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Pork Loin with Pears, Fennel and Figs Recipe

I received this recipe from a clerk at my supermarket and tried it when I was making dinner for company. My guests raved about it and told me, "You should have been a chef!"
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 45 min. Bake: 1-1/4 hours YIELD:10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-1/4 cups plus 1/4 cup apple cider, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium pears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  • 1. In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, mustard seed and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; rub over pork. Using a sharp knife, make six to eight 1-in. slits in roast; insert garlic.
  • 2. In a large skillet, brown roast in oil on all sides. Drain. Place roast fat side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Add onion and fennel. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 145°.
  • 3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring broth and 1-1/4 cups cider to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Remove pork and vegetables from oven; transfer drippings to a large saucepan. Tent roasting pan with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  • 4. Meanwhile, heat drippings over medium. Add reduced broth mixture. Combine flour and remaining cider until smooth; stir into pan. Add the pears, figs and apricots; cook and stir until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in butter and remaining pepper. Slice pork; serve with sauce and vegetables. Yield: 10 servings (5-1/2 cups sauce).