Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One Pot Meal: Cranberry Onion Stuffed Pork Loin

I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o'clock in the morning. – John Barrymore

Cranberry stuffed, moist and delicious.
This is a recipe that I made on the weekend that I thought I would pass along. And for the record, I did not get heartburn. Actually I never get heartburn from stew...

This is the cranberry and onion. I suppose it's sort of
cross between stuffing and chutney.
This recipe gives you one more way to add the great antioxidants in cranberries to your diet in an interesting way. The interesting part is that they're inside a stuffed “pot roast.” That also means everything is cooked together in just one pot on top of the stove. You know how I love my one pot meals...

Intrigued? The roast get browned before braising, and some of the “stuffing” comes out and flavours the vegetables. In effect it helps “thicken” the broth and adds a wonderful flavout.

Pork loin is notoriously dry and if you’re not extremely careful it can turn to leather. Braising with the vegetables helps that somewhat. What also helps is the stuffing. It’s a combination of cranberries, onions and butter. The butter adds a little “missing” fat back into the loin.

The trick to rolling the roast is to cut it into thirds butterfly-style. This is one more cut than the usual two and is something that I saw recently on a PBS cooking show. Once butterflied open and flat you can spread the cranberry mixture over more surface area. Roll it up and away you go.

As the roast cooks some of the filling mingles with the vegetables imparting a sweet onion taste. Magnifique! (I can use the French word – the recipe uses herbes de Provence…)

The victim. Show it no mercy.
Cranberry Onion Stuffed Pork Loin
Prep: 45 min  |  Cook: 1 hour  |  Serves 4
2 lb pork loin roast
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup bread, cubed
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
250g white mushrooms
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Reconstitute the dried cranberries in enough boiling water to cover for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid.

Place the cranberries, onion, garlic and bread in a food processor. Process until fairly fine in consistency. The idea is to make sort of a cranberry -onion rough paste. You should still have some chunks though.

Cut the rost into 3 equal thicknesses, all still attached.
Heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the cranberry mixture for about 5 minutes. Add some salt, pepper and 1/2 tsp of the Herbes de Provence. Remove to a bowl and set in the refrigerator until cooled. The butter will re-solidify a bit and the mixture will stiffen somewhat.

Roll the stuffing up into the roast...
Take the pork loin and butterfly it in three, but STILL attached. Usually butterflying is simply cutting something to half thickness. This is 1/3 thickness.

Cut the first piece by slicing 1/3 of the thickness but leaving it attached; then slice the second by starting where the first cut ended and going the other direction to make a single rectangle of meat. All three pieces should be of equal thickness (or close) and still attached. If they’re not you can even them out with a meat tenderizer

and tie it well with butcher's twine.
Season the meat, cut side up with salt and pepper. Take the cranberry onion mixture and smooth over the surface of the meat. Roll up the roast like a jelly roll. 

After browning the roast and sautéing the onions and mushrooms
add the roast and surround with the vegetables. Then add the liquids.
Tie with string to secure the filling and season the surface with the remaining Herbes de Provence and more salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Heat a little olive oil in a Dutch oven. Brown the roast on all three sides. Remove to a plate.

These are the vegetables after the 1 hour.
Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and fry until the onions and mushrooms are softened. Add more oil if necessary.

Add the chopped carrots, potatoes, 1/4 cup of the cranberry soaking liquid and the red wine. Season with some more Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.

Nestle the roast back into the pot. Cover and let simmer on medium low for 1/2 hour. Check periodically and add more cranberry liquid if needed so it doesn’t dry out. It probably won’t need it.

After the first 1/2 hour place the cover askew on top of the pot so some steam can escape and let cook for another 30 minutes or until the roast measures 160°F on a thermometer.

Remove the roast and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the vegetables and juice from the pot.


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