Savoury, spiced and sweet—this roast brings it all together for an elevated take on the classic applesauce and pork pairing. Roasted apples and onions come together with fresh apple cider, maple syrup and pan drippings for an unbelievably flavour-packed gravy. Cinnamon, ginger, lemon zest and spices add subtle complexity to round out the dish. Perfect to enjoy with crisp Riesling on a cool late autumn evening with candles flickering to brighten the dark evening.
To start with, combine the spices and lemon zest together. Next you’ll split the mix between two bowls, as you’ll use half as a dry rub on the apples and onions, and the rest mixes up with olive oil to rub into to the pork roast.
Toss the apples with the spice mixture in the roasting pan, and add water to the dish.
Rub the pork with the olive oil spice mixture, and allow to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour to allow the meat to come to room temperature before roasting.
Stand the pork on top of the apple onion mixture, and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145°. Wrap in foil and allow to rest for 5–10 minutes, allowing the temperature to rise to about 150°. (There was a time when the recommended temperature for pork was 160°, but this is actually way overcooked and leaves the meat dry and tough. Here’s a link where you can learn more about why the new USDA guidelines list 145° as a safe minimum temperature for pork. See a little trace of pink? No need to worry, it’s a good thing!)
As the roast emerges from the oven the fragrances of spice and onion is soooo good! Remove most of the apples and onions (reserving just a few as garnish), top with the pan drippings, and blend into a puree. Add the puree to a small pot you’ll have simmering with apple cider and maple syrup, and you have pure apple onion gravy magic.
Slice up the perfectly cooked roast, juicy with just a faint trace of pink. Slather with apple onion gravy and enjoy with mashed potatoes, Brussels spouts or your favourite veg. Light some candles, uncork a bottle of Riesling, and turn one of those long, dark winter nights into cozy instead of cold.
Spiced Roast Pork with Apple Onion Gravy
The classic pairing of applesauce with pork is elevated with a zesty spice rub and apple-onion gravy that's so good, you'll want to just eat it straight up.
- zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 lb pork loin roast, centre cut (700 g)
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into wedges
- 2 onions
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh apple cider
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
In a small bowl, combine lemon zest and spices. Take half of this spice mixture, move it into another bowl and add olive oil. Season pork with salt and pepper and rub with the oil spice mixture. Allow to rest for 45 minutes to one hour before roasting.
Heat oven to 375°. In a roasting pan or deep baking dish, toss apple and onion wedges with lemon juice and the remaining spice mixture. Add 1/2 cup water, and place pork roast on top. Roast until internal temperature reaches 145°. Remove roast to cutting board and tent with foil, allowing to rest for 5–10 minutes.
While pork is roasting, combine apple cider and maple syrup into a small to medium saucepan and cook over medium high heat, bringing to a boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
Set aside a few apple and onion wedges for plating. In a mini-food processor or blender, blend the remaining roasted apples and onions along with the pan drippings until smooth. Add puree into the apple cider mixture and heat over medium-low heat to warm. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Slice pork roast and serve with apple onion gravy on the side, garnished with the reserved apple and onion wedges.