Winter Warming Pork

This recipe is a simple, spiced roast that’s quick and easy for a week night, but equally good on an autumn Sunday. The spice rub adds warmth and colour as well as incredible flavour, while the spices themselves are brimming with health benefits. I’ll save that for a separate post! The roasted onions, coated in the same spice mixture, add a rich, sweet side to this dish, especially with the juices made into a gorgeous gravy.
 
The pork loin is a leaner cut, so it’s a calorie conscious choice while getting the high quality protein necessary for mood-boosting amino acids. Pork is packed with B vitamins for energy release, and a spectrum of minerals, with selenium and zinc particularly abundant.
 
Research continues into the relationship between low selenium levels and diseases like heart disease and various cancers, though its role in maintaining heart health by raising HDL cholesterol is well known. Its antioxidant properties are acknowledged in preventing ageing in its role recycling vitamins like C and E, increasing their activity in supporting skin health. As an immune booster, it’s helpful in fighting bacterial and viral infections, and various forms of the herpes virus.
 
Zinc, too, is well known for its essential role in our immune system and skin health. How many turn to vitamin C when they have a cold, without realising that it works in the company of zinc? The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal reported a study concluding that zinc lozenges shortened the duration of colds by 40%, especially when taken within 24 hours of symptoms starting. Give it a try this winter! If you’re not avoiding colds because you’re eating so well, that is…. Well, we can but try!
 
Cinnamon Spiced Pork
(serves 2)
 
1 good-sized pork loin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 good pinches of allspice
2 good pinches of nutmeg
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
4 onions
seasoning
 
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Combine the lemon zest, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine the oil with half of this spice mixture, setting aside the other half. Season the pork and coat with the spice and oil mixture, massaging in and ensuring it’s well covered. Place in a roasting tin which fits the loin snugly, with a little room around the sides and edges.
 
Cut the onion into wedges and coat with the lemon juice and the other half of the spice mixture in a bowl, taking care not to break the wedges down too much. Distribute around the pork loin, and add 175 mls of water to the pan.
 
Roast according to the weight of the meat (approx 45-50 minutes), checking once or twice to make sure the onions aren’t sticking or burning. Cover with foil if the onions begin to burn. A meat thermometer is a good investment to check whether meat is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to rest.
 
While the pork is resting, reduce the juices, adding stock or white wine if necessary, to make a gravy. Slice the pork on the diagonal, with the onions. Serve with vegetables of your choice and the gravy.
 
Enjoy!

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