Main Dishes

Cider-Glazed Pork & Apples

1 Tbsp. ground fennel seeds
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 boneless pork loin (about 3 pounds), butterflied
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3 medium Gala or Fuji apples, cored and cut into 6 wedges
2 lg. onions, cut into thin wedges
2 Tbsp. butter, cut up
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 sticks cinnamon
3 whole star anise
5 thin slices fresh ginger, parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375*F. In small bowl, combine fennel, red pepper flakes and 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. Rub mixture all over inside of pork loin. Roll pork loin up and tie tightly with 5-6 pieces of kitchen twine. Rub outside of loin with 1/4 tsp. salt. In a 7-8 qt. Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil on medium-high. Add pork to pot; brown pork on all sides. Transfer to cutting board. To pot add apples, onions and butter. Cook 2 minutes stirring. Nestle pork on top of apple mixture. Place in oven; cook uncovered 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in small saucepan, combine cider, vinegar, cinnamon, star anise and ginger. Heat to boiling on high. Boil 15 minutes, or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Brush pork all over with some cider mixture, discarding the solids. Roast pork another 45 minutes or until cooked through, brushing with cider mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from oven; loosely tent with foil. Let it rest 20 minutes before slicing, as this preserves the juices from running out that help keep it firm as well as keeps the seasoning inside. Serve with apple mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.

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