After living in Hungary for over 10 years, I have to admit that I am starting to like autumn. When I was living in the US, there was always a very visceral dislike of fall that placed it at the bottom of my seasons list. I guess it was that it marked the end of fun summers, the start of new school years, and the return of cold, dark, rainy days and nights ahead.
Autumn in Budapest is amazing. Sure the nights get longer but the cold weather doesn’t come on as quickly as it did for me while living in the US. There are still lots of great weather days and nights well in November where one can be outdoors with just a thin coat or sweater. Of course the daylight does disappear faster but that also gives me more time in the kitchen for cooking the meat of the season; pork. It is also right around this time that some of pork’s best accompaniments begin to reappear; apples and butternut squash. Below is a recipe I like to follow for putting together a tasty and healthy Sunday meal for family and friends.
- 1 kg boneless pork loin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (5g)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (~30ml)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (~125ml )
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash (~450g)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup applesauce (~125g)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (15ml)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (15ml)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (125g)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (3g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Season the pork loin with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the pork loin on all sides in the hot oil, about 10 minutes total. Remove the pork loin from the pan, and set aside. Pour in the white wine, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the caramelized bits in the pan.
- Scatter the butternut squash and onion in the skillet and place the browned pork loin on top so they work as a roasting rack. Stir together the applesauce, mustard, soy sauce, sugar, and cinnamon. Pour over the pork loin, then cover the pan with a lid or a double layer of aluminum foil.
- Roast pork loin in preheated oven until it has reached an internal temperature of 145 F (63 C), about 1 hour. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving – essential for the juices to disseminate through the roasted meat.
Did you know?
- Roast pork loin is a good source of riboflavin, phosphorus and zinc, and a very good source of protein, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and selenium. Unfortunately it is also high in cholesterol.
- Pork is the world’s most widely consumed meat accounting for 42 percent of consumed meat in the world.
- Pork is 75 percent leaner today than it was in the 1950’s
- Butternut squash is the most popular vegetable among winter squash varieties; in Hungary they call it pumpkin.
- Butternut squash is composed of many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. As in other Cucurbitaceae members, butternut too has very low calories; 100 g provides just 45 calories. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; however, is a rich source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients. Squash is one of the common vegetables that often recommended by dieticians in the cholesterol controlling and weight-reduction programs.
- Butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds.