Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pork Loin Stuffed With Prunes and Apricots

Same old, same old, plain old roast pork? Not this one. It's gussied up and stuffed with prunes and apricots and easy enough to make for a weeknight meal. I started out with a large boneless pork loin bought on sale, one that would have served at least 12 people. I cut it in thirds and wrapped each piece for the freezer.

Last night I cooked one of the roasts for just me and my husband. It weighed only about 1 1/2 pounds, but there was enough meat leftover for another two meals. That's because there is very little fat, no bone and it didn't shrink during cooking. That's the good news. The bad news is that there is very little fat, no bone and it can easily dry out if you cook it too long. If you brine the roast, even for just an hour, it will guarantee that you won't end with a piece of shoe leather.

To brine a roast of this size, measure out a quart of cold water. Put about 1/4 of it in a saucepan with 1/2 cup of salt and 1/2 cup sugar, a couple of garlic cloves, some black pepper corns and some herbs. You could use rosemary or sage, both of which work well with pork. Bring the water to a boil and continue to boil for about two to three minutes to dissolve the salt and sugar. Take the pot off the heat and add the rest of the cold water. Put the pot in the refrigerator until the water is no longer warm. Place the pork into the water, turning it around once and store the pot in the refrigerator for at least an hour. You could even do this the night before you cook it if you want.
Take the meat out of the water and pat dry. With a sharp knife, cut a hole into the center of the meat and poke it all the way through to the other side.
Twist the knife while it's in the center, to create a small stuffing "pocket."
Stuff pitted prunes and apricots into the hole, using the end of a wooden spoon to poke the fruit into the center.
Cut little slivers along the outside of the roast and put little pieces of garlic into the slits. Sprinkle all over with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Place in a small roasting pan greased with olive oil. Add one large onion, cut into quarters. Drizzle everything with more olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees for about one hour or until a thermometer registers about 135 degrees. Remove from oven. The temperature will continue to rise. Cover with foil and let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

14 comments:

Stacey Snacks said...

Mark Bittman from the NYT has a similar recipe and I looked at it last night! He shows how to stuff the pork with a spoon for ease.
This is gorgeous!
I have bookmarked it for my next Sunday dinner!

Lisa said...

I love how you stuffed this!

Danielle said...

one thing I've never tried is stuffing "meat". I really need to give this a try. It looks really good!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Love this idea Linda, as I buy the huge roasts and cut it into 3rd's too! I have 2 sitting in my freezer right now. Fruit with pork is a great combo. I usually throw them on my grill all herbed up in the summer, I'd like to stuff it and try it that way.

MangiaMike said...

If you want to get fancier, you can butterfly the roast, roll it up with the prunes and apricots, and then use twine to tie it together. I also like to soak the fruit in cognac beforehand, too.

Bridgett said...

What a great idea to stuff the pork with prunes. I would have never thought of that, but I can just imagine the flavor. Great recipe.

Helene said...

Beautiful, looks yummy. I would love this meal.

Marta said...

I love stuffing meats with dried fruit because it gets so nice and plump while roasting, it absorbs all the nice juices of the meat and treasures them especially for you :)
This looks great, thanks for sharing the lovely recipe :)

Justine said...

How fancy ; )

Peter M said...

I should have know you brined this with that nice pink colour. You stuffed it perfectly, cooked it like a pro and you left what little fat was there - in tact. Bravo Senora!

The Food Hunter said...

This looks great. thanks for sharing.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

It looks so delicious. I neer thought to brine my pork roasts. Great idea!

Juliana said...

This look really good! Great presentation! I love meat with fruit!

Kevin said...

I like the sound of stuffing pork with dried fruit like this.