Pork loin roast, fried apples and sweet potatoes – a classic dinner. It is very simple, calling for only basic cooking skills, but looks fantastic and like you spent hours in the kitchen. My kind of cooking!
Start with a crockpot that has been sprayed well with cooking oil or lined with a cooking bag. I put about a half cup of hot water from the superhot tap into the bottom to provide moistness and help heat the crockpot quickly. You can brown the pork loin in a skillet to deepen the flavor, but I often do not take the time. There may be a bit of fat on the loin. Pork has a tendency to be dry so don’t give in to the temptation to trim it because it will add moistness to the meat. Mix together the brown sugar, salt, pepper, mustard with enough orange juice to make a thick paste. Pat a bit on the sides and spread the rest on the top of the meat. Place meat in the crockpot and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, being careful not to “wash” off the sugar rub. If you are going to leave the house for the day, use a larger pork loin, be sure you add enough water to cover the bottom at least ¼ inch deep and cook on low. I generally use smaller roasts so it cooks for a shorter time (around 4 hours) and someone is around who can check an hour or so before eating time to make any adjustments needed. If you want to check the internal temperature, federal guidelines have changed to a lower temperature than they used to recommend – 140 degrees vs 160 degrees. Let the meat rest on its platter outside the crockpot while you fry the apples.
Cooking sweet potatoes is so easy, starting about 25-30 minutes before mealtime. Scrub the skins and trim as needed. Slice into chunks about 1-2 inches thick striving for a semblance of uniformity so they will cook more evenly. Cover with water and bring to boil. Boil about 15 minutes and test by cornering a chunk with a fork. If the skin is the only place you meet resistance, they are done. Pour into colander to drain. Hold each chunk down with a fork, use a sharp knife to pierce and pinch the skin so you can pull it off the potato. Whip with mixer, add salt to taste. Serve with butter. Mmmmmmm
Fried apples – never heard of ‘em until college. I come by my minimal preparation criteria honestly, you understand. With six kids, my mother was not one to add unnecessary steps or dishes to wash. You want an apple – pick it up and eat it. But fried apples are almost the equivalent of no extra preparation. Put about a tablespoon of butter into a small frying pan for every two apples, wash and slice the apples into the pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until apples start to turn limp but are still crisp to bite — if that makes sense! Don’t let them get mushy in other words! It will take 5-10 minutes, depending on the variety of apple. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and serve.
Add a vegetable and/or a salad. Perfect meal for the family or for guests!
This recipe was featured at: Rattlebridge Farm, Lady Behind the Curtain,
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