Molasses-Cured Pork Loin with Apples

This juicy pork is delicious served with watercress tossed with a lemony olive oil dressing. Allow the meat to marinate in the brine overnight.

Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 8

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  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/3 cup coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • One 4-pound pork loin, trimmed of fat
  • Table salt and finely ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tart crisp unwaxed apples, cut into 16 wedges each and cored
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the water with 1/4 cup of the molasses and the sugar, garlic, coarse salt, cracked pepper, cinnamon, coriander and cloves and bring to a boil. Let cool completely, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

  2. Put the pork in a medium bowl and add the brine so that the meat is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Season generously with table salt and finely ground pepper. Set the pork on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for about 50 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the apples to a bowl. Add the vinegar and the remaining 1/4 cup of molasses to the skillet and boil to a syrupy glaze, about 3 minutes. Pour the glaze over the apples and toss to coat.

  5. Carve the pork 1/3 inch thick and arrange on a platter. Add the pork juices to the skillet; bring to a boil, about 1 minute. Pour the juices over the pork, spoon the glazed apples around the meat and serve.


One Serving Calories 461 kcal, Total Fat 19.5 gm, Saturated Fat 7.8 gm.

Suggested Pairing

The off-dry flavors of a West Coast Gewürztraminer echo the mildness of the pork and the sweetness of the molasses and apples.

Contributed By Photo © Quentin Bacon Published January 1999

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