Every Sunday we try to have a family dinner. You may be familiar with my ongoing “Adventures in Pork” series on this blog site. For this recipe, I used a pork loin and some pancetta from our first pig, Salumi. The stuffed pork loin was a hit. The stuffing provides enough moisture and richness that the meat stays tender and the loin itself doesn’t really need a sauce. The apple, mushrooms and pancetta went well together, and reflected the autumn season. I served it with Au Gratin Potatoes and my mom brought a nice dinner salad.
Stuffed Pork Loin
1 whole pork loin, approx. 6 pounds
1 yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
1 apple, diced
3 oz. pancetta, cubed
6 oz. mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
8 fresh sage leaves, cut in chiffonade
1/2 cup croutons, crushed
2 ounces heavy cream
4 ounces butter
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Begin by removing the pork loin from the fridge, removing the packaging, and drying with paper towels.
To prepare the stuffing, begin by cooking the pancetta so that it is browned but not burned. Remove the pancetta and drain on a paper towel. Add the butter to the pan and sauté the onions and celery, until they are translucent. Next, add the apples and mushrooms, cooking for a few minutes more. Then add the parsley and sage. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Add the crushed croutons and heavy cream, and stir over heat until the mixture is fully combined. Return the pancetta to the pan, incorporating into the stuffing mixture. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before stuffing the pork loin.
On a cutting board, use a sharp filet knife to make a long cut down the length of the loin, so that you can “unroll” it into a sheet. Then, season the interior of the loin with some salt and pepper. I also added a little adobo seasoning, which has a little cumin and red pepper flake, and complements the flavors of the stuffing. Add the stuffing down the center of loin, and then tightly roll the loin, and tie it off with the butchers’ twine. Take any stuffing that escapes from the loin and place in a small casserole dish to cook while the loin roasts in the oven.
Brush the outside of the loin with the olive oil, and season the entire exterior with salt and pepper (and adobo, or any other spices that you like). Place on a cookie sheet and roast in the upper third of the oven for approximately 60-75 minutes, or until the temperature of the center reaches 160-165F. Remove from the oven and loosely cover with foil to rest for at least 10-15 minutes.