Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stuffed Loin of Pork

Before learning about brines, I did not enjoy eating most cuts of pork (bacon is clearly excluded here!). The beauty of a brine is that it keeps the moisture from being cooked out of the meat. The downside is that it can make your meat quite salty, so it is important to counter the salty with other flavors, such as sugar. In addition to sweetening the brine, I also decided to make a savory stuffing. All was going well until I realized that I didn't have bread crumbs. Oops.

So beers in hand, Jason and Kenneth marched over to Kenneth's house to retrieve 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Too bad I needed 2 cups of them. Double oops. We did have four slices of sandwich bread in the pantry, so I drizzled those with olive oil and put them in the oven. And of course, I forgot to set any sort of timer. And of course, the oven was heating up to 500º in preparation for smashed taters. And of course, I ended up with really toasty (okay, it was burnt) bread. Jessica scraped off the really charred pieces, and I put them in the food processor...which got us to 3/4 of a cup.

I eyed the pita chips, crossed my fingers, tossed 2-3 handfuls into the food processor, and pulsed away. And what do you know, the improvisation worked! So next time you've run out of an ingredient, breathe, take another sip of your wine, and think outside the box!

Stuffed Loin of Pork
Kelley Gondring

Combine in a large Ziplock bag:
4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

Seal the bag and mix until the salt and sugar are dissolved.

1 pork loin, trimmed and butterflied
Reseal the bag and let sit in the refrigerator 90 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine:
1 cup fennel, coarsely diced
1 cup sweet onion, coarsely diced
1 cup dried plumes, raisins, and cranberries, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
zest of 1/4 orange

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, place:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil

Once completely melted, add fennel mixture. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and saute for 10 minutes stirring every so often. Remove from heat and place back in the medium bowl.

Add to medium bowl and thoroughly combine:
2 cups breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons water

Let cool before stuffing in pork.

Preheat oven 425º.

Turns out that we didn't have any non-flammable twine to tie together the pork (nylon is flammable and cotton is not), so what I ended up doing was butterflying the pork into two sections as opposed to three and piling the stuffing on top. I then wrapped up the pork in aluminum foil so that the moisture wouldn't escape. I baked it at 425º for 30 minutes and then reduced the heat to 350º and baked it another 20 minutes. It was delicious.

Eat up!

No comments:

Post a Comment