It’s been a quiet week in my kitchen thanks to teaching, research, writing and everyone’s favorite editing getting in the way of my culinary pursuits. I was by myself for a few days and my meals were fairly uninspired eating while marking assignments or catching up on my guilty pleasure tv (we all have it!). The new series of ‘My Kitchen Rules‘ is fab! But T. is not a fan so I had a few episodes to catch up on. Lots of great recipes, tips and techniques I highly suggest giving it a watch. I had been planning on cooking a pork roast for Friday night, so my simple meals and salad didn’t seem so bad. The pork roast was something I had been looking forward to.. why you might be thinking right now. Well it wasn’t your standard boring pork roast I had ordered a boneless pork loin with the skin still on. I’ve never been a huge fan of pork but lately I’ve been learning a new appreciation for this versatile and healthy meat (yes I know crackling is not healthy, this was an exception). Perusing the delicious website for new ideas I came across the recipe for sweet and herb stuffed roast pork. The photo honestly first drew me in, but using amaretti biscuits in the stuffing is what sold me. As you may have picked up on new or unusual flavour combinations intrigue me. After I picked up this gorgeous looking piece of meat yesterday I could not wait to get home and start cooking. I also made the mistake of taking T. with me to the butchers and left with a lot more meat than planned – can you say kid in a candy store?!?
I’m trying to take on some feedback from one of my followers who has asked for more photos as I’m cooking so bare with me while I work on this. Not to mention I had two hungry men sitting around watching this process and waiting to eat last night.
The roast also gave me the opportunity to try out one of my new kitchen toys – the food loop. I have the BBQ version of the food loop, but I think it is an ingenious little tool that easily rolls and secures your culinary creation without having to mess around with string. In the last step before putting the roast into the oven, you need to rub sea salt into the skin – I would suggest using corse sea salt too finely ground will get lost and won’t flavour the skin sufficiently. Also after greasing my roasting pan with the sunflower oil I put the pan into the oven while preheating, so the meat so going into the oven in a hot pan. Tip: be sure to use sunflower oil or another oil with a high smoke point, olive oil will smoke during the initial roasting of the skin. If you need help with the measurement conversions in the recipe I’ve posted a guide to help.
While the meat is cooking I prepared the stuffing and veg. I decided on roasting parsnips and carrots as a simple side dish. The carrots and parsnip were peeled and cut into batons, then tossed in olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. Really simple the flavours worked great with the pork and stuffing. Once the pork was cooked (2 lbs = 1 hour @ 350F) I removed and allowed to rest for 30 mins while I prepared the gravy and cooking the veg and stuffing (both in the oven at 375F for 30 mins). After seeing the awesome color of the crackling these 30 mins were torture!!!
After realizing the Friday is my weekly butcher shop visit, C. has become a fixture at our dinner table and after his first experience with crackling last night I expect that is going to continue. Plus he is huge advocate for me getting new knives so I will keep feeding him!!
This pork roast was delicious. The sweetness of the amaretti biscuits complimented the meat so well, but was well balanced with the sage and thyme. I will definitely be making this again, and I imagine it will be requested often.
- 3 pound boned and rolled loin of pork, skin scored
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 amaretti biscuits, crushed
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp plain flour
- 2 cups chicken stock, hot
- ½ medium onion, minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup crushed amaretti biscuits
- 1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Unroll the pork and rub with herb cookie mixture. Re roll the pork and season the skin salt. Place in oven skin side up and roast for 30 minutes. Turn down oven to 350F and continue to cook for 1 hour or until internal temperature is 150F.
- To make the stuffing. Fry the onion in the butter until soft and lightly browned. In a mixing bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs, crushed biscuits, sage and thyme. Season. Stir in the egg, then spoon into a small, buttered ovenproof dish. Cover and set aside.
- Half an hour before pork is finished brush top of stuffing with butter and place in oven to roast.
- Once pork in cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Turn off oven, cover stuffing and allow to remain in oven to stay warm.
- To make gravy, remove excess fat from roasting pan. Add stock and scrape up brown bits from pan. Add flour to thicken and serve.
Have a great Saturday! I’m taking a break from the kitchen and academia to watch curling tonight – very Canadiana!! I will back at it tomorrow braising a veal shoulder roast.. as I said T. had a great time food shopping. It is going to be a tasty week in our house!