It’s Friday night and after our long week here on the farm, we’re taking a cue from yesterday’s recipe and making a cast iron skillet dinner fit for king!
Now that the mornings are cooler and the leaves are changing, everyone in our household is preparing for our favorite season –flannel season. And to look best in our stripes and plaids, we’re staying in this Friday and cooking up a healthy, fulfilling meal.
We used a 2.5lb piece of local pork loin and tied it up with butcher’s twine. Tying meat up helps it cook evenly. This size was enough for a party of four, but you can adjust accordingly to your needs. This particular cut was about 4 inches in diameter and 7 inches long. If your pork loin in smaller in diameter, subtract 5 minutes of time for every inch in difference. For example, if it is 3 inches wide, cook for 20 minutes.
Our suggestion is to use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the loin. When the temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the oven and let rest. As the meat is resting it will continue to cook. If you allow it to cook longer in the oven, it will become dry and tough by the time you are ready to serve it.
2.5lb pork loin
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
3 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into large chunks)
4 Erdenheim Farm Gala Apples (peeled and sliced into 1 inch wedges)
8 Erdenheim Farm Small Red Onions (cleaned and halved)
1 clove of garlic, whole slightly squashed
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tablespoons sour cream
Dash of apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
1) Season pork loin with salt and pepper and rest on paper towels.
2) Place a cast iron pan on the stove on high heat. Add grapeseed oil and when oil begins at shimmer at the edges, CAREFULLY place pork loin in the center of the pan. This is going to spit a little and hiss. Be careful when moving the loin around.
3) While loin is browning, place sweet potatoes in a medium pot. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until soft, about 15 minutes.
4) Once all sides of loin is browned, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
5) Leaving the pan on high heat, add garlic clove, apples and onions. Season with salt and pepper and do not stir. Allow apples and onions to cook and brown on one side for about a minute, then stir and allow browning on the other sides for another minute.
6) Place pork loin back into pan on top of apples and onions and put the pan in your preheated oven.
7) Cook for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
8) Once boiling sweet potatoes are tender, drain water and place potato pieces in food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of sour cream, a dash of apple cider vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until potatoes resemble a smooth puree. Set aside. (If you don’t have a food processor, a mixer will work as well, just add all of the ingredients and combine using a paddle attachment)
9) When your pork loin’s internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, remove pan from oven. Place pan on stove and remove pork loin, let it rest on a plate nearby for 10 minutes. Remove your now roasted garlic clove and discard.
10) Place cast iron pan over medium heat and add chicken stock. Don’t forget, that cast iron handle is still SCREAMING hot! Use a pot holder.
11) Cook until sauce is desired consistency, we like it thick and chunky but a thinner sauce is just as delicious.
12) Slice pork loin and serve alongside sweet potato puree. Top with pan sauce and garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.
If you’d like, finish your plate with fresh Maldon Sea Salt and a drizzle of good olive oil.