I don't know what all of you will be doing at 5p.m. PST on Saturday night, but I know with certainty that I will be watching the New England Patriots beat whomever it is that they are playing this week (does it even matter?) Before I got married, I enjoyed watching professional football, but didn't really have a specific team that I rooted for. I also loathed professional baseball, and found it to be an extremely boring sport to watch on T.V. Then, I married someone who grew up in New England, and it was basically written into the vows that I would also promise to love and honor Bill Belichick and the Green Monster. Fast forward four years, I have my own nicknames for each member of the Red Sox starting lineup, I no longer refer to the players as "that big guy on the left," and I frequently make purchases on www.Chowdaheadz.com . Yes, there is really a site with this name. Of course, it is easy for me to be a fan when these teams are doing so well. That and the fact that I actually met Tom Brady once. I try to throw that into conversations as often as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't know who he was at the time.... The true test of my loyalty will be when, sorry, I mean if they ever start losing.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking "That's a wonderful story Julie, but what on earth does this have to do with a pork loin?" Not much really. This recipe is, however, what I will be making on Saturday afternoon, so that we can enjoy some really good sandwiches during the game. Sandwiches are great to prepare for watching sporting events because you usually aren't watching from the dining room table, but from the family room couch, so you need something that you can eat with your hands. I like to prepare something like pulled pork, sloppy joes, or barbecued chicken sandwiches, something all-American and filling. This recipe has lots of flavor because of the 8-spice rub, and it takes very little time to put together. You can also adjust the amount that you prepare depending on whether you are serving two people or expecting a crowd. Don't worry about making too much though--the leftovers are great to have around. The best part is, you don't need to be a Patriots fan to enjoy it, but it helps. Here are a few recipe tips:
- The chutney can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and will keep for one week, covered, in the refrigerator.
- If you have time, rub the pork with the spice rub a few hours prior to baking. This will intensify the flavor.
- If you are not serving enough people to warrant buying a large pork loin, then you can prepare this recipe using a 1 1/2-2 pound tenderloin instead. The best way to prepare a tenderloin in to pan sear it in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a 350F degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160F degrees. Slice on a diagonal and serve.
- A great way to serve the pork is in a sandwich, like I am doing for the game. Top a toasted roll with a few thick slices of the pork and some of the chutney for a fantastic lunch!
- The spice rub can be a bit too hot for some people, so I would omit the cayenne if you are serving someone who doesn't like spicy foods.
Spice-Rubbed Pork with Raisin-Mustard Chutney
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple juice
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup apple jelly
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (3 1/2-4 pound) boneless pork loin
To prepare chutney, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Stir in the juice and the next 6 ingredients (through cumin); bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed, Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in the jelly, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spoon into a bowl, cover, and chill.
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. To prepare pork, combine sugar and the next 8 ingredients (through cayenne pepper); rub over pork. Place the pork on a rack coated with cooking spray and place the rack in a pan. Bake at 350F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 160F degrees (slightly pink inside). Let stand for 15 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with the chutney.