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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Recipe | Roasted Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes, Orange, and Cilantro

This meal is amazing... I like to call it "the meal that never ends" because if you follow my modifications, you end up having at least five meals worth of food out of one recipe, that comes together pretty easily!

I really like making this meal for company because it seems fancy but it's totally not.

The original recipe is one of my favorite pork roast meals in The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. {my affiliate link} I've recommended that cookbook to you guys about a thousand times now and I will probably keep recommending it till the day I die.

Important note on tools: I have changed this recipe to make it easier and the primary way I have done that is to change it from a slow cooker recipe to a dutch oven recipe. So you will need a dutch oven {here's the link to the one I use} and an immersion blender {like this one} to make this my way. If you want it the ATK way, you'll have to buy their book ;-) If you don't believe me that you need a dutch oven, comment below and I'll talk your ear off about all the ways I use mine!

Roasted Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes, Orange, and Cilantro
original by America's Test Kitchen, modified by Jessica Aiduk

1 boneless pork loin roast (whatever size fits your pot) 
2 onions, sliced thin
3 jalapenos, minced (leave the seeds if you like things spicy) 
2 tablespoons cumin
6 cloves minced garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 orange juice concentrate, thawed (standard) 
4 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons dried oregano 
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped small-ish 
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

(optional cilantro sour cream = 1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat about two tablespoons of both butter and olive oil in your dutch oven at medium high heat. Dry your roast with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper. Brown the roast on all sides, then set aside on a plate.

2. Add more butter to the dutch oven and reduce the heat to medium. Saute the onions, jalapenos, cumin, and salt until the onions are softened. Stir in the garlic and cook till fragrant, about 3 seconds, then add the tomatoes (with juice) and scrape up all the delightful browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add broth, the entire can of orange juice concentrate, the chipotle chiles, and the oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

3. Return the pork roast to the dutch oven, then add the sweet potatoes slowly until you have basically filled up the pot. Nestle them into the liquid. It's okay if you can't fit all the sweet potatoes. Save them for something else!

4. Cover the pot and cook in the oven at 325 degrees for about two hours. (In the meantime, make some rice or whip up that cilantro sour cream if you want!)

5. You know the pork's done when it registers between 165-175 degrees. Remove the pork to a plate. Using your immersion blender, puree the ingredients of the dutch oven into a zesty sweet potato soup!

6. Shred the pork roast with two forks into bite-sized pieces. Serve over rice, topped with a generous spoonful of the soup, and some sour cream and cilantro. (Or the yummy cilantro sour cream.)

So that's meal #1. 

Meal #2... eat the leftovers for another dinner.

Meal #3... have a hearty lunch of leftover soup with a sprinkling of rice and pork, if you have any left!

Meal #4... just soup for lunch with sour cream and sauerkraut. Or for dinner with a side of crusty bread to beef it up.

Meal #5... freeze a jar of just the soup, to be pulled out and re-purposed into another meal (saute some chicken and cook more rice, roast some broccoli, and you've got the sauce at the ready!)

Like I said, it's the meal that never ends! 

It can have a spicy kick, so be aware that you'll want to tone the heat down depending on your family preferences. My kids do okay with plenty of sour cream added. (though in the interest of full disclosure Lily is on a HUGE "I don't like anything you make" kick, so it's not like she'd be eating much more than a few bites of this anyways ;-) but that's a whiny post for another day)

So make this pork roast when you need some spicy, guilt-free comfort food that lasts for days!

And let me know how you like it!


  1. yeah...I remember when I'd follow a recipe to make a meal and have leftovers for the next couple of days. Now I double the recipe and still scrape the bottom of the pot sometimes! It does look good though, I'll have to see if my mom has any pork roasts left

    1. Oh you poor thing! All those hungry boys, huh?

    2. ravenous is the word I'd use. at least 2 of them eat more than I do at every single meal. High school is going to be fun...we might have to become farmers.

    3. Yikes. Make them work for their food haha!

  2. I'm curious about how you use your dutch oven :) I've seen people use them on cooking shows but they usually use them to cook meat. I'm a vegetarian, so I don't see the point in getting one. But do you use yours to cook other things besides meat?


    1. Hey Heather! Anything that you would cook in a crock pot (like soup or pasta) can be cooked faster in a dutch oven. But you're right, usually they're used for meat roasts. Unless you use a crock pot all the time, you probably don't need a dutch oven.