I’m pretty sure that by now I’ve made it clear that I like pork… piggie… oinker… the other white meat… the… ok, I’ll stop now. But only because I can’t think of any other names for pork. Except for Wilbur.
Contrary to still popular belief, pork is not going to make your arteries clog up and run off screaming into the night (though I’d like photos if they do, please. That would be cool as hell to see. Just sayin’) nor does it need to be outrageously fatty NOR and this is the biggest nor (can a nor have a size?) does it have to be cooked until it is the texture of your shoe sole. I had been cooking mine to about 145 for many many years and was tickled to see that the pork people and the “we tell you what you are allowed to do with your food so that we don’t ship you off to a porkie re-education camp” people (hey, that’s a valid enough description) have started saying that I was right all along. I tihnk they were watching me and learned something is what it is *cough cough*
So for the longest time I had been wanting to try to make a stuffed pork loin but I was..well… chicken. I was afraid the process would be more trouble than it was worth, was afraid the stuffing would fall out and I would be left with hollow pork and was afraid I just wasn’t good enough.
But I did it. My slicing wasn’t very professional though in my defense my cheap arse knives didn’t help lol. And since the roast I used was quite large I could only roll it so much. Obviously, rolling meat that is thick is more difficult than rolling a thin piece of meat. (Am I the only one who is finding this whole train of thought rather disconcerting… almost obscene?)
But it was tasty as all git out (what the heck does that mean anyway?) no matter the thick pork (ok, now that DOES sound bad) or the poor cutting. And now that I’ve done it, I can only get better at it.
So give this a try. It tasted great (says the woman nibbling at a lukewarm piece of pork as I type this -and dripping everywhere) and for the most part, wasn’t difficult.
Fruity Rolled & Stuffed Pork Loin
- 1 6 pound pork loin (If you use a smaller one, I’d leave the stuffing amounts the same)
- 1 jar cranberry chutney (I got mine at whole foods a while back) or a can of whole berry cranberry sauce (If you use cranberry sauce, add about 1/4 cup of minced onions)
- 2 small granny smith apples, chopped
- 1 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 5 slices of bread, toasted and cubed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Ok, the cutting part- First, to make it a bit easier, freeze your pork loin for about 30 minutes just to firm it up.
- Now rinse it off, dry it well then lay it out on a clean towel. Yes, you could use a cutting board but I am sure it will slide, making cutting more difficult.
- Lay the pork on it’s side and using a sharp knife (not a cheap wal mart one like I have lol) cut down through the roast ALMOST to the bottom. Leave about a half inch edge.
- Lay the roast open as far as it will go. Using a sharp knife, again cut the thick side of the meat down to ALMOST the edge, leaving about a half inch edge.
- Do this until you can’t make another slice down. I did it twice with the large roast but probably could have done it three times had I been more sure of what I was doing so a smaller thinner roast would probably take two cuts.
- You will end up with a long more or less flat piece of meat. Lay it fully open and if necessary, pound it down to an even 1/2 inch or so thickness. Again, large roast; couldn’t really do this. Small one would be much easier. Cover meat and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium saucepan, mix the chutney, brown sugar, cherries and apples. Cook over medium heat until simmering and apples are starting to soften and cherries are swelling, about ten minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the toast cubes. Let mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
- Spread fruit mixture over meat, leaving about a half inch border.
- Working from a short side, roll the meat up. Don’t roll too tightly or all your stuffing will end up leaking out.
- Tie the meat up in three or four areas with kitchen twine.
- Place in a foil lined 13×9 baking pan. Sprinkle with the herbs and spices and salt and pepper.
- Bake at 350 until a instant read meat thermometer stuck into the meat (NOT the stuffing) comes out with a temp of about 145 degrees, about 90 minutes (smaller roast; less time.)
- Let the roast sit for about ten minutes before slicing. NEVER cut a roast fresh out of the oven… all the juices will leak out. Letting meat rest insures that you have moister meat.
- Slice; drizzle with the pan juices and enjoy. Also… be proud of yourself. This wasn’t just making a box of mac and cheese.