Pork Loin with Fruit & Nut Crust

This smoked pork loin recipe is a real winter warmer, a perfect centre piece for a Sunday lunch.

Pork loin can be tricky to cook.  Take extra care by not over cooking, it’ll dry out very quickly.  For tender, juicy meat cook to an internal temperature of 145°F/63°C – The carry over effect while resting will bring the met to a perfect doneness.

Also be careful not to brine the pork for too long, otherwise it’ll be too salty.

Ingredients

  • 3lb boneless pork loin
  • 1 litre apple cider
  • 5 tablespoons sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bays leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • 100g pistachios
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • Peel of 2 oranges
  • Small handfull chopped sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Method

Mix together the cider, salt and sugar.  Gently bring to the boil.  Once boiled, take off the heat and leave to cool.  Add the peppercorns, bay leaves and cloves. Remove any fat or silverskin from the pork and place in a large resealable plastic bag.  Pour in the cold brine.  Seal and refridgerate for 8 hours.

Mix the pistachios, cranberries, fennel seeds, orange peel, sage and ground black pepper.  Using a pestle and mortar, roughly grind the mix together.

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Remove the pork loin from the brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry.

Slather mustard over the surface of the pork.  The mustard will help the fruit, nuts and seeds stick to the meat. Now pat the ingredients from the mortar onto the pork, pressing the mixture into the mustard coating.

Light your smoker and bring the temperature up to 250°F/120°C. Add a fist sized chunk of smoking wood (fruit woods like apple work great).  Once the thick smoke has cleared, place the pork in the smoker. If you have one, pierce a thermometor probe into the middle of the pork.  This will enable you to accurately monitor the internal temperature of the pork.

Smoke until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F/63°C.

Lightly cover with foil and rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve.

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