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Pork Loin Extraordinaire

From Sleep On It by Carol Gordon

Makes 6 servings

1 tablespoon whole cumin seed

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 boneless pork loin (about 4 pounds), rinsed and dried

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick

2 or 3 thyme sprigs

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced into ½-inch-thick wedges

1/4 cup Riesling or other white wine

In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seed until aromatic. Allow to cool, and grind finely.

Place in a zip-lock bag large enough to hold the pork loin and add the brown sugar, salt, and black and cayenne peppers; mix well. Add the pork loin to the bag and rub well with the spices. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the olive oil in a flameproof, ovenproof casserole with a lid and add the pork loin and spices. Roll the pork to coat with the oil.

Place the casserole over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides. Transfer the pork to a plate. Return the pan to low heat, add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the thyme sprigs and stir, covering the bottom of the pan with the onions. Layer the apple slices over the onion and cook briefly. Return the pork to the pan and pour the wine over all.

Roast, uncovered, in the oven until a meat thermometer inserted into the middle of the loin reads 150 to 155 degrees, about 40 minutes. Baste the roast with the wine periodically. If the bottom of the pan begins to dry out, add 1/2 cup of wine or water as needed. Remove the pork loin from the pan and allow to stand 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Spread the onion and apple mixture on a platter, with the sliced meat arranged over the top.

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