Apple Wood Smoked Loin of Pork – I found it a little heavy myself.

Loin of pork smoked

My darling mother is, to use her own words, “closer to 90 than 80 years young” Mum has a remarkably open attitude and a positive outlook on life. She paints in oils, having graduated from watercolours some years back. Her pictures are bright and bold and they reflect a fun, childlike humour and her bubbly personality.

“What has any of this got to do with that big chunk of meat?” I hear you ask. Let me explain in chunks as I prepare this lovely recipe for Rosemary and Lemon Smoked Pork.

Way back in the day when we children were children, Dublin was a different kind of place to live. The back gate at the top of our garden was left unlocked. The back door to the house was only closed during the day if it was either cold or raining. The big metal bin was kept outside the back door, and, on collection day, was moved the length of the garden and left in the back lane for emptying.

Smoked loin of pork

If there were less ingredients, it wouldn’t be a recipe.


A chunk on the food: I got my hands on an eight rib piece of free range, organic, rare breed pork. It works well with apple, so I smoked the pork in the Bradley Smoker, using sweet apple wood for the smoke. There are but a few ingredients for this recipe. Pork, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper.  The instructions for this are very straightforward.

Use the zest of two unwaxed lemons.

Use the zest of two unwaxed lemons.

Chop up a couple of handfuls of rosemary, plucked from the back garden. If you are going to prepare this, get your rosemary from your own garden. Stay out of mine!

I'm pretty proud of my rosemary. It thrives on neglect.

I’m pretty proud of my rosemary. It thrives on neglect.

Slash through the skin and into the fat of the pork using a very sharp knife. Rub the pork all over with salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon zest.

That is my biggest oven dish. This is a big piece of meat.

That is my biggest oven dish. This is a big piece of meat.

Leave the pork in the fridge overnight. This allows the flavours to get into the meat.

Back to the story about my Mum; One day, she was baking bread in the kitchen when she saw two large men walking down the garden. She could tell by their dress (No, they wern’t wearing dresses) that they were two of the bin men. One knocked loudly on the open back door and began to talk to my mum. “Jaysus, Missus, that bin of yours is awful heavy. The lads and I were just sayin’ how heavy that bin of yours is….” This performance by two burly six footers in front of a five foot nothing mother of six children.  

Back to the cooking; The meat (like our bin) is big and heavy. That is what got me thinking of Mum’s story as I carried the pork out to put it in the smoker. The smoker lives in the garden shed. Everything in the shed smells of smoke. I let it smoke away until it reached an internal temperature of 68ºC. This took about 3 hours.

Well begun is half done, as the old saying goes.

Well begun is half done, as the old saying goes.

While the pork is resting,  lightly stew some apples with ginger.

Perfect apple sauce. Perfect for perfect pork.

Perfect apple sauce. Perfect for perfect pork.


Ingredients for perfect apple sauce

  • 3 cooking apples
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 4 or 5 slices of ginger, chopped up small
  • 3 or 4 teaspoons of sugar

Peel and slice the apples, into pieces, about the size of a segment of an orange. add to a saucepan. Add the other ingredients and heat over a medium heat until the segments start to break down. Remove from the heat. A nice bit of firm apple is good in this sauce. Skin the pork, slice and serve with a nice pork gravy and mashed potato.

Smoked pork (1 of 1)-2

This recipe for Apple Wood Smoked Loin of Pork will not disappoint. Though I know you would be disappointed if I didn’t finish that little story of my Mum and the bin men.

The object of the complaint was to extract a “tip”. In today’s more enlightened world, we would call it “graft” or “bribe”. But they were simpler times. My darling Mum’s response was to look him in the eye and say “Yes, I thought it was a bit heavy when I carried it up the garden.” They left, shamefaced and un-tipped. Wonderful woman my Mum. 

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Latest comments
  • That’s a beautiful piece of pork, done to perfection …and best wishes to your mum.

  • Now we know where the wit comes from… Lovely slab of pork – look out, or you’ll find you’ve single-handedly endangered those already rare breeds! The apple sauce, too, looks tasty, but my heritage does not allow me to eat apple sauce unless flavoured with cinnamon…;-)

  • I can’t decide which I like most, that pork or your Mum. I think your mum wins but it’s a close-run thing. Both absolutely lovely. Lx

  • Hi Conor!
    Love hearing stories about your Mum. She’s a great lady; I can tell the way you speak of her.
    Oh my gosh! This pork looks amazing! I LOVE that it isn’t slathered down with BBQ sauce like my husband would think.
    Have a great week!

  • What is the rind like after smoking like that?

  • You really are a chip (smoked wood chip that is) off the old block. Loved this story and the pork was just a delicious sounding, added bonus.

  • That’s an impressive piece of meat. It looks heavenly. Love the story about your mom.

  • Lovely story, lovely mum and lovely dinner 😉

  • That was meant to be a smiley face not a winking one …. everything is so tricky today …..

  • Mouthwatering.! Your posts make me wish I had a smoker, – the meat looks so very tasty and the color is to die for.

    Such a funny story. Your mother is a very smart lady! What a punch line! 🙂

  • Your pork looks great, we had a smoker on the farm when I was a child and made the best hams. I love the story of your mom, she is a great lady.

  • 🙂 after a hectic and somewhat exhausting day I came home and the first thing I saw was your article. What a piece of pork!!! OmG – what have you done to the German in me 🙂 and Applesauce (and I must agree here with Kate – Cinnamon is a must and even a few golden raisins) – and then of course this beautiful little story about your Mom – what a lady!! 🙂 – and that lovely irish wit – perfect. No question she and your Dad have past this on to you. Btw – any left-overs??

  • I’m assuming you ate the applesauce with this dish, even though it’s not in the plated shot. Your mom used the perfect witty way to send those slackers on without a tip! She sounds like a fun mom. 🙂

      • LOL Conor, my brain TOTALLY mist-translated the apple sauce for mashed potatoes! 😀

        • And I supposed “mist-translated” is an apropos typo since my brain can be foggy at times… 😛

  • I’m glad your mum gave those guys what for! My mom was a bit taller, but both of my grandmother’s were 4 ft 11 1/2″ inches tall. Note the half, lol!! My Irish Grandmother, Irene, taught in a one room school house and all the big hulking boys were torn between fear and worship. Your mum reminds me a bit of her. Btw, I do believe I get my sparkling personality, wit and charm (lol) (along with my freckles) from Grandma Irene!

    The roast looks lovely, mouthwatering!

      • Lol! 5 ft 5 1/2 here – a veritable giant in my fam!!

  • Ah… so it’s the mammy you get it from!

  • Damn it: WordPress still thinks I am not worthy of your posts, so ‘thank you’!! Love that last photo of the pork, truly do [Estonians are as besotted as Germans re the meat 🙂 !] but, given a choice, I’ll ‘take’ you Mom any day: for some odd reason[s] methinks we would rub together very well indeed!!!

    Off topic: Loved TdF and wanted to read Chris Froome’s bio [even tho’ it was published at age 29!]. Expensive: so went second-hand for peanuts – wonderful, by the way, of upper middle class life in Kenya and S Africa AND all the rest. . . . well, got a big bag of peanuts – a fully signed copy someone did not appreciate . . . worth reading by-the-bye . . .

      • Ah, but when something very densely written [for over 430 pages + about 20 pages of photos not seen before] gives you a wonderful description of the sport in ways you had never envisaged . . . details you had never known, ‘secrets’ [not always nice] about the machinations and what the riders and managers really talk about from and to the cars and to each other and at night in their hotel rooms and the games that are played . . . hmm, my eyes are certainly a lot wider open about a lot of names I have followed for years . . . . sorry about the rant, Conor, but am just finishing and have had fun whilst I should have been working . . . . . . . .

  • Lovely Conor, both the pork and the story.

  • I just laughed out loud! Your mum is brilliant, good for her. Those blokes should have known better than mess with a mamma bear. And the recipe looks fabulous.

  • Hi Conor. Do you know that comments is turned off in your mobile settings, not possible on iPad or phone. I thought you’d gone shy on us….Delicious pork recipe, but are smoke AND crackling possible?

      • Mmmmm thanks Conor. maybe it’s my settings as their is no facility to read, contribute or reply to comments on the WP App reader. I’ll check it out

  • Lovely pork 🙂 and your mum sounds like a beautiful soul. 🙂

  • Kudos to Mum for being so quick-witted, Conor. Great way to prepare pork. Your opening photo is mouth-watering good.

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