Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with Mushrooms and Apples

A quick and easy meal - Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with apples and mushrooms, served over Israeli couscous #pork #easy #meal |


This Bourbon Braised Pork has a fabulous combination of ingredients – apples, mushrooms, aromatics, lots of sage, and a braising liquid of bourbon and apple cider.  It’s hearty, healthy, full of flavor, and, when served over toasted Israeli couscous or brown rice, a complete meal.  And on top of all of that, it takes less than 45 minutes to make.  It’s one of those meals that you’ll be asking – “How soon can I make it again?”.


 Bourbon Braised Pork with Apples and Mushrooms

A quick and easy meal - Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with apples and mushrooms, served over Israeli couscous #pork #easy #meal @mjskitchen


Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with Mushrooms and Apples (Recipe)
15 mins
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
An extremely easy and flavorful braised pork with a hint of sweet bourbon and sage. Serve over Israeli couscous (recipe included), brown rice, or orzo. 

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

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Course: Main Course, Meat Entree
Cuisine: American
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
Meat and meat marinade
  • One 2 pound pork loin roast or tenderloin, cut into 1 – 2” cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. Garlic infused oil or 2 Tbsp. olive oil* + ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. crumbled dried sage
Other ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, cut into 4 – 6 wedge shaped pieces
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup apple cider/juice or ginger ale
  • 6 - 8 roasted garlic cloves*, smashed, chopped (or raw garlic)
  • 1 roasted red pepper (bell or red chile*)
  • 2 tsp. crumbled dried sage
  • 2 - 3 crisp small to medium apples*, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Parsley
Israeli Couscous
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • ¼ tsp. red chile powder or red chile spice blend*
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • 1 ½ cup hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Marinating the Pork
  1. Trim the visible fat from the pork. Cut the pork into large chunks and transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. garlic infused oil, the salt, pepper and 1 tsp. crushed, dried sage. Toss to coat the pork pieces with the oil and spices/sage.

Cooking the braise
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the pork pieces, about 2 minutes, turning once. Transfer the pork to a plate. (Pieces should be pink in the middle and not cooked through.)

    Process Step 1 for Bourbon Braised Pork -
  2. To the pot, add the onion and mushrooms and a little more oil if the pot is dry. Cook, stirring for 3 - 4 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid and start to brown.

    Process Step 2 for Bourbon Braised Pork -
  3. Add half of the bourbon and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the roasted garlic cloves, 1 tsp. crushed sage, the rest of the bourbon and the apple cider.

  5. Return the pork loin pieces to the pot and any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Top with the apples and 1 tsp. crushed sage. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes. (Start making the couscous.)

    Process Step 3 for Bourbon Braised Pork -
  6. After 7 minutes, add the roasted pepper and stir, to incorporate the pork, vegetables and apples.

  7. Cover and simmer another 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest while you finish the couscous.  The meat should be cooked through but not dry. If you test the meat temperature it should read at least 145F.
  8. When you're ready to serve, stir in the parsley.

  9. Serve in a bowl over Israeli couscous.

Israeli Couscous Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the couscous and spread across the skillet into one layer.
    Step 1- Toasting Israeli Couscous -
  2. Toast the couscous by shaking or stirring it around the skillet until it reaches a medium brown toast.

    Step 2- Toasting Israeli Couscous -
  3. Top with the chile powder and oregano.

  4. Slowly add 1 1/2 cup hot water.  Be carefully because it will vigorously boil when you pour the water into the hot skillet.

  5. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. After 3 minutes, check the couscous. Add another 1/4 cup water there isn't any water left.

  7. Cover and simmer for another 2 minutes on low. Check to see if couscous is done.  If it’s not done but the water has been absorbed, add another ¼ cup water. Cover and cook another 2 minutes or until couscous is tender.  Remove from the heat once couscous is done.

Kitchen Notes

Garlic Infused Oil and Roasted Garlic Cloves


Roasted Garlic Cloves - Make a quick batch of roasted garlic on the stovetop or substitute with 6 raw garlic cloves.  If using raw garlic, add with the onions and mushrooms.


Roasted Red Pepper - You'll be surprised how much just this little bit of roasted pepper adds to the dish.  If you don't want the dish spicy at all, then use roasted red bell pepper.  If you want a spicy finish with each bite, then use a hot, roasted red chile pod. 


Apples - Fuji apples are the best for this recipe IMO.  The are crisp, a little tart and a little sweet.  However, if you can't find Fuji, then use the crispest apple you can find.  You want to start with a crisp apple so that it stays firm to the end. Delicious and Granny Smiths just get mushy, so avoid using them.


Red Chile Powders and Red Chile Spice Blend



A quick and easy meal - Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with apples and mushrooms, served over Israeli couscous #pork #easy #meal |

If you are looking for more hearty and healthy meals like this Bourbon Braised Pork, here are a couple for you to try.

Southwestern Pork Stirfry

New Mexico Pork and Green Chile Posole


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49 Responses to “Bourbon Braised Pork Loin with Mushrooms and Apples”

  1. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today January 19, 2018 at 1:00 pm #

    I just pinned it and I am making it. I want to ask myself about the next time I’ll make it. It means that it must be goooooood.

    • mj January 21, 2018 at 10:28 am #

      Thank you so much Marta! It’s a really, really good dish and is actually one of Bobby’s favorites.

  2. Abbe@This is How I Cook January 18, 2018 at 8:09 pm #

    This sounds perfect for those chilly days. Can’t say we’ve had hardly any snow so I’ll just say chilly! Definitely a good one to have in your back pocket!

    • mj January 21, 2018 at 10:28 am #

      Thank Abbe! It is perfect for a chilly day! We haven’t had any snow either. I don’t think they are going to be able to open the ski basin this year it’s been so warm. They can’t even make snow.

  3. Evelyne CulturEatz January 18, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    OMF this looks so fabulous MJ, so many things I like in hear. I won’t name them it will be too long. But Bourbon….always a good choice. Got to try this!

    • mj January 18, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! Yep…can’t go wrong with bourbon. 🙂

  4. Amy (Savory Moments) January 17, 2018 at 6:02 pm #

    This is a delicious meal! I don’t know why, but I don’t think I’ve ever really eaten apples and mushrooms together… but now think I should!

    • mj January 17, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

      It’s a great combination Amy along with the pork and bourbon. Hope you give it a try.

  5. Healthy World Cuisine January 17, 2018 at 3:09 pm #

    Love a little sweet and savory together with pork. This is a fantastic little week night recipe.

    • mj January 17, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

      Thanks Bobbi! Yes, it is a great mid week recipe!

  6. Raymund January 17, 2018 at 11:46 am #

    Apples and pork is such a timeless combination, perfectly complements each other

    • mj January 17, 2018 at 7:51 pm #

      Thanks Raymund!

  7. Judy January 15, 2018 at 6:34 am #

    MJ, this dish looks warm and comforting, which is just what we’ll need today with snow in the forecast – and I love the flavors of sage and pork together. YUM all around!

  8. Liz January 13, 2018 at 5:17 pm #

    I adore every single thing about this meal—-the pork, apples, sage, mushrooms! Even the Israeli couscous is a favorite! You hit a home run with this delicious dish!!

    • mj January 14, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks so much Liz! It’s certainly one of our favorites.

  9. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) January 13, 2018 at 5:57 am #

    I love meals like this. I have a pork loin roast in the freezer – now I know what to do with it.

    • mj January 14, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks so much Lea Ann!

  10. Sissi January 12, 2018 at 4:25 pm #

    What a gorgeous dish! The combination of bourbon and sage makes me regret my tonight’s pork roast… I might have left some meat aside and try this exotic combination of flavours. Once more you convince me to sow sage this year!

    • mj January 14, 2018 at 8:20 pm #

      Thanks my friend! Sage is a must herb to grow, IMO. I use a lot of it in a variety of dishes and it works great in this dish with the bourbon and apples. I think you’ll like it.

      • Sissi January 15, 2018 at 9:01 am #

        I’ve had dried sage for ages and used it so rarely… I would sometimes buy fresh sage only to make saltimbocca. Two years ago I bought a potted sage and never used it…. then I started to see your delicious recipes with sage, sowed it last year but all the plants…. I still have seeds and will take good care of them this year! Actually I have realised, throughout my balcony gardener’s experience, that I rarely use such popular herbs as thyme or basic basil! Those I eat most often are coriander, dill, parsley and chives, so I sow more of them every year.

        • mj January 15, 2018 at 10:09 am #

          Funny that you mention saltimbocca. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago. Awesome chicken dish!!!! Like you, I have my favorites as well. For me, basil is a summer dish when I have homegrown tomatoes. In the fall, I pick all the basil, blend it with some oil and salt, and freeze. Then use it in pasta during the winter. Thyme I use all of the time (no pun intended :)), along with sage, tarragon and oregano. Of course cumin and coriander seeds are a must and coriander leaves (we call cilantro) as well as fresh parsley. I started a chives plant a couple of years ago and am trying to use chives more and more. It’s funny, because when I do use herbs in a dish, Bobby always comments “It needs more seasoning.” 🙂

          • Sissi January 23, 2018 at 3:21 am #

            I love chives with fresh cheese (used as a spread) and I think I often put them into Korean dishes instead of spring onion. Oh, and in Poland scrambled eggs are often packed with chives (my husband loves them this way; moreover the eggs look lovely!).
            By the way, I bought “epazote” seeds and something called “Mexican basil” and “papalo” (also called “Bolivian coriander”)…. have you ever heard about these? I’m very curious… I hope they will all sprout!

          • mj January 23, 2018 at 9:51 am #

            I had to look it up, but it looks like Mexican basil is what they called cinnamon basil at the nursery I go to. I’ve never grown it but I read about it is that it has a cinnamon minty flavor which sounds pretty awesome to me.
            During the summer when my chives are pickable, I like them in scrambled eggs as well. Probably don’t add as much as your husband would enjoy, but they do add a nice flavor and yes, make the eggs pretty.

  11. Minnie January 11, 2018 at 10:37 pm #

    Strangely, I don’t think of apples when cooking, but this looks extremely appetizing. Of course, bourbon is the special draw.

    • mj January 14, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

      Thanks Minnie! I cook with apples quite a bit, but the trick is to use really crispy apples and don’t cook them too long.

  12. Karen (Back Road Journal) January 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    There is something about pork and apples…they seem to be a match made in heaven. Your pork sounds absolutely delicious, MJ.

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

      Thanks Karen! Oh yes, pork and apples if a perfect combo!

  13. Deb|EastofEdenCooking January 11, 2018 at 11:39 am #

    We’ve finally had a touch of winter with lots of rain! This braised pork recipe is just the comfort food we crave on a windy, dark evening!

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

      We’re still waiting here for moisture and winter. What strange weather. Finally, gave in and started making winter comfort food. 🙂 Thanks Deb!

  14. 2pots2cook January 11, 2018 at 10:43 am #

    I would grab a spoon and run to your home now ! So creative, so comforting ! Pinning to share the beauty ! Thank you so much dear MJ.

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks so much and thanks for sharing!

  15. Jan January 11, 2018 at 8:02 am #

    I have always loved the pairing of pork and apples. Beautiful dish, looks delicious MJ!

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

      Thanks Jan!

  16. April J Harris January 11, 2018 at 6:02 am #

    You had me at Bourbon, MJ 🙂 This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to give it a try. I’ve pinned it and I’d love it if you would share it with the Hearth and Soul Link Party. We are back from our holiday break! Happy New Year!

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks April and thanks for sharing! Headed over to add it.

  17. Miriam - January 11, 2018 at 3:15 am #

    This looks like delicious comfort food, love the combination of pork & apples!


    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks so much Miriam!

  18. Angie@Angie's Recipes January 10, 2018 at 10:28 pm #

    This must have tasted extremely flavourful and delicious because of the use of bourbon. A hearty and comforting treat for the cold winter days.

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

      Oh it does!!! Just a little bourbon adds so much! Thanks Angie!

  19. Kelly@InspiredEdibles January 10, 2018 at 7:37 pm #

    Oh my heavens, the combination of ingredients tho… thyme, apple, bourbon… my mouth is watering! You know I’ve never cooked with bourbon and clearly, I have to change that, stat. I have another blogging friend (originally from Texas) who uses bourbon frequently 😉 and creatively in her beautiful recipes; I need to know what I’m missing! Your Israeli couscous looks so yummy, perfect fit here. What a lovely meal MJ.

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! Oh you should try cooking with bourbon! It doesn’t take much. This recipe only has 1/2 cup and half of that evaporates in the deglazing, but the flavor still comes through in the dish. It’s kind of sweet and smoky. I know you’d love it.

  20. Tamara January 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm #

    You’ve nailed it with this one MJ! I love the combination of aromatics with the pork and apples, and bourbon? OMG! I’m pinning, and hoping I remember to make it! Happy New Year!

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:21 pm #

      Thanks Tamara! I know it’s not much bourbon, but the flavor sure comes through.

  21. John/Kitchen Riffs January 10, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

    What a tasty looking dish! Pork and apples are a classic combo, and bourbon goes rather well with both (IMO, of course!). Terrific dish for the cold weather we’ve just had and will have again this weekend. 🙂 Very nice — thanks.

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm #

      What does bourbon NOT go well with? 🙂 Actually, I agree that it’s a great complement to pork and apple. Thanks John!

  22. Debra Eliotseats January 10, 2018 at 4:02 pm #

    How cool. I am currently getting ready to roast some pork with some apple-cheesy sauce (from Blue Apron). Your dish sounds delicious, MJ. Definitely marking this for later!

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:16 pm #

      Pork with a apple-cheesy sauce sounds yummy! Hope you post it. Thanks for commenting Debra!

  23. A_Boleyn January 10, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Delicious dish … and that Israeli couscous reminds me that I need to go shopping for pantry items. 🙂

    • mj January 11, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

      Thanks! Yep, Israeli couscous is definitely a pantry item. 🙂

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