A few days before Thanksgiving, we add the Butterball hot line number to our speed dial. We've never used it, but knowing that someone is on call to help is a comfort. We feel the same way about the Pork Board Web site, which is www.theotherwhitemeat.com.
As it turns out, the questions the Pork Board gets asked most often are about food safety and overcooking. Most people know to wash their hands before cooking, but in a sign of the times when everyone is a frugal cook, people ask whether it's safe to cook pork that's been sitting on the counter overnight.
Absolutely not! About overcooking, the board recommends taking pork off the heat or out of the oven when it reaches 150 degrees. It will continue to rise to the recommended 160 degrees.
CIDER-BRAISED PORK LOIN WITH CARROTS AND ONION
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (2-pound) boneless pork loin
2 medium onions, vertically sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks with leaves, sliced
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup apple cider
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add pork and cook until well-browned on both sides. Remove to a plate. Add onions, carrots and celery to pan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Return pork and any juices to Dutch oven and pour cider over top. Cover and simmer, basting occasionally, until temperature on meat thermometer inserted in middle reaches 150 degrees, about 75 minutes. Remove roast from pan and let rest 10 minutes. Serve with vegetables and pan sauce.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: 320 calories, 13 grams fat, 34 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber and 430 milligrams sodium.
Look for Relish magazine, celebrating America's love of food, each first Wednesday in The Augusta Chronicle. For more Relish recipes, to sign up for a biweekly newsletter or leave a note on a message board, log on to relishmag.com.