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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Maple Dijon Roast Pork

I don't get to enjoy it often, but pork is one of my favorite meats.  We cook a great deal of chicken here because Aaron prefers chicken and because I can get it pretty cheap, but I've noticed the past year or so that I can usually find pork loin on sale at a decent price too.  I like to buy a 5 lb pork loin and cut it into chops.  I can generally get 10-12 chops out of it which is three or four meals for us.  I've found a few flavorful pork chop recipes this spring and summer that even Aaron appreciated, but this is my first attempt at a pork roast in seven years.

The last time I made pork roast I had no recipe.  I just crusted it with rosemary and garlic salt and prayed it was done when I took it out of the oven.  It was done.  It was delicious too.  I served it with a mixture of roasted carrots and potatoes, green beans, and macaroni and cheese.  The only down side to the whole endeavor was that Aaron didn't care for it.  He ate only the macaroni and a small portion of pork.  I ended up taking the whole meal to work and serving my three co-workers a delicious leftover lunch the next day.

That was my last attempt at a romantic meal with Aaron for a long time.  I learned a lot about him that night, beyond the fact that he orders Taco Bell tacos with no lettuce and Wendy's chicken sandwiches plain with a side of honey mustard.  1) He, like his father, does not like to eat in a romantic candlelit setting.  He says he likes to see his food.  2) He did not appreciate the effort I put into cooking for him.  And 3) Whether I say it tastes good or not he probably won't eat it if he's never eaten it before.  It's the same reason he has never tried fresh fish, shrimp, sweet potatoes (even sweet potato fries!), okra, or anything with spinach in it.  He has a fear of the unknown.

He has become slightly more adventurous lately when it comes to trying new foods.  He allows me to test a new recipe on him each week which is a huge step forward for him.  I do at least try to choose recipes I think he will enjoy, but every now and then I have to choose a recipe just because I want to try it.  This recipe was originally pinned for me, because I had a craving for pork roast.  Since I put it on the menu I've gotten more excited about it every day.  I kept reminding him that Thursday we would get to try "that maple pork thingy" and I am just thrilled to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe!  Aaron said it wasn't bad (typical response from him) so I will be making it again in the very near future.

The original recipe is from All Recipes.  I found it through Pinterest and the original pinner recommended that the sauce be doubled and half reduced on the stove to pour over the slices as the pork is served.  I liked the idea, but after making the sauce I found it was already twice as much as I needed to cook the pork so I saved half and reduced it on the stove like the pinner suggested.  The glaze was perfection and an excellent tip from the pinner.

Maple Dijon Roast Pork

2 1/2 lb pork loin
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking dish with vegetable oil spray.

Trim any excess fat off of the pork loin if desired (I left it on mine because it keeps it moist) and sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper.

In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or a medium bowl combine the maple syrup, dijon mustard, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar.

Mix well with a fork and pour about half of it over the pork.

Pour the rest of the sauce into a small sauce pan and cook on low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Place the pork in the preheated oven and bake for about an 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the loin measures 145 degrees.  (I basted it about every 15 minutes or so.)

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Serve warm with the glaze drizzled over it.

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