Because a couple of our peeps are now on a regimen on heart and cholesterol medicines (and not due to my cooking, mind you, but due instead to bad genes in one case and too many trips to Carls Jr in the other case), we tried to healthy-it-up a little for Christmas dinner this year. The standard prime rib roast gave way to this apple stuffed pork loin roast. I’m a little wary of cooking pork, especially for a dinner as big and important as Christmas with a crowd of people gathered round. And my mom didn’t seem all that anxious to attempt it — she tossed that 11+ pound loin at me like it was a hot potato. It seems like pork is always underdone every time you check it during the cooking process. Not done… not done… not done… and then suddenly just like that! It’s dry as shoe leather. But the recipe reviews were really good, four stars out of five, the loss of one star due to that obnoxious sort of person who gives the recipe only one star, not because they’ve prepared the recipe and found it lacking, but because they just wanted to ask a question about the recipe. Another reviewer gave them a tongue lashing and rightly-so. I love the politics of recipe reviewing.
Richard got out the old-timey apple peeler and got to work peeling and coring and slicing. So pretty.
The stuffing is stuffed with apples, fresh sage, onions, and bread crumbs. It turned out delicious and not a bit shoe leather-y and it only took a couple of hours to roast, unlike the usual all-day ordeals of roasting a turkey or prime rib. And it was really easy to prepare to boot, although it helps to have a former-butcher in the house to do the expert butterflying and tieing. I plan to make a smaller version for dinner one night real soon.
But truth be told, I’m still craving the prime rib. One of these days when Richard’s away from the house I just might have to lay a slab of rib eye on the grill, and the dog and I will gather round and polish it off.
Apple Stuffed Pork Loin Roast
Serves 6 to 8
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, apples and sage. Saute until softened. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the bread, egg, butter and salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth gradually until everything is moistened. Let the stuffing mixture cool completely before putting it in the pork loin. Spoon the stuffing down the pork, horizontally, in a line. Roll the pork over the stuffing, jelly roll style, ending with the seam down and fat side up. Lightly score the fat, in a diamond pattern, with a sharp knife. Tightly tie the pork roast up with butcher’s twine, season it with more salt and pepper, and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast the pork in a preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with apples and fresh herbs