Spice Rubbed Pork w/ Apple Sauce


For the Brine

  • 1 gallon water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs each of thyme, rosemary & sage

For the Pork

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ rack (5 lb) pork loin, trimmed
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 rib of celery, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth, home-made or low-sodium canned

Spice Rub

  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

Apple Garnish

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored & rough chopped (such as Cortland or Macoun)
  • ¼ cup toasted pinenuts
  • ¼ cup raisins or cranberries
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Apple Sauce

  • 2½ lbs apples, cored & rough chopped (such as Cortland or Macoun)
  • 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp water or apple cider

Special Equipment

  • chinois
  • spice grinder


  1. To prepare the brine, place 2 springs of each; bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and sage, in a heatproof container. Pour a gallon of hot water over the herbs. Stir in peppercorns, sugar and kosher salt. Allow brine to cool to room temperature. For faster cooling add a scoop of ice to the brining solution
  2. Submerge pork in the brine. Cover and chill for up to 12 hours
  3. Remove pork from brine. Rinse under cold water and pat dry
  4. Preheat oven to 350º
  5. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.  Season the pork loin all over generously with salt and pepper. Lay the loin, fat side down in the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes
  6. Use tongs to turn the meat, and continue to brown it on all sides, about 5-10 minutes per side
  7. Transfer the meat to a plate
  8. Combine spices for the rub in a coffee grinder or spice grinder and grind until fine and combined. Rub meat generously with spice blend
  9. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and herb sprigs to the skillet.  Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes
  10. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up any browned bits. Add the broth and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half
  11. Return the loin and any collected juices to the skillet.  Add herb sprigs to the liquid and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast the loin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145-150º, between 45-60 minutes. Baste the meat with the pan juices every 15 minutes
  12. Remove the loin from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  13. Slice and plate atop a mound of the apple garnish. Spoon pan juices over the loin and top with apple sauce to serve

Apple Garnish

  1. Heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat
  2. Add apples, butter, raisins, and pinenuts. Sauteé until browned, about 5 minutes
  3. Add baby spinach, salt and pepper. Deglaze with apple cider vinegar and honey. Toss in the pan and remove from heat when the spinach just begins to wilt

Apple Sauce

  1. Place all ingredients in a pot and cover
  2. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes
  3. Strain through chinois or fine mesh strainer
  4. Return to stove for 5-7 minutes to rewarm
  5. Apple sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days