Friday, November 19, 2010

Pork Revisited

After finishing some bulk  and case shopping, I found myself with an extra whole pork loin.   I perused about 10 cookbooks, online sites and finally my stash of recipes that sounded good, but I hadn't tried yet out and decided to try something new. Well, actually three new things. I went ahead and prepped 2 of the dishes and will leave the final one for tomorrow. I have to admit, I am getting kind of excited about tasting these new dishes and if they turn out well, putting them on the January/ February batch party menus.

For those of you that have not seen a whole pork loin, this is what it looks like in the package.

Normally, I cut the whole loin into 2 roasts (one from each end) and then use the middle section for 6 1-inch thick chops.

The end that tapers and becomes dark is the sirloin end. It is the one on the bottom. I like to use this end as a roast for slow cooker dishes because it has a higher fat content and doesn't dry out from the long cook times.

This time I used the sirloin for an Apricot Glazed Slow Cooker Pork Loin. The glaze is kind of runny which is great for my slow cooker, Blaze. It has enough liquid that it won't burn and will be really at keeping the meat juicy.

I poured the glaze in a freezer bag with the pork roast and popped it in my freezer. Updates will come after I cook it, but here is the recipe if anyone else is feeling adventurous.

Apricot Glazed Pork Roast

1 can chicken broth
8 oz Apricot preserves
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 lb. boneless pork loin roast (I like to slice it first)

Mix broth, preserves, onion, and mustard inlarge bowl and pour into freezer bag. Add pork, seal and freeze.
Thaw completely. Cook on low in slow cooker for 8-9 hours.

The recipe for the other roast is what really gets me excited. Its a Sage Berry Stuffed Pork Roast. I have a strange love of stuffing meat (get your mind out of the gutter) and the filling on this tasted amazing.
First I started with the other roast.
The roast was butterflied (cut through the middle almost to within 1/2 inch to the end) and opened.

It was sprinkled with salt and pepper and then I put a layer of spinach on one side.

Meanwhile, the most amazing stuffing  was cooking on the stove. Look at all those fresh herbs!!

It was mixed with some dried cranberries that had been steeping in hot apple cider.

The stuffing was layered on the spinach.

Next I folded over the meat.

and then tied it up (out of the gutter people!!)

I sealed it in a freezer bag and can't wait to try it next week. I will keep you posted on its yumminess.

Here is the recipe:

Sage berry Stuffed Pork Loin

• 1 sprays cooking spray

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries
• 1/3 cup apple cider
• 1 tsp canola oil
• 2 medium onion(s), or large shallots, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
• 1/8 oz fresh sage, 2 Tbsp
• 1 1/4 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs, coarse
• 3 pound lean pork loin, boneless roast
• 1/2 cup spinach, fresh leaves


• In a small bowl, combine cranberries and cider. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute; set aside.
• Meanwhile, heat canola oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat; cook onions and sage until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
• In a large bowl, mix together bread crumbs, cranberry mixture and onion mixture.
• Place pork on cutting board. Cut loin in half almost, but not all the way, through. Open like a book so loin lies almost flat. Place spinach leaves over one half of loin. Place stuffing on top of spinach. “Close” the other half of loin on top of “filled” half and tie loin with cooking string to secure.Place in a freezer bag and Freeze.
• Thaw Completely. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat broiler pan with cooking spray and set aside.

• Place pork on broiler pan and roast until golden and meat thermometer registers 160°F, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil; let stand for 10 minutes. Carve into 1-inch thick slices, remove string and serve. (Note: Cooking the pork on a broiler pan allows excess fat to drip away. Line the bottom of the pan with foil for easy cleanup.)

 Finally, I have 6 thick cut center loin chops left. My plans for these are amazing, but you will have to wait until tomorrow for that info. I will just say that it involves cheese and bacon and nothing sounds better than that!!

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