Rolled and Stuffed Pork Loin
A guest post by Doug @kitchen professor.
I wasn’t a huge fan of pork loin for a long time. The reason why is that most people overcook it and the boneless pork loin is a lean piece of meat, especially when you compare it to a pork butt.
Stuffing the loin is great for 2 reasons:
You get an explosion of diverse flavors – sweet, salty, nutty, and savory in this case.
It looks really cool – a spiral of meat
I sort of cleared out the refrigerator and used what I had on hand. You can adjust the filling as you see fit or with whatever you have available.
- 1 Circle B Ranch Pork Loin, about 2-3 lbs
- Half a red onion
- Half a shallot
- ¼ cup of roasted almonds, chopped up
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries, chopped up
- ⅓ cup of crumbled goat cheese
- 1 tsp of thyme, removed from the stem. A couple of bunches.
- 1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
This recipe entails stuffing the loin and rolling it up. The pasture raised Berkshire Pork from Circle B Ranch is very flavorful when you compare it to regular, mass produced pork that you might get from your local big box market.
You need this equipment:
- Large cutting board
- A sharp chef’s knife (Here are some of my favorites.)
- A cutting board for meat (i.e. not a wooden one)
- A peeler
- A few feet of butcher’s twine
- Roasting pan or cast iron skillet
Here is what you do:
Turn on the oven to 350ºF.
Rinse the pork loin and dry it well with paper towels.
Lay the loin on a cutting board. Since you are dealing with meat, you should use a composite or plastic cutting board, not a wooden one.
Your goal is to have the loin about ¾ of an inch thick so that you can roll it up. So keep that in mind.
Cut the loin parallel to the cutting board almost all the way through, leave about ¾ inch. Open up the loin like a book. Make a similar cut and open up the loin. A sharp knife is key and an electric sharpener is best for kitchen use.
You should have the loin opened up and about ¾ of an inch thick all the way across. Set the loin aside for now.
Wash your hands and peel the apple and dice up the fruit. Chop up the shallots, onions, dried cranberries, and almonds. Saute the shallots, onions, dried cranberries, and apple in a skillet with some extra virgin olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Saute for about 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat. Lay a long length of butcher’s twine under one end of the loin.
Spoon and spread the shallots, onions, dried cranberries, and apple on the loin. Then add the almonds, thyme, and finally the goat cheese.
Carefully roll up the loin and the filling. Tie off the loin at about 2 inch intervals. Take your time. Coat with a little olive oil and liberally add salt and pepper.
Heat your cast iron skillet on medium for about 5 minutes, and then brown the outside of the loin. I just cook one side for about 2 minutes and then flip it once. I liked the seared flavor, but it can be a struggle working with a stuffed loin!
Put a probe thermometer in the loin and then place the skillet in the oven.
Roast for about 45 to 60 minutes. But we are going off the temperature reading. I pull the loin when it hit 140ºF. You can go up to 150ºF if you prefer your meat cooked more. Once you remove the loin from the oven, loosely cover it with foil and let the meat rest for 2 to 4 minutes.
Slice the rolled loin and enjoy!
Doug isn’t a professor at all, but he approaches the kitchen with an academic mind. He can barely follow a recipe and uses them as guidelines. Doug blogs about sharp knives and keeping them sharp to cutting boards to cast iron cookware. Check out more at The Kitchen Professor!