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Prepare pork and stuffing: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add dried apples, cider and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the apples are no longer chewy but retain some texture, about 20 minutes. If the liquid cooks off before the apples are done, add more cider or juice; if liquid remains in the pan when the apples are done, boil it off. The mixture must be very dry. Remove from heat. Stir in bread crumbs. Mixture must be stiff enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball. Add sage, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Make 14 incisions in pork loin. Toss together garlic, sage, salt and pepper. Stuff the incisions with the herbed garlic; rub the remaining herb mixture over the roast. Turn the roast fat-side down. Make a long, straight cut lengthwise down the center of the loin just to the center of the meat. Then, starting inside that cut and holding the knife at a slight angle, make a cut to the left and a cut to the right, both about 1 1/2 inches deep. This is called a "Y" cut, because if you could see a cross section of the meat, it would look like an inverse "Y." Spread about 2 cups of the stuffing inside the roast; reshape the roast. (Bake extra stuffing in a buttered dish with the roast.) Tie the roast at 2-inch intervals and place it upside-down on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees; roast for about 1 hour. Then turn the roast right-side up and cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 150 to 155 degrees, 10 to 20 minutes more (the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees out of the oven). While the pork roasts, prepare sauce: In a saucepan, combine apples and cider. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until translucent, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve or food mill set over a bowl, pushing the apple pulp through with a spoon if using a sieve. Return the liquid and apple pulp to the saucepan. Add sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until it thickens and begins to sputter, 10 to 15 minutes. When the roast is done, remove to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 15 minutes. Skim off the fat from the pan juices, place the roasting pan over medium heat, and add cognac. Bring to a boil, stirring to loosen and dissolve any browned bits, then add the liquid to the apple puree and boil down if necessary to thicken. Stir in butter. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slice the pork, pour the sauce over the slices, and serve. Yields 6 servings. Comments: This recipe calls for a lesson in dried apples, which can vary greatly in tenderness and moisture content. The natural variety, sold at health-food stores, requires longer cooking and more liquid than supermarket dried apples. Some natural dried apples balloon during cooking, producing half again as much stuffing as you need. Any extra stuffing can be baked in a small casserole alongside the pork and basted with a little butter, apple juice or chicken stock, the cookbook authors suggest. Recipe Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 10-26-1998 continued in part 2
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