Rack of Pork Stuffed with Apples and Herbs
October 28, 2010
[Elaine] in entree, meat

Wow, that sounds fancy, doesn't it? I love giving you a recipe that makes you look like a star in the kitchen. This one will have your family or guests think you're a fabulous gourmet cook, but it's so easy - I'll show you how. 

I do not like boneless pork loin. I don't even like the white meat of chicken or turkey. Yes, these meats are lean but they are boring, totally devoid of taste and dry.  The only decent parts of a chicken is the dark meat. If I ever fix a turkey breast, I butterfly the thing and stuff it, to add some taste.  I do the same thing with pork loin.  There's no use in fixing that cut of meat, in my opinion, unless you add something to it.  And it needs help.  If you like stuffing, why not make up a stuffing that you really love and butterfly the pork loin and put it inside?  And to make it even tastier, buy a bone-in rack of pork loin.  If you can't find a bone-in pork loin, just use a regular loin.  But if you like eating ribs, do try to find the bone-in version.

The stuffing can really be whatever you like. I've stuffed meats like this with a combination of sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and bread crumbs.   Use your imagination. If you make it for the holidays, some cranberries added to the stuffing would be nice.

Rack of Pork Stuffed with Apples and Herbs 


for a printable recipe, click here

serves 5

You will need kitchen twine to tie up this roast.

The stuffing for this recipe is made with fresh bread crumbs.  Just take any bread, fresh or stale, and grind it up in your food processor.  Do not toast the bread.


for the Stuffing:


for the Herb Rub:

for the Basting Liquid:


In a skillet, heat the oil and add the apple, celery and onion with the sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper.  Saute over medium-low heat for about 6-7 minutes, until vegetables and apple are soft.  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and add the fresh bread crumbs, herbs and lemon zest. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool completely.

While stuffing is cooling, butterfly the pork loin.

Cut down along rib bones then turn knife on its side and start opening up the loin


Cut four 12" lengths of twine and set aside. Lay out pork loin, fat side down, with bones facing to the right. Insert the blade of a very sharp knife along the rib bones and slice down.  This will release the loin from the ribs.  Do not slice all the way through.  Open the meat up a bit and take your knife and continue to slice through the meat, opening it up as it goes.  When the meat is butterflied, season it with some salt and pepper and lay the stuffing right on top.  Roll the pork loin back up and tie between each rib bone with a piece of the twine to secure the roast.  Trim loose ends of twine.  Season the outside of the pork loin with salt and pepper.

Continue cutting through pork loin, opening it up, until flat


spread stuffing and then roll up roast and tie


Make herb rub:

Mix all ingredients for the herb rub together and rub the pork loin all over with this mixture.  

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking pan with foil* and place a grate on top.  Warm the ingredients for the baste in a small saucepan on the stove.  Place the pork roast on the grate and bake for 20 minutes, uncovered.  Baste with about a third of the basting liquid. Loosely cover the roast with foil and lower temperature to 350 degrees.  Continue to cook for about 1-1/2 hours, basting with the liquid twice more.  


Remove pork roast from oven and transfer to a cutting board.  Let rest for 10 minutes, covered.  Cut twine. Slice between rib bones into 5 portions and serve.

* Note:  If you'd like to make a pan sauce out of the drippings, do not line the pan with foil.  When you remove the roast to the cutting board, you can transfer the pan drippings to a saucepan and make a little sauce by adding some more white wine and butter and whisking until smooth. You can strain the sauce over the meat.

Look how gorgeous that is?  It's moist because of the apple cider basting liquid and it's flavorful because of the stuffing.  It's a very forgiving recipe which holds well on low in the oven.  Make this for the holidays and I guarantee it will be a hit.  

Article originally appeared on The Italian Dish (http://theitaliandishblog.com/).
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