We never did the Sunday night roast thing when I was growing up. Far too traditional for my hippie parents, I think. So while I love the idea of creating a Sunday dinner tradition, I needed something with a little more personality than pot roast. Which is how Chatelaine’s roast pork loin with bacon-cider gravy ended up on our table one recent Sunday night.
I really like making pork loin because it’s low maintenance and can be dressed up in plenty of tasty ways. And this recipe was no exception. Prior to roasting, the pork loin is coated with a mixture of Dijon, maple syrup, fresh thyme, and salt and pepper. It then goes in the oven for about an hour and a half, during which time I made the side dish (a new family fave, Chatelaine’s baked harvest pumpkin and sage risotto), and some homemade playdough to keep the mini occupied while dinner cooked.
The pork’s roasting juices are saved to add to the gravy, which begins with onions, chopped bacon and garlic. The bacon, onion and garlic are pan-fried until the onions become browned and soft. Then you add the hard cider (I used Strongbow), scraping all the deliciously crunchy browned bits from the pan into the mixture to boil for 10 minutes. Once it has thickened slightly, you add the reserved roasting juices and a dash of Worcestershire to the gravy. Slice the pork, smother with the cider-bacon gravy, and serve with whatever side dish you choose.
The pork was so good, and the gravy even better. The only thing I would change? Because I like my bacon extra crispy, I would cook it ahead of time and then add it to the onions and garlic. I also served a crusty French loaf with dinner (which was perfect for sopping up the gravy), but next time would add a green salad as well for a little more colour.
With thumbs up all around the dinner table, we may have just started our Sunday night tradition.
Try this recipe: Roast pork loin with bacon-cider gravy
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