April 17, 2015

Stuffed Roast Pork Loin

This one's a little tricky and takes a little time, yet the roast that emerges is savory with a not-too-sweet stuffing. It's huge and well worth it. It also works extremely well without the stuffing. The brine is just that delicious. Enjoy!

Stuffed Roast Pork Loin

Yield: 8-10 servings
  • 2 quarts pork brine
  • 2.5 pound pork loin roast
  • 1/2 cup fennel, cut into 1 1/2 by 1/2 inch pieces
  • canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fig and balsamic jam
  • 1/4 cup stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • Pork Brine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves, crushed, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 8 cups water
  • Fig and Balsamic Jam
  • 0.8 pounds figs, preferably Black Mission or Kadota, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, tied in a sachet
  • lemon juice
Cooking Directions
    Pork Brine
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve salt. Remove from heat and cool completely, then chill before using.
  2. Fig and Balsamic Jam
  3. Combine figs, sugar, balsamic vinegar, and sachet in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then lower to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring to break up large chunks of fig, until the jam reaches 215 F to 220 F. Remove from heat and remove the sachet. Add lemon juice to taste. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Pork Roast
  5. Pour the brine into a large container and add the pork. Refrigerate for 10 hours but no longer.
  6. Remove pork and rinse. Pat dry or let air dry. Discard brine.
  7. With a long knife, make a horizontal lengthwise cut all the way through the center of the loin. Work from both ends. Then make a vertical cut to form a cross.
  8. Set a rack over a baking sheet and line with paper towels.
  9. Heat a small amount of canola oil in a medium pan over medium heat, cook fennel for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Add garlic and shallot and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the jam until warm, then add stock, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool completely.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put a roasting rack in a roasting pan and put it in the oven.
  11. Meanwhile, use your fingers to widen the cavity in the meat. Stuff the pork loin from both ends all the way to the center. Tie the loin with kitchen twine.
  12. Season the loin with salt and pepper all over. Heat some more canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Brown the loin on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side.
  13. Transfer the pork to the roasting pan and roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the pork is 135 F to 140 F. Remove from the oven and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  14. Remove the string and cut into 1/4 inch slices. Plate and sprinkle with coarse salt.

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