Cider brined pork roast, yet another reason to love autumn

Cider Brined Pork with Roasted Onions and Potatoes

Cider Brined Pork with Roasted Onions and Potatoes

Every fall I buy a bottle of Applejack as my way of welcoming in the season. Last weekend I not only bought the requisite bottle of booze, somehow I also ended up buying three half-gallon containers of different apple ciders. I just couldn’t help myself. Every store I went to seemed to have cider for sale and I am (clearly) incapable of refusing it. Even though I knew I had a full gallon waiting at home, I still bought a final jug as a reward for surviving the Haunted Corn Maze on Saturday night.

Side note: If you want to know what type of person you are deep inside, go through a Haunted Corn Maze in the dark. I discovered I am the type of person who will sacrifice their friends in order to get away from the guy with a chain saw. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth.

At any rate, a fridge full of cider is never a bad thing. In fact it allowed me to make this beautiful dish which was a delicious way to fully embrace autumn’s arrival. Since cider is unavoidable this time of year, it only seems right to also use it in a brine.

This particular recipe is the October cover recipe for Bon Appetite and I’ve been staring at it for a few weeks waiting for a good night to make it. Maybe all that cider was getting to me — I just couldn’t hold out any longer.

I started by making the brine on Saturday afternoon and let the pork roast sit in it for a full 24 hours soaking up the salty, sugary cidery goodness. Sunday evening, I dried it off, tied it up and seared it. Once it was nice and brown, I pinned some bay leaves to its top and snuggled it into a roasting pan filled with potatoes and a few halved onions.

Seared, tied and ready for the oven

Seared, tied and oh-so-pretty!

Cider Brined Pork

Tucked in with potatoes and onions, the pork is ready for the oven.

I didn’t make any changes to the recipe except that my roast was a wee bit smaller than called for, somewhere around 3 pounds. If I had thought about it more, I would have cut my onions into quarters, but instead I just kept them in the oven while the roast rested and that worked just fine. Oh I did use red fingerling potatoes instead of Yukon golds because that happened to be the hill I dug up. (Woo-hoo for urban gardens!)

Thirty minutes later I was greeted with this:

Cider Brined Pork

Honestly, it’d be hard to find an easier elegant dinner. The brining does most of the heavy lifting — the meat is juicy and well seasoned with a delicate apple flavor that isn’t at all overwhelming. It’s just enough to hint at the classic combination of pork chops and applesauce.

The vegetables are great too. The onions are roasted until they are tender and sweet, while the potatoes absorb the pan juices from the meat and yet still end up with a nice crispy outside. It’s like a perfect symphony and the only work you have to do is carve the meat.

Cider Brined Pork

Cider Brined Pork


13 thoughts on “Cider brined pork roast, yet another reason to love autumn

  1. This looks delicious! I am a sucker for apple cider, too. We have this place near us that makes small batch cider wine that is sooooo good. We usually always over do it with that stuff.

  2. This pork looks delicious! I’m glad I’m not the only one who stockpiles vinegar. And bravo on confessing the type of person you are in a corn maze…your honesty is refreshing. (and hysterical!)

  3. mmm mmm mmmmmmm! You do an amazing job or recreating BA’s recipes. And I love that you go over-the-top for cider, etc. I seem to remember a post from about this time last year when you bought a gazillion apples for pressing? It was then that I knew I had found a kindred spirit.

    • Yeah I am a bit obsessed with cider — and BA. =) Last year (you remember correctly) the cider pressing was super fun. So many apples! Sadly this year I was way too busy to find the time. Good thing it’s readily available for me to enjoy anyways. Got to have something to put my Applejack in!

  4. Brined a 4-lb eye of round roast for 24 hours in the apple cider brine and then charcoal smoked it. The smoked roast was so moist and flavorful!! Outstanding!!!

  5. Pingback: The Obsession Continues: Apple Cider Caramels | Attempts in Domesticity

  6. That last pic with the pink juicy pork chops is droolworthy. I’m feeling inspired. Perhaps I’ll experiment on my father-in-law when he arrives this weekend …. At least you have a survival instinct. I’d scream at the top of my lungs while clutching the hubby in a sleeper hold :/

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