Friday #72 party hosted this week by  Quinn @Dad Whats 4 Dinner and Naina @Spice in the City. See you guys there!

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Roast Pork Loin with Apples

Recipe Adapted from Food Network Kitchens

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (2-pound) boneless center cut pork loin, trimmed and tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, thickly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, thickly, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, such as Cortland or Rome peeled, cored and cut into 8 slices
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large ovenproof skillet heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat until golden brown on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Transfer the meat to a plate and set it aside.Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herb sprigs, and 2 tablespoons of the butter to the skillet. Stir until the vegetables are browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced apples, then push the mixture to the sides and set the pork loin in the middle of the skillet along with any collected juices on the plate.
Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 140 to 150 degrees F, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Transfer the pork a cutting board and cover it loosely with foil while you make the sauce.
Arrange the apples and vegetables on a serving platter and set aside. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Return the skillet to a high heat and add the vinegar scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Reduce by half then add the cider and reduce by about half again.
Pull the skillet from the heat and whisk in the mustard, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cold butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.Remove the strings from the roast and slice into 1/2-inch thick pieces and arrange over the apple mixture. Drizzle some sauce over meat and serve the rest on the side.

Peach Bourbon Pork Roast

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Are there any fans out there of the Food Network show “Chopped”?

In case you’re not, I’ll give everyone a brief explanation: “Chopped” is culinary cooking competition show that features 4 chefs/cooks that are required to cook a three course meal for three judges for a prize of $10,000. What’s the catch?

They have to cook each course in a very short amount of time. I’m talking 20-30 minutes. Then, they have to successfully incorporate 4-5 unique, rare (and sometimes just bizarre) ingredients into their food. Each dish is judged based upon  taste, creativity and presentation. After tasting each dish at the end of each round, the judges deliberate as to which chef prepared the weakest dish, and that unlucky duck and their dish is placed on the chopping block, and ‘chopped’.

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If that sounds pretty tough, then I guess that’s because…well, it is. In the first place, I can’t imagine putting together four plates of food in thirty minutes, not to mention making them meet the standards of professional chefs with Michelin star restaurants. Second, I’m absolutely terrified of doing anything with ingredients like durian, sweet breads (Google it), or ostrich tenderloin. My mind draws a complete blank when even trying to imagine planning a dish with those things. I couldn’t do it in an hour, much less the few seconds the chefs have to deliberate before actually starting to cook. Third, can you imagine putting a plate of your food down in front of Iron Chefs Geoffrey Zakarian and Alex Guarnaschelli and waiting to hear their feedback? Just the thought of that makes me wanna sweat bullets. If they like my food, I’d feel like 1  million bucks. If they don’t, I’d quit cooking forever.

Just kidding about that last part (…I think).

 I like “Chopped” for a lot of reasons, but the primary one has gotta be that I have a great deal of respect for the people that actually have the guts to sign up to compete on the show. Cooking may be my sport, but even I don’t think I’m good enough to do that. Having said all that, I do sometimes find myself putting together dishes for my family that have a “Chopped’” kind of theme to them- meaning, I open my pantry/fridge, and scrounge around for random ingredients that I end up throwing together, knocking on wood, saying a prayer, and hoping that it turns out in a tasty dish.

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This roast is one of my favorite ‘Chopped-Jess-style’ dishes. I’ve made it a few times before for my family, but this time around, I actually had enough time to write down the exact ingredient measurements to form into a recipe. The peach preserves give the pork the ‘sweet’, the mustard gives it the ‘tang’, and the Bourbon gives it a ‘zip’. It may sound like an odd combination, but they all really do work very well together. Trust me. I wouldn’t lie to you. I used sweet potato as an accompaniment to the roast, but if you’re more partial to white, you can always substitute accordingly. One more thing:  I know that the recipe calls for this to roast in the oven, but I’ve also made this dish before in the slow cooker and the results were just as good. Choose whichever works for you.

FEED(ME) BACK: Do you watch Chopped? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen in the ingredient basket?

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Peach Bourbon Pork Roast

CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE VERSION

Ingredients

  • 4.5-5 lb boneless pork loin
  • 18 oz peach preserves
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 Bourbon whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons Jim Bean Spicy Bourbon BBQ Rub, or your favorite BBQ spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flour

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Mix together preserves, mustard and whiskey in a separate bowl and set aside.

3. Pour olive oil into a  Dutch oven or a large pot.

4. Season outside of pork loin liberally with BBQ rub and place in Dutch oven or large pot. Brown on stove top over medium high heat on both sides, just enough to sear on the outside. Remove from heat.

5. Pour sauce mixture into the pot and spread evenly on top of and under pork loin. Add chopped onion.

6. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and roast in oven for about 1 hour.

7. Add chopped sweet potato to pot, cover again and allow to roast for an additional 45-60 minutes, or until the thickest part of loin reaches an internal temperature of 145°-160°.

8. Remove roast from pot and drain the juices into a saucepan. Place saucepan on stove top over high heat, and add the flour, whisking thoroughly to combine. When the liquid begins to bubble and flour has cooked down, reduce heat to low and cook for about 3-5 more minutes, until thickened to a gravy. Serve with roast and vegetables.

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