Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Braised Pork Loin, Polish Style

Do you have a favorite, “go-to” cooking pot?  Why do you like it so much?  Ours used to be this wide, shiny 5-quart beauty that is well into its golden years, having been purchased over 45 years ago, as part of a cookery set Laura bought before we got married.  Occasionally we still see this same brand of pots being hawked at home & garden shows by salesmen who cook every type of ingredients without sticking, burning or ever ruining the food.  They’re right next to the miracle wiping cloth, miracle mops, and miracle knives that cut everything from paper to my fingers.  We’ve bought a lot of pots over the years:  small saucy pots, big lobster pots, pasta pots, steamer pots, non-stick pots, outrageously expensive pots, just about every kind of specialty pot ever made.

Now we have a new favorite – a bright yellow, cast iron Dutch Oven by Le Creuset. It’s heavy and a bit awkward to work with, but it’s our beloved, go-to vessel for chili, spaghetti sauce and of course for braising meats such as beef roasts or pork loins.  It heats evenly and keeps its heat marvelously and does its best work on medium. If you don’t burn your food in the bottom, its easy to clean as well.

We love braising pork loins in our pot.  Pork loins are inexpensive, lean, healthy, and delicious.   
Here is a really easy recipe for a tasty pork roast that is a sure winner for family and company alike! 

Braised Pork Loin - Polish Style
Serves 6
1½ pounds boneless pork loin
2 tablespoons seasoned flour
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾ cup apple cider, apple juice or water
3 large onions, halved and cut in ¼ inch slices
½ teaspoon salt

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut in ¼ inch slices
2 tablespoon flour
Additional salt and pepper to taste

Dredge the pork loin in the seasoned flour.  Heat the oil in a 4 or 5 quart oven-safe pot over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.  Brown the meat on all sides and remove from the pot.

Add onions to the pot and sauté on medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened and just starting to turn golden in color - about 5 minutes.  Add ½ teaspoon salt and continue to sauté and stir until onions are golden and caramelized.  This may take up to 8 more minutes.  Remove the onions and set aside for later.

Add the apple cider, juice or water to the pot and return the pork to the pot.  It should sit in about one to two inches of liquid.  Cover pot with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 1 hour.  Check the pot once in a while to make sure the liquid has not evaporated.  Add more if needed.

Add the cooked onions and apples to the pot and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.  Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The safe internal pork cooking temperature is 145° F followed by a three-minute rest. A little pink inside is perfectly OK.   Remove the meat and keep warm on a platter covered with foil.  Don’t let it sit too long because it tends to dry out quickly.

Strain the pan drippings through a sieve, pressing down on the solids to push all the juices out.  Discard the solids and return the strained juices to the pot.  Add 2 tablespoons flour to half cup of cold water and blend well.  Add back to the pot juices and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to make a sauce.  Adjust seasonings to taste.

Slice the pork thinly, arrange on a pretty serving platter, and pour the sauce over the meat.
                                                                   Image courtesy of

Serve with red cabbage, mashed potatoes, Polish beer or your favorite hearty red wine.

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