Saturday, February 11, 2012

It's All About Pork For A Heart-y And Healthy Valentines!

 I always plan a special meal for my Valentines on Valentine's Day. It must be kid friendly, but also appeal to my husband, whose palate is a little more refined than mine! When I began working with The National Pork Board and The Motherhood, I discovered a treasure trove of recipes at! I LOVE recipes, especially great recipes! Leaner cuts of pork (like this week's Pork special at Publix-Bone-In Pork Loin Roast) are a great part of a healthy, balanced diet. This week, I'm making either the Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Pears, and Rosemary (which we grow in our garden) or the Herb-Crusted Pork Roast with Red Wine Sauce. They both look amazing! I think either of these will be the perfect Valentine's Day meal for us! Tonight, we are also having pork. It may not be the leanest cut (smoked pork ribs) but at least we didn't wrap it with bacon!
Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes, Pears and Rosemary

Recipe from


Prep Time: 15 minutes prep, Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes cook


3 1/2 pound bone-in pork center loin roast, excess fat trimmed to thin layer*

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped, plus more for serving (or 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 pounds (6 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut lengthwise into sixths

3 firm-ripe Bosc pears, cut lengthwise into quarters, cored

1 12-oz bottle hard cider, **

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Rub pork all over with oil. Mix rosemary, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Rub all over pork.

Place pork, bone side down, in large flameproof roasting pan. Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Roast 15 minutes more. Add sweet potatoes and pears to pan, stir gently to coat with pan juices, and spread as evenly as possible around roast. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, occasionally stirring sweet potato mixture, until instant-read food thermometer inserted in center of roast reads 145 degrees F and the potatoes and pears are tender, about 1 hour more. Transfer pork to carving board. Transfer sweet potato mixture to ovenproof bowl, tent with aluminum foil, and keep warm in turned-off oven. (If needed, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F, and continue roasting sweet potato mixture until tender, up to 15 minutes longer.) Let pork stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Heat roasting pan over high heat. Add cider, bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits in pan with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour into sauceboat.

Carve pork. Transfer to serving platter, surround with sweet potato mixture, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of cider sauce, and sprinkle with rosemary. Serve with remaining sauce on the side.

*Tip: If you desire to tie the roast, cotton kitchen twine (also called butcher's twine) is handy to have on hand for a number of chores, especially tying roasts to help them keep their shape during cooking. If you don't have it, use unwaxed and unflavored dental floss.

**Substitute 1 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup dry vermouth for the hard cider, or use all apple juice.

12 3-ounce servings

Serving Suggestions:

For a delicious alternative to the pears, substitute for a tart green apple, such as Granny Smith. Instead of rosemary alone, you could combine it with sage and thyme, for a slightly more complex flavor. To balance the naturally sweet flavors in the pork dish, bake a savory casserole of bread dressing with pork sausage, onions, and herbs. Green vegetables should be simple and along the lines of sautéed green beans with toasted almonds, or steamed and sautéed Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts.


Calories: 250 calories

Protein: 22 grams

Fat: 5 grams

Sodium: 85 milligrams

Cholesterol: 55 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 1 grams

Carbohydrates: 29 grams

Fiber: 5 grams

Random Tip:

Remember! A little pink is ok.
Herb-Crusted Pork Rib Roast with Red Wine Sauce

Recipe from


Prep Time: 20 minutes prep, Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes cook


1 8-rib loin rib roast, center cut, chine bone off

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

4 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 cup dry red wine

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 shallots , finely diced

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, (3/4 stick), cut into 10-12 pieces

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Trim rib bones of roast of all extra meat (this is called "frenching"; you can do it yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you). Season roast on all sides with salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and rosemary. Place roast, fat side up, in shallow roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2-2 hours (20 minutes per pound), or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine wine, cream, and shallots and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes (adjust heat to avoid boiling over). Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 2 or 3 pieces at a time, waiting until pieces are melted before adding more. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Remove roast from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Cut between rib bones. Serve sauce at the table.

Yield: 8 servings

Serving Suggestions:

Elegant and rich for a special dinner. Serve with roasted potatoes, buttered green beans, salad and dinner rolls.


Calories: 390 calories

Protein: 28 grams

Fat: 27 grams

Sodium: 80 milligrams

Cholesterol: 115 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 13 grams

Carbohydrates: 3 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Random Safety Tip:

Do not use the same surface for cutting uncooked meat and vegetables. Use different cutting board for uncooked meat. 
Grilled Indian Pork Kabobs with Sweet Onions and Red Bell Peppers

Recipe from


Prep Time: 15 minutes prep, Cook Time: 10 minutes cook


1 bone-in sirloin pork roast, about 4 pounds, boned and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

2 large red bell peppers, seeded, deribbed, and cut into 1-inch squares

2 large sweet onions, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into 1-inch chunks

12 12-inch skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

Vegetable oil cooking spray

Indian Spice Paste:

4 large cloves garlic

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons water

Cooking Directions:

To make Indian spice paste, place garlic in food processor and process until minced. Add spices, lemon juice, oil, and water. Process until thoroughly combined.

Place pork in large self-sealing plastic bag. Pour paste over pork and mix pork with paste until pork is evenly coated. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium high. Thread pork onto skewers, alternating with pieces of red pepper and onion. Spray grill grate with vegetable oil spray. Grill kabobs directly over medium-hot fire, turning to brown evenly on all sides, for total of 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to warm platter or individual dinner plates and serve.

Serves 8-10.

Serving Suggestions:

These delicious, colorful kabobs are terrific served with rice pilaf or flavorful couscous and a medley of grilled vegetables. The Indian spice rub can be made several days in advance. Place in a covered jar and refrigerate until ready to use.


Calories: 225 calories

Protein: 27 grams

Fat: 10 grams

Sodium: 420 milligrams

Cholesterol: 80 milligrams

Saturated Fat: 2 grams

Carbohydrates: 8 grams

Fiber: 2 grams

Random Cooking Tip:

Do not overcrowd pork cuts when sautéing. Leaving space between them will allow them to brown and cook more evenly.
I hope you will be inspired to eat pork as part of a healthy, balanced diet and try these recipes! Download recipes here and get inspired by pork on Facebook! Win with their "Love Me Tenderloin Giveaway!" Follow @allaboutpork on twitter and look out for the #PublixforPork hashtag! Be sure to visit your local Publix and buy this week's pork special!

Disclosure: I was asked to be a part of this special campaign through The Motherhood, National Pork Board, and Publix. I received gift cards (and other goodies!) to purchase my ingredients. I was also compensated for my time and efforts to share my experience.

1 comment:

city said...

nice opinion. thanks for sharing...