Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Loin

 Yes, it is really still winter.  No, we don't want it to be winter, we want the 60 degree weather we had yesterday, not the 30 degree and slipping kind of weather we are having today - with snow flurries.  No, this weather is not my favorite and never will be.  Gray, gloomy days make me gray and gloomy if I am not careful.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny - still cold - but sunny.  That is a good thing.

Since it is still winter, we truly appreciate some good comfort food.  I describe comfort food as things that make you feel comforted, satisfied, and feel good.  Sunday evening, the Nashville family came over for dinner and I made this fabulous pork roast with a brown sugar glaze.  It is SOOOO good and really quite easy.  I also made parmesan chicken sticks for the kids which they simply devoured.  You can find the recipe on my blog.

We have six adults and five grandsons who live in town, and food preparation requires some considerations.  We have one really picky eater who happens to be the oldest grandson at 10.  We have a son in love with Celiac, so that is another consideration.  Now, our second daughter has to eat gluten free also.  In the end, we all benefit from gluten free to some degree I am sure, but do you know how many recipes contain gluten?  Way too many.  We don't want anyone falling ill or feeling bad, so we do our best to accommodate.  The good news is there are so many more gluten free products on the market and recipes available.  This recipe called for flour, but I simply substituted corn starch.  To make that accommodation, you simply use 1/2 the amount of flour called for and substitute corn starch.  The recipe called for 2 tablespoons of flour, so simply substitute 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  Easy peasy.

I had a five pound pork roast and knew I wanted to fix it for dinner.  The chicken sticks were easy, but I wanted a different, yet delicious, recipe for the pork.  I found a hum dinger on About.Com in the Southern Food section.  It was easy, I had all the ingredients, so it was a go.  Here is what you need:

1 4.5 to 5 pound boneless pork loin
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
salt and pepper


1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 TBSP corn starch
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3 TBSP balsamic or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan, mixing well.  Cook over medium low heat until bubbly.  Stir and set aside.  You may have to reheat slightly before glazing the pork.  It becomes sort of crystalized, so I just spread it on with a spoon.  It will melt in the oven.

Pat the pork loin with paper towels to dry.  Cut the garlic cloves in half.  Make slits on the fat side of the pork loin and push the garlic cloves into the slits.  Lightly salt and pepper on all sides.  Place in a roasting pan, fat side up.  Heat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.  Roast the pork loin for approximately 2 hours.  Remove the pan from the oven and coat the pork loin with the glaze.  Return to the oven for an additional 30 minutes, occasionally spooning the glaze over the pork until the internal temperature on a meat thermometer is 145 degrees for medium, 160 for well done.

The rule of thumb is to cook 1/2 hour for each pound, therefore, 2.5 hours.  Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 5 minutes before carving.  Spoon all the remaining glaze over the pork.  You don't want to waste a drop of it.

The pork was so juicy and tender, it was amazing.  The glaze provides a wonderful sweet flavor to the pork.  Yum.  Yum.  Dan LOVED this and our daughter asked for the recipe.  Nothing better than successful recipe choices.

Tonight, I used some of the left over pork to make Carnitas.  They were wonderful!!  What a great way to use some of that delicious left over pork and they are super easy to make.

FYI, rinse your roasting pan as soon as you have spooned the remaining glaze over the pork roast.  That stuff sets up like concrete otherwise.  To make cleaning the pan easier if that happens (don't ask me how I know this), reheat the pan and pour the remainder out.  I'm just trying to make your lives easier.  Experience is a good teacher.

There are still a lot of cold days ahead.  It's about 60 days until spring - sigh.  There is lots of time for a lot of good "comfort food" meals.  Give this recipe a try.  I really think you will like it.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Comfort food - food that reassures - is different things to different people.  David Tanis, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes