Start this dish 24 hours before you
want to serve it. The brining really tenderizes the port. With the
apples and sage, it makes a wonderful fall Sunday supper.
1 gallon water
1-cup kosher salt
1/4-cup maple syrup
12 juniper berries
2 bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh sage
1 pork loin roast, center cut, bone in and notched through the chine
at 2-inch intervals weighing about 7-10 pounds.
1-cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into a medium dice
6 granny smith apples, cores removed and cut in 1/6’s
1-cup calvados or apple brandy
2 cups chicken stock
8-10 sage leaves
Bring all the ingredients for the brine to a boil
in a non-aluminum pot. Allow to cool completely
Immerse the pork loin in the brine and refrigerate
for 24 hours. Place a small plate on it to make sure the entire
roast is under water.
One hour before you want to cook the pork, remove
it from the refrigerator. Lift the meat out of the brine and pat
the meat dry with paper towels. Place the pork, meat side up, on
a rack, which will fit into the roasting pan. Allow it to come to
room temperature. Discard the brine.
Combine the maple syrup and mustard and brush the
pork with this mixture. Reserve the remaining maple mixture. Sprinkle
the pepper evenly over the pork. Place the pork in a pre-heated
350-degree oven. Cook for 11/4-11/2 hours. The meat should register
at 140 degrees. Brush the meat with the maple syrup-mustard mixture
3-4 times during the cooking process.
While the pork is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and
1 tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high
heat. Add the onion and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Add
the apples and continue to cook, tossing and stirring until they
begin to brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the
Calvados. Place it back on the fire and let it flame. Add the chicken
stock and sage and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and
cook until the apples are tender but not mushy. About 7-9 minutes.
Stir in the remaining butter until incorporated. Keep warm.
When the pork is finished cooking, remove it
to the platter and let it rest for 7-10 minutes. To serve, spoon
some of the apple and onions onto the plate. Cut the port into chops
or remove it from the bone and cut into thin slices.