It’s official — autumn arrived on Friday, September 22 — and that means apples, pears, and roast pork!  I grew up with pork chops and applesauce, pork roasts cooked with apple juice or cider and, eventually, this sophisticated peppered pork loin cooked with Irish Mist and served with apple-pear chutney that seems to scream “fall.” You’ll find this and other delicious autumn recipes in my newest cookbook Favorite Flavors of Ireland. To order a signed copy, visit www.irishcook.com

PEPPERED PORK LOIN

Serves 8 to 10

A pork loin roast is one of those “best cuts” often reserved for special occasions, and the meat is extra special when it’s prepared with a sweet or spicy coating like this peppery one spiked with orange zest and sweetened with honey and Irish Mist Liqueur. A variation of this recipe is similar to one from the National Pork Board and is delicious with roasted potato wedges, steamed green beans, and Apple-Pear Chutney (recipe follows).

2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns, coarsely crushed

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 to 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

1 (4 pound) boneless pork loin roast

Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Irish Mist Liqueur

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup water

1 tablespoon. butter

1. In a small bowl, combine peppercorns, garlic salt, rosemary, and thyme. Coat pork with mixture and let sit at room temperature for about 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350° F. Place pork in a shallow roasting pan and roast for 40 minutes.

3. Whisk together orange zest and juice, honey, Irish Mist, and olive oil. Brush over surface of meat and roast for about 20 minutes longer (20 minutes per pound or until internal temperature registers 145° F). Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

4. Return pan to stove over medium heat, bring pan drippings to a boil, and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Add water and butter and whisk to thicken. To serve, slice meat and serve with sauce, potatoes, and chutney. Photo courtesy National Pork Board

APPLE-PEAR CHUTNEY

Makes 2 to 3 cups

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup raisins

1/3 cup Poire William or pear brandy

2 Bosc pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 Forelle pears, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup lemon juice

3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine raisins and pear liqueur. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add pears, sugar, lemon juice, ginger and stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring gently once or twice, or until pears are soft and juice begins to thicken.

2. Stir in apples and cayenne and cook for about 30 minutes longer, or until liquid is syrupy. Transfer chutney to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

 

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