Dinner with Friends – Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

20151209_192451The holiday season is upon us which means weeks of great food. We had Rindy, Aaron and Fal over for dinner and Kris suggested something stuffed. How about pork stuffed with pork? Yes! Start with a nice pork loin roast and fill it with a stuffing made of Italian sausage, apples and fresh herbs. This says Christmas, the fresh rosemary smells like a Christmas tree. This is fairly easy to make. I think the hardest part was slicing and rolling out the roast.
20151209_163016Get a good mild Italian sausage and cook over medium heat. I got this from Hy-Vee – being from Iowa it was great to see Hy-Vee finally open a store here in the Twin Cities. 20151209_162954While the sausage is cooking dice up an apple, an onion and a couple stalks of celery. When the sausage is cooked, remove it from the pan and toss in the chopped goodies. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples is no longer crisp. Remove from heat and stir the sausage back in.20151209_165341No stuffing is complete without bread crumbs (of course we use gluten free) and butter. Take the bread crumbs and toss into a food processor. Add fresh chopped rosemary, sage and thyme. Blend until well combined. Now melt 2 T of butter in a saute pan, add the bread crumb mixture and cook for about 3 minutes. Add this to the sausage mixture.20151209_170520Slice the roast and pound out to about 1/2 inch thick. Top with the stuffing and roll up tight. 20151209_171314Tie the roast with some kitchen twine to hold in all that stuffing. Season the outside of the pork with olive oil, salt and pepper. Now you can cook this in a roasting pan in the oven (375 degrees for about an hour – internal temp to 145 degrees) or do like I did. Cook it on the Traeger! I smoked it for 1 hour at 180 degrees then cranked up the heat to 350 degrees. I cooked it for about 45 more minutes and it was done!20151209_191107Let the pork rest for 10 minutes. Cut off the twine and slice. 20151209_192150We served this with a kale salad, and mashed potato/turnip mixture (recipe to follow in another post). Serve it up and enjoy. Cheers!

1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 tart apple, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup white wine (if cooking in the oven)
If roasting in the oven – preheat to 375 degrees
If smoking/grilling – smoke at 180 for 1 hour then 350 for an additionl 45 minutes

In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the sausage until no longer pink. Remove the sausage (leave in the fat), and set aside. To the pan, add the onion, celery, and apple and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the apple is no longer crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir the sausage back in and set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the bread with the sage, rosemary, and thyme into coarse crumbs.

Heat the butter in a medium saute pan and cook the crumbs over medium-high heat until coated with butter and lightly toasted, about 3 minutes (be careful not to burn). Mix the breadcrumbs into the sausage mixture.

Prepare the roast as if making a jellyroll. Place the roast with the short side toward you, and fat facing down toward the counter or cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice the roast open at about 1/2-inch from the bottom of the roast (parallel to the cutting board), being careful not to cut all the way through. Continue cutting, unrolling the roast as you work until you have a large, thin piece of meat. Place the rolled out piece of meat between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, and lightly pound with meat mallet to increase the meat surface area by 10 to 20 percent. Be careful not to pound through the meat. Salt and pepper the pork and top with the filling, spreading evenly across the pork, leaving a 1-inch margin around the perimeter.

Starting with the short side, roll up tightly jellyroll style, and secure the roast with kitchen twine.

Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add oil. Add the roast and brown on all sides. Place in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and add the wine in the bottom of the pan (to keep the juices from burning), and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the internal temperature hits 145 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest for a full 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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