Pork Loin Roast with Kale and Dried Cranberries

Pork Loin Roast with Kale and Dried Cranberries (Serves 4)

I never tried to cook a pork roast before getting a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker gave me confidence to take a chance with bigger pieces of meat and I am enjoying it. Big pieces of meat create leftovers that make life easier for days. Here I make some onions and apples as a side-dish in the pressure cooker with the pork, and prepare some kale separately in a sauté pan.

Prep and cook time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredient list:

2 pound pork loin roast
2 sweet yellow onions
2 bunches of black kale
2 Granny Smith apples
Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice)
Yellow mustard (the cheap stuff)
Apple cider vinegar
Coconut oil
Black pepper
Garlic powder


Season pork loin roast on all sides with salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Slather a thin layer of yellow mustard on the meat. I squirt mustard on and then smear it evenly with the back of a spoon. Chop onions and apples into bite-sized pieces. Add one to two tablespoons of coconut oil to pressure cooker over medium heat. Add 75 percent of the onions and all of the apples. Add meat to pressure cooker. Add one cup of water. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat, allow pressure to come down naturally, remove top. Test meat to make sure it has achieved an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.

Rinse kale well. Strip leaf from stems and discard stems. Add coconut oil to a sauté pan over medium heat. Add remaining onion to hot oil and let cook until soft, stirring occasionally. Add kale to hot oil and stir around with a spatula. Add more kale as it wilts until you have enough to fill plates that you are serving. Add salt, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Add a generous handful of dried cranberries and a generous splash of apple-cider vinegar. Stir everything together well Taste and add apple cider vinegar as needed to achieve a nice bite. Transfer to plates. Slice pork roast and transfer to plates. The onion-apple mixture in the pressure cooker makes a nice topping for the meat and a nice side-dish. Enjoy!

Notes: Best practices include 1) allowing the meat to marinade in spices overnight in the refrigerator while enclosed in an air-tight container; 2) allowing the meat to come to room temperature for 60 to 90 minute before cooking; and 3) allowing the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking before carving and eating. I ignore best practices when I am in a hurry and have generally been satisfied with the results, but best practices do enhance flavor and moistness.

I make just enough wilted kale for each meal, so I cook just enough for me if I am eating alone. I make enough for two if my wife is eating with me. I have never had any, so don’t know how wilted kale does as leftovers.

I think you can make this meal in a Dutch oven instead of a pressure cooker by adding 2-3 cups of water or chicken broth to the pot, covering, and baking in a 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. I’m glad I did. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three! I have not purchased a second one yet, but could use one to prepare vegetables separately while longer cooking meat dishes are in their final minutes.

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