Published March 1, 2003.
An unexpected (and easy) technique yields tender, juicy pork with a rich, clingy glaze that packs pure maple flavor—all in less than an hour.
Maple-glazed pork roast often falls short of its savory-sweet promise. Many roasts turn out dry (a constant concern when cooking today's lean pork), but the glazes often present even bigger problems. Most are too thin to coat the pork properly, some are so sweet that they require a hotline to the dentist's office, and few have a pronounced maple flavor.
Sweet maple, with its delicate flavor notes of smoke, caramel, and vanilla, is an ideal foil for pork, which has a faint sweetness of its own. The result of this marriage should be a glistening roast, which, when sliced, combines the juices from tender, well-seasoned pork with a rich maple glaze to create complex flavor in every bite.
The key to juicy pork: Don't overcook it. Today's pork can be safely served at 145 to 150 degrees, so remove the pork from the oven at 135 degrees and let it rest on the cutting board before slicing. Sear the roast first on the stovetop to ensure a crisp, caramelized crust. For maximum maple flavor, reduce the maple syrup in the skillet used to sear the pork, and then roast the pork in that same skillet.list of recipes