At the end of summer when the weather starts to turn, it's only polite to have my oven start sharing duties with the grill. When I think of the endless choices of what to put in that happy heated box, my thoughts go to a rich meaty pork loin.
A pork loin is dense, mild, firm and open to many possible flavor combinations. I like the bright upbeat melody of this Mediterranean stuffing that is punched with ripe tomatoes, fragrant rosemary and Spanish olives. The finished dish has one more surprise... a delicate currant sauce that balances and delights!
Stuffed Loin of Pork with Red Currant Sauce
Pork is an economical main dish option. Over the last few decades it's been bred to be leaner and can be potentially dry. Stuffing it is a caterers trick for long hold times. The flavorful stuffing will keep the pork moist while roasting and makes a beautiful presentation when centered in each serving. Serve with an easy red currant sauce for a classic combination of savory and sweet.
Makes 10 to 12
½ pound French bread cubed
2 slices bacon
2 tablespoons oil
½ cup shallots chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 cup artichoke hearts quartered
¼ cup sun dried tomato
2 tablespoons capers
1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary chopped
1½ teaspoons fresh thyme chopped
½ cup Spanish olives chopped
1 cup chicken broth
5 pounds pork loin
salt and pepper
- Cut bread into small cubes (less than half inch cubes) and bake at 300°F for 5 to 10 minutes until dry.
- In a heavy saute’ pan cook bacon in olive oil until it begins to crisp. Add shallots and garlic cook 30 seconds, turn off heat. Add artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, capers, herbs and green olives. Stir in bread cubes and chicken broth. Cool the stuffing.
- Butterfly pork loin by cutting length wise down, 1 side pork loin ¾ the way deep, spread open on cutting board, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay plastic wrap over and pound with a meat mallet until ¾ inch thick.
- Pack stuffing mixture down center of pork and roll over stuffing overlap at closure and secure with cooking twine every three inches. Rub with salt and pepper, place on rack seam side down in roasting pan and roast at 475°F for 20 minutes then drop temperature down to 350°F and roast approximately 1 hour until center reaches 160°F.
- Allow to rest. During rest period the internal heat will continue to rise. Cut and remove cooking twine. Slice one inch thick for serving.
RED CURRANT SAUCE
1 cup port wine
2 cups beef stock
2 shallots chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
12 ounces red current jelly
- De-glaze pork pan with port wine and pour into a small sauce pan. Add beef stock, bring to low boil add shallot, garlic and sprig of rosemary. Simmer until reduced by half.
- Strain and add red current jelly and reduce by half. Remove from heat, sauce will thicken as it cools.