Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Roast Pork with Spicy Sweet Onion Pan Sauce

A garlic studded pork roast recipe, with a butter based mustard rub, caramelized onions, and a basting sauce made from mango jam with hot pepper jelly. 
A garlic studded pork roast recipe, with a butter based mustard rub, caramelized onions, and a basting sauce made from mango jam with hot pepper jelly. 

Roast Pork with Spicy Sweet Onion Pan Sauce

I just love a good pork roast, and this one truly fits. Moist and full of flavor, this has been one of my most favorite ways to cook a pork roast for years, and I just happened to have a pork loin in the freezer.

The use of the mango jam with the hot pepper jelly, intertwined with the caramelized onion, makes for an amazing sweet and spicy pan sauce that marries well to the pork and is just absolutely delightful to the tongue. Don't worry if you don't have mango jam - apricot works, as will peach or even apple! Serve this with some southern style green beans and some roasted potatoes and you have a well balanced, delicious and nutritious meal.

Let's get started!

The first th ing we're gonna do is lightly caramelize some onion to draw out the natural sweetness. Heat some olive oil and butter in an oven safe, lidded braising pan or else use a heavy bottomed stainless or cast iron skillet over medium heat, absent having a braiser. You don't want to use a non-stick skillet here. Once the butter has melted and the oil is hot, add the sliced onions. Just cut the ends off of the onion, cut it in half lengthwise, turn and slice.

While the onions are cooking, combine the chicken broth, jam and pepper jelly in a small saucepan and cook over medium low heat until liquified. If you don't keep pepper jelly on hand, you can simply omit it and use more jam. I love using the mango chutney jam that I buy for my fancy chicken salad.

In the meantime, let's get started with studding our pork roast with some slivers of garlic. Start by taking a sharp paring knife and cutting a slit into the roast. I am using a netted pork loin roast this time, but what you're looking for is a pork loin, not a pork tenderloin. While similar, the tenderloin doesn't fit well with braising as it cooks far too quickly. A loin roast is still lean but can take a braise, while not having to cook as long as a pork shoulder or butt, such as with this recipe. A pork loin roast will be much larger than tenderloin, which is longer and thinner in size.

Stick one of the slivers in the slit.

And push it deep into the roast so that it disappears. Repeat this all over the roast with the rest of the garlic.

The onions are just beginning to soften and turn a very light gold color, so we'll keep them going.

The chicken stock with the jam and jelly is ready, so let's set it aside to cool. As you see I used a bit less this time since the roast I'm using is a bit smaller than usual.That's my most favorite measuring cup (#ad) there too. Great for everybody, but especially "older" eyes.

In a small bowl, combine the butter, mustard, thyme and pepper. You don't want the butter melted, only softened so you can rub it all over the roast.

Mix that together well using a spatula to blend it.

Now the onions are lookin' just about right. Remember we don't want to deeply caramelize them; we only want to just start the release of the sugars.

If you don't have a lidded braising pan that you can transfer to the oven, you'll need to line a baking dish with several layers of aluminum foil and pile the onions in the center of the foil.

Place the roast on top of the onions and use the same spatula to spread the butter mixture all over the top and sides of the roast.

Pour the stock mix all around the bottom of the roast inside the aluminum foil tub and gather the foil up loosely around the roast, leaving the top exposed.

Bake at 350 degrees F, for about 1-1/2 hours, or roughly 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature on an instant read thermometer reaches about 160 degrees, basting the roast with the liquid and turning the pan occasionally if you aren't using a lidded braiser. Remove, loosely tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion to a skillet. Removing them helps to retain the integrity of the shape, although you can also just leave them in the pan, and they will melt in. Use a gravy separator or skim any fat from the top of the sauce and place braiser back on the stovetop or place the sauce into a skillet with the onion. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce has reduced.

Slice roast and serve with a scoop of the onion and drizzle of the pan sauce over the top, or serve the sauce on the side at the table.

For more of my favorite pork roast recipes, visit my page on Pinterest!

Posted by on January 28, 2009
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