Savoury Pork Loin

Look how proactive I am being and posting so soon! Could this be a new keeping-up-with-the-blog leaf I am turning over? Hopefully yes.

Could someone please tell me where my Joy Of Cooking book has hidden itself? You know how you see something all the time when you don't need it but then as soon as you do it is nowhere to be found? Well that was me for 20 minutes last night looking for my Joy Of Cooking. I even checked under the bed, not that I would be too surprised to find it there. Eventually I gave up and said, "I don't need that book! How often do I use a recipe?" Not often is the answer, which may or may not be a good thing. Thankfully in this case it is a good thing and I created a delicious stuffing recipe.

Mondays are my meal planning day where I roughly decide what we are going to have for lunch and dinner during the week. For last night I had planned to make a roasted chicken dinner with stuffing, squash, and corn. I was 90% sure we had a chicken in the freezer which was helpful for budgeting since I had over spent the week before. No need to buy one. Of course Thursday evening rolls around and I search the freezer but there is no chicken to be found. Me = not the happiest camper. What the heck chicken? How did you disappear?

I decided I would figure things out Sunday after church when we stopped in the grocery store. Of course the first thing Bryan saw was that ribs were on sale. I am quite certain he could spy ribs on sale from a mile away. I saw that pork tenderloin was on sale so I kindly opted for both and said I would save the ribs for his birthday in a few weeks. He was a very happy man and also very proud when he left the grocery story with nothing other other than 8 pounds of meat.

When we got home I decided to find some space in the freezer for the ribs. It was a bit more difficult than expected so I had a bit of a spaz and threw some things onto the floor in frustration. Thankfully the items were a box of shattered phyllo, frost bitten ice cream, half a key lime pie someone had left in the freezer when they were here once, and a chicken. A CHICKEN!?!? Double spaz. Of course the little chicken had just been hiding the whole time so he could live a free uneaten life in the freezer. Oh well, I'll eat you next week.

I started out making the stuffing for the pork and was basing it on a chicken stuffing because I had been excited for it all week. I measured the ingredients and wrote down the amounts (something I never do) and even made them look nice on the cutting board for picture taking. I became stumped when I wanted to add cranberries but couldn't find any. Raisins would have been a perfect replacement but Bryan is not a fan of cooked raisins. I thought of using dates but their flavour wasn't quite right for it. After looking in the fridge I decided on using grapes! Technically they have the same flavour as raisins in a less concentrated way but they aren't actually raisins. Genius!

After getting the stuffing all together I got out what looked to be one nice fat pork loin. When I took it out of the vacuum bag it was two skinny ones lying together to trick me! Frustration ensued because it is more difficult to stuff a small loin. I did some name calling at the pork, got Bryan to come and do the same, then decided I better just keep going with dinner. Name calling is never the answer.

I cut the loins in a book fold/butterfly cut then pounded them out to an even thickness. Now the question was stuff both or put the edges together and act as if it is one? I opted for number two and it turned out beautifully.

Ta da! All stuffed and ready for the oven. Enjoy!

This recipe makes enough for 4-6 people and is a perfect Sunday supper accompanied with some roasted or baked veggies.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

- 1 kg pork tenderloin (1 large or 2 small)
- 1/4 C diced onion
- 1 1/4 C whole wheat bread crumbs
- 2 tsp savory
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 T melted butter
- 3/4 C water
- 1/2 C green grapes or 1/4 C raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 450f

1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except pork and water.

2. Slowly add in water until mixture sticks together when pressed down with spoon. Add extra water as needed. It should look similar to the second picture. Set aside.

3. Rinse pork. Butterfly cut to open out pork on a large cutting board with a sharp knife. Cover with saran wrap and pound with meat hammer or solid rolling pin until even thickness. Try not to create thin areas or holes. See picture three.

4. Trim ends if necessary so meat is an even width. If using two smaller loins overlap about an inch of meat making a wider (not long and skinny) surface area. Leaving one inch of space at the bottom and two or three inches of space at top, spread the stuffing evenly over the meat going right to the edges.

5. Roll up the meat like a jelly roll, starting at the bottom. Be cautious at the seam if you are using two loins. Tie up with butcher string. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with pepper and salt and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn down oven temperature to 375f and continue to cook 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with a meat thermometer at 1 hour. Cook to an internal temperature of 170f.

6. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Remove butchers string and discard. Cut loin into one inch rounds using a sharp knife.

We had butternut squash and corn to go along with the stuffed loin which were perfect accompaniments. The meat was flavourful, tender, and the stuffing flavour matched perfectly with the meat. This will definitely be made again soon. Enjoy!

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