Pork loin with onion and apricot – chatting to Billy can be expensive.

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot (1 of 1)I was in our butcher’s shop recently, chatting to Billy. We were talking about pork, as you do. This got to Billy suggesting that I should try a pork loin, on the bone. He even offered to dress it for me. How could I say no. He had ‘broken a pig’ that day and the loin looked pretty spectacular. I was hooked. And, with nine people arriving for Sunday dinner, this looked like the joint to serve. I was excited.

I wanted to do something different. Pork with apple sauce? – Meh! Pork with prunes? – No thanks. Pork with green veg? – No thanks AND Meh! Then I thought of cooking Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot. I had not heard of it before and the flavours seemed right to me.

What a glorious combination. Particularly fine with the pork.

What a glorious combination. Particularly fine with the pork.

It was while I was carving through the skin and fat that it struck me, I had gone in to get enough beef for a stew. This was an expensive way to feed the hoards!

Don't be horrified. You need fat to make crackling. We all love crackling.

Don’t be horrified. You need fat to make crackling. We all love crackling.

I rubbed the salt into the flesh and tried not to think of the expense.

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot

A good rubbing with salt, olive oil and then black pepper will prepare the skin.

This went into the oven at 230º C for 20 minutes. It then got another hour and fifteen at 190º C. With an hour to go, I added the onions. These had been roughly chopped.

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot

Very tempting to crack off one of those crispy tiles of tastiness.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, the apricots went in. For the obsessive amongst you, I removed the stones and added twenty-two apricots. It would have been 24 but my niece who was ‘helping’ helped herself to a couple.

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot

The apricots were a little on the hard side before going in. Perfect coming out.

I prepared some sweet potatoes and popped them in the oven at the same time.

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot

I used sweet potatoes with sage as the side with this. Perfection.

I put the joint on my cutting board and let it sit for ten minutes. I used this time to separate the gravy from the pan.

A pig has ten ribs. Go on, count them.

A pig has ten ribs. Go on, count them.

The onion and apricot worked really well together. Perhaps there is a way to refine this for ‘fine dining’. However, it was pretty fine like this.

The pork fat combines with the carmelised onion and apricot to produce awesome flavours.

The pork fat combines with the carmelised onion and apricot to produce awesome flavours.

I suppose a pouring shot will be forgiven after all that….

Pork Loin with Onion and Apricot

I separated the pan juices and was left with fantastic gravy.

So, next time you have a crowd to please, perhaps after a Lotto win, give this a go. It is really excellent. Thanks Billy.


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  • Your butcher trimmed that beautifully and you done his work justice 😉
    I really enjoy talking to the butcher – mine nearly had me buying a cow’s leg/foot last week! I was very tempted, but didn’t have time to deal with it.

    • On Saturday, I had another conversation and I ended up buying two cow’s tails. Post to follow…

      • I’d buy them with hesitation. I love oxtail 😉

        • I did a version of Osso Buco. Damned tasty, if I say so myself.

      • Very nice! Somehow I managed to write with, when I meant without hesitation…

      • Ha ha – so will chopping the end off my finger last night, while washing up 😉

  • That is a gorgeous pork loin! It’s great to have a butcher!

  • Oh my word Conor! That is a very fine pork roast! Very fine indeed! And the apricots and onions…lovely! Love the way you just threw them in there whole. Very rustic.

    • Rustic, easy and very tasty. They worked very well together and with the pork.

  • What a gorgeous piece of meat! I have a fantastic butcher down the street, he loves chatting with his customers, asking questions (mostly about what they make with the meat he sells them). He always gives me great cuts of meat, promising I will love them, and I always do! I wonder how I should describe this cut of meat in French in order to get something similar…(I always have a hard time translating meat cuts from French into English and vice versa).

    • Hi Darya,
      I believe it is “longe de porc”. Ask to see it first as it may not translate. As you know, they butcher quite differently over there.

      • Thank you! I will ask Jean-Pierre about it! I am sure he will come up with something quite satisfactory.

  • Conor, that is one very fine looking pork loin roast and I like the combination of apricots and onions. I imagine the “hoard” was more than satisfied with the meal from their gracious host. Pork Loin is one of my favorite cuts and I do love it bone-in. One of my favorite preparations is a crown roast during the Holidays. I may have to do one to post this Holiday Season. They make a spectacular presentation and are tasty beyond belief.

    • I would imagine the crown would be fantastic Richard. I watched a British cookery show “The Hairy Bikers” last week where they prepared a crown of lamb. It looked delicious. I suspect one could use bigger fruit with the pork too. You know that you now have to do it. I look forward to the post.

      • Luv, just luv the ‘Hairy Bikers’: how many viewers may have a very, very wrong impression of the talents of those guys . . . make me grin every time!

        • Gotcha. Thanks Conor 🙂

  • Have you ever tried marinating pork in apricot brandy before roasting? You might like it. You did justice to a beautifully cut meat. I’d love to get my hands on something like that, then cook it and eat the whole top skin all by myself. I can be selfish.

    • What a wonderful thought. I had difficulty keeping the pickers away from the crackling before I served. It was very crispy with a nice layer of fat underneath. Mmmmmm.

  • Nice presentation, lucky guest of yours 😉

    • Thank you and thanks for visiting the blog.

  • I don’t think pork could look any better. I’ve been meaning to cook a rack for ages but keep buying my butchers porchetta instead!

    • Give the rack a go. It was pretty fine food, if you will pardon the self praise.

  • I’m salivating – and I concur with prices – I bought a three (or was it two) rib beef roast from the butcher last Christmas and it was £40. I mean it was nice enough but really it made me wonder which parts of the animal the mince you get for £3 a half kilo is coming from

    • We both know the answer to that one (sadly).

  • Hmm: last time it was the fishmonger who ‘talked you into’ some rather expensive product methinks 🙂 ! But was the praise you must have received not worth both money and effort!! [As a bub I had my seat paddled more than once for picking on one or three of those ’tiles’ before the roast was carried out to waiting guests: right from the middle of course!] . . . now waiting for your oxtail recipe: one of my real weaknesses . . .

    • It’s true, I’m a sucker for something tasty. They must see me coming and laugh to themselves. Happy to be so.

  • ‘we were talking about pork, as you do.’ my favorite line. and it looks worth it )

    • In fairness to Billy, he is a mine of food related information. Always worth a chat.

  • Omg I have to try this. Quick question (at the risk of sounding dodo), the gravy is just pan juices, or it requires something else please?

    • Just pan juice. Lovely apricot, onion and pork tastes. It might want a little seasoning.

  • i’ve learned to expect nothing less from you, conor. beautiful roast.

    here in japan i tend to stumble upon the bone-out pork loins and bellies all the time. i have my own special recipe for cooking them over a campfire, but your method seems far more elegant.

    i was curious, do you get loquats in your neck of the woods? we have them in droves here in japan, and it might be an amazing fruit with a similar flavor profile to apricots you could try with your roast next time.

    • Hi Misha,
      Loquats are only available occasionally in speciality stores here. Very expensive (and I suspect not the best quality either). I’d love to try them, if I can get the price / quality / availability triangle to align.

  • That really is a five star dish. It looks absolutely mouth-watering and I love the way you cooked the apricots in amongst the meat and onions. I may have to detour past the butcher’s this morning and buy a bone-in loin. Another winner, Mr Bofin.

    • Thanks Linda, it was fun to do and enjoyable to share.

  • Wow Conor. That is one gorgeous pork loin. Love the slicing of the top skin. And onions & apricots are such a unique pairing. I’d say you can laugh all the way to the bank with this one.

    • I cried all the way from the bank to pay for it!

  • Pretty impressive, Conor. Great looking piece of meat. Unless you can get your hands on some heritage pork, the loin is the least desirable part hereabouts because it’s so lean (“the other white meat”), and risks emerging dry from the oven if you even briefly overcook it. From the looks of yours, I gather there was a fair amount of fat in the meat. I’m jealous. It’s worth being talked into an expensive cut if it delivers. Ken

    • Thanks Ken, it delivered all right. It saddens me to hear of the over-lean pork. So much flavour gone missing in the process. Fat is also good for us, in moderation.

  • The crisped up fat and skin on this is enough… nevermind the meat underneath. Looks incredible. I’ve never had bone-in loin before.

    • It would be great to host eat the top. But, think of the guilt!
      The bone in roast has extra flavour for sure.

  • That is an amazing looking piece of meat!

    • It makes posting easier to start with great ingredients.

  • This looks wonderful. Looking at your pictures, I can almost taste my mother’s on-the-bone , moist-from -the-fat pork lion.Unfortunately in the U.S. , everyone went ‘healthy-food, no-fat’ insane and we can only find boneless pork loins that have no fat whatsoever, or a thin layer at the bottom. It is a crime against eating,I can tell you.

    • The irony of the nation that lives on the extremes of corn syrup, fat and salt filled foods and fake ‘low fat’ promotions should remove the good fat from pork. I agree with it being a crime.

  • That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Every meat should ALWAYS be on the bone, if possible.

    • I agree 100% (the on the bone bit) It could also be the most beautiful thing ever…

  • Looks fabulous – sounds fabulous. Great photos too. A favourite cut of mine.

    • Thanks Keith,
      I really enjoyed this one. Cooking with a fine piece of meat makes the job a lot easier.
      And, thanks for stopping by.

      • Pleasure – I love your blog – I will be back lots!

  • Incredible. Absolutely incredible. I quit! 🙂 I’m supposed to be inspired, right? I’m completely humbled by this post. A masterpiece.

    • You are too kind. I started with a great cut of meat. The rest just fell into place. Honest!

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