Saturday, November 6, 2010

Savory Stuffed Pork Loin

I was travelling (again) this past week and had the opportunity to watch a bunch of podcasts on my new IPad (love it).  One of the podcasts I watched was a Cook's Illustrated one for a rolled pork loin with an apple stuffing.  I'm not much for the fruit type stuffings, but I was entrigued by their technique for rolling and stuffing a pork loin, so I deciced to give it a whirl.

I used a small pork loin as there was just two of us for dinner this eve.  I cut it just as the Cook's podcast showed - starting 1/2 inch paralellel to the cutting board and then stopping short of the other end before cutting another 1/2 inch back.  (You're probably best to watch the podcast as this isn't the best description).  The picture below is after cutting, but before doing some slight pounding, under plastic wrap to even it out.

I then made a bacon based stuffing. I sauteed the bacon with an onion until just getting a bit crisp.  I added thyme, sage, and majoram and stirred until fragrant.  I then added savory bread crumbs (you could use any type of cubed bread here, but ideally a bit stale and dry) and chicken stock to moisten. 

I spread the stuffing onto the flattened pork loin, rolled and tied it at 3/4"  intervals.    I had leftover stuffing so I put it in the botton of my roasting dish for the roast to cook on. 

The roast was amazing.  And it looked really impressive.  The pork really took to the savory flavours but maintained its own distinct meaty flavour.  The stuffing was very spicy and savory which was appropraite for this type of dish. I served with roasted potatoes and yams and steamed peas.

A wonderful fall supper.

Savory Stuffed Pork Loin
2 lb pork loin roast, butterflied and pounded to even 1/2" thickness

8 strips bacon, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp sage
3-4 cups chunky bread crumbs (smash a bit if too large)
1/2-1 cup chicken stock to moisten

Preheat oven to 320F.

In a large pot sautee the bacon and onion until just turning crisp.  If more than 1/4 cup fat, drain off excess.  Add the spices and stir until just fragrant.   Take off heat.  Add the bread crumbs and mix.  Add enough chicken stock to moisten, but not soak and stir again. 

Place a layer of stuffing over the flattened pork loin.  Roll and tire with butchers string at 3/4" intervals.

Place the remaining stuffing in a roasting dish and place the roast on top.  Cook at 320F for 1 - 1/2 hours until the internal temerature is 160F.  You may have to place foil over the stuffing or remove it if it gets too browned.

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