A Nourishing New Year
Cooking opportunities flourished for most of us in 2020. While we were homebound, we experimented with cooking and baking and found ways to incorporate those neglected pantry items into new dishes. We resolved not to waste. Some of us may have put on a few extra pounds while stress eating.
Wouldn’t it be nice to look back on 2020 and remember what worked? What foods tasted great? What foods were satisfying and made us feel good? What foods were healthy and what do we want to carry into the new year?
As we approach Valentine’s Day at home, let’s think about a delicious dinner we can make that is still healthy! Here are some pork recipes that are Heart-Check Certified as heart-healthy cuts of meat by the American Heart Association. These are sure to steal the heart and stomach of you and your Valentine!
Apple-Spiced Pork Roast
Photo and recipe courtesy of Nebraska Pork Producers
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram (you can also substitute dried sage)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
2 1/3 – 2 1/2 pounds pork sirloin tri-tip roast
1 cup spiced apple cider (bottled)
2 Fuji or Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 3/4- inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, loosely packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple butter (you can substitute maple syrup)
2 tablespoons quick mixing flour
In a small bowl, mix together rosemary, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Rub the herb mixture all over the outside of the pork roast. Place in the slow cooker. Pour apple cider around the roast. Cover roast with apple pieces, then top apples with onion pieces. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the top of the apples and onions.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low about 4-5 hours (a meat thermometer inserted into the center of roast should register at 165°F). When cooked throughout, remove roast to serving platter.
Turn slow cooker to HIGH. Add maple butter to a microwave-safe custard cup and microwave on HIGH for about 5 seconds to soften. Stir in flour (add a tablespoon of juice from slow cooker, if needed). Stir maple paste into the apple-onion-cider mixture in slow cooker. Cook for 30 minutes longer, or until thickened nicely. Meanwhile, after pork has cooled slightly (about 10 minutes), cover with foil to keep warm.
Serve sliced pork roast with apple-onion sauce, and steamed yams if desired.