This is week 3 of the #Publix4Pork Good and Good for You challenge, and my mission was to try out a pork loin roast. To my knowledge, I have never before purchased this cut of meat. EVER! To give you an idea of just how unfamiliar I am with it, on sale this week at Publix is the bone-in pork loin roast. Well, I was having some sort of mommy brain when I went grocery shopping and didn’t pick up the bone-in cut that was actually on sale! You can buy a pork loin roast bone-in or boneless, and I just grabbed the first pork loin roast I noticed. Which happened to be boneless. Oops! Fortunately, I found the dish I made to be so tasty that I don’t really care that I missed the sale. Now that I know my family likes this cut of pork, it’ll be on my list to pick up again the next time it is on sale, bone-in or not!
Pork loin is such a great meat option for your family, and I’m so glad to have discovered it. Did you know that ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin is as lean as skinless chicken breast?! It’s true! It also is packed with nutrients. A 3 ounce slice of pork tenderloin is considered to be an excellent source of protein, vitamin B6, thiamin, phosphorous and niacin. It is also a good source of potassium, riboflavin and zinc. You get all this goodness, AND that same serving amount would only contribute to 6 percent of the calories in a 2,000 calorie diet. Wowzers this is a great lean meat to eat!
When I got home with my not-quite correct cut of meat (just missing the bone, really not a big deal), I reviewed the scrumptious recipe I had decided to use from Porkbeinspired.com. I chose the orange-glazed pork roast. Here’s the recipe:
1 tablespoon dry mustard
Freshly ground pepper
3 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 orange (optional), sliced
Rub dry mustard into roast and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Combine orange juice concentrate, honey and steak sauce in a small saucepan. Heat until bubbly, and brush on roast. Grill an additional 20 minutes basting often with sauce. (About 15 minutes per pound total time grilling) When internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees F. remove roast from heat; let rest 10 minutes.
Garnish with orange slices, if desired.
Doesn’t that just sound mouth-watering?! I thought so, too. And so, I set out to prepare this meal for my family, testing it out to see if it might even be a Valentine’s Day worthy meal (because let’s be real, we have a toddler…we aren’t dining out for Valentine’s Day). As I got prepared to make what was sure to be a stunning recipe, I realized that I forgot to buy the concentrated orange juice. And then I let out the world’s longest sigh. It seriously lasted 45 seconds. Was the world just set against me getting this right? It was one of those days…
But here’s the silver lining that I found. This cut of meat is extremely versatile…SO much can be done with it. For example, Porkbeinspired.com has 21 pages of pork loin roast recipes. TWENTY ONE!!!! I also found some terrific options all over the internet filled with other ideas. Since I needed to work with whatever I happened to have in my pantry and fridge, I did have to limit my options a bit, but oh my gosh I found some great recipes that I bookmarked to try later while I was hunting. This mistake was turning out to be a positive thing, after all!
I finally landed on a recipe I found at Allrecipes.com. It is a spin on the old “pork chops and applesauce” combo, and it is called Applesauce Pork Loin. Here’s the recipe:
- Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in oil. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine the applesauce, mustard and honey; spread over roast. Top with rosemary. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Now, at this point, I thought it just didn’t make sense to follow a recipes to the letter. I’m on such a roll with doing things my own way already, so why mess with it?! I decided to make this SUPER easy by cooking it on low for 4 hours in the crock pot. That was a fantastic idea, if I do say so myself. The roast came out SO tender and delicious. Typically, when I think of a roast, I do think of a dry cut of meat (sorry mom, but I think that’s how you cooked them!). But this was SO juicy! I paired it with a curried potato salad (and I cut back on the mayo, switching half of it out with yogurt to make it more heart-healthy!).
I can’t say that this is the most visually pleasing meal to ever have graced my table, so I probably wouldn’t choose it for a special occasion. But I would say it is most excellent for an easy weeknight meal if you are at home to monitor the crock pot, or if not, throw it in on a Saturday after lunch and get ready for an awesome weekend dinner with precious little work!
Porkbeinspired.com has become one of my very favorite websites to peruse, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do. You will come away with so many great ideas for serving lean cuts of meat to your family without sacrificing flavor! And don’t forget to swing by Publix this week and pick up a great deal on the bone-in pork loin roast!
Also be sure to join the Pork Be Inspired Facebook page for more great recipes and ideas!
Next week I’ll be giving away an awesome prize pack from the National Pork Board, so stay tuned!
Disclosure: I am participating in this campaign in conjunction with The Motherhood, and am being compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.