Stuffed Pork Loin

With the star of stuffing at the center of the roast, this is a truly elegant meal for company or some other special occasion. The stuffing features raisins and dried apples — dried because they are more intensely flavored than fresh apple — combined with fresh chorizo. The cream sauce does use fresh apples. For a bit more apple boost, add a splash of Calvados or apple brandy at the end. Use half of a whole pork loin (not a tenderloin) for this recipe.

Stuffed Pork Loin i i
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR
Stuffed Pork Loin
Kevin D. Weeks for NPR

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1/2 cup Madeira

1/2 cup dried apples

1 link (4 ounces) fresh chorizo sausage, skinned and crumbled

1/2 small onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons raisins

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons fresh, minced rosemary

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

3 to 3 1/2 pound pork loin

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

Heat oven to 275 degrees and position a rack in the center.

Heat Madeira just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, add dried apples and rehydrate for 30 minutes. Drain (reserving Madeira) and chop.

Brown sausage over medium heat and drain on a paper towel. Add diced onion to skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, scraping up browned bits.

Combine sausage, onion, apples, raisins, breadcrumbs, rosemary and parsley. Stir. Add reserved Madeira and mix well.

Tie pork loin halves of roast together to form a cylindrical roast (or have your butcher do it). Use a sharp carving knife to cut matching slits about 1-inch deep in top and bottom halves so that an X shape is formed. Using your fingers and a wooden spoon, force stuffing into the center of the roast.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add roast and brown on all sides and the ends — about 2 minutes per side. Transfer roast to a rack in a roasting pan and place in oven. Roast for 60 to 80 minutes, until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees in the center for medium. Remove from pan to a cutting board and tent with foil for 15 minutes.

Slice and serve topped with Apple-Cream Sauce (below).

Apple-Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large cooking apple (I prefer Braeburn), peeled and cut into 12 slices

1 medium shallot, sliced thinly

1/3 cup chicken broth

3 tablespoons Madeira

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced

2/3 cup heavy cream

Salt and Pepper

Splash of Calvados (optional)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat until it just begins to brown. Add apples and shallots. Cook until apples are golden brown on one side, then flip them over and brown other side. Remove to a plate.

Add chicken broth, Madeira, mustard and rosemary to skillet and reduce over medium-high heat by half. Add heavy cream, warm through, add salt and pepper to taste and Calvados if desired.

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