Sunday, December 11, 2011

Apple and Cornbread Stuffed Pork Loin

I wanted to branch out a little this week, and hadn't had my fill of stuffing over Thanksgiving. So after combing through several recipes, this one sounded best to me. I thought the ingredients were simple, and the steps did not look too intense. It turned out to be relatively easy, with an impressive appearance at the end!

You'll need:
Olive oil
1 chopped onion
Chopped celery
Black pepper
Diced apples (pick your favorite, I used Gala)
1 1/2 c boxed cornbread stuffing
1 1/3 c apple cider
1 large egg
1 boneless pork loin
More apples, if you wish
Corn starch
Chicken broth

1. Preheat the oven to 450
2. The recipe calls to heat cooking oil, but I prefer to cook onion in olive oil. Heat olive oil and add onion, celery, and pepper, then cook for around 10 minutes (or until your onions are see-through)
3. Add the apples to your mixture and cook about a minute more
4. Take the mixture out of the pot, and let it cool for a few minutes. Next, add the stuffing mix, 1/3 c of apple cider, the egg, and whatever spices you choose (I used Italian seasoning).

5. Butterfly the pork (Ok, I bought the bone-in loin, so that was a whole other battle...I started by cutting the bone out, then I started at the thickest side of the pork and cut almost all the way in half...Next, I opened it out, like a book, and did the same thing from the center, outward)
You can read the directions in the recipe link, or watch this video for further instruction
6. Next, place Saran Wrap over the pork, and pound it out so that it's thinner and easier to roll when you're ready.
7. Season the pork with some garlic salt; spread the stuffing mixture over the pork.

8. Roll the pork like a jelly roll, and secure it with kitchen twine, about every inch or two, to ensure it doesn't come apart
9. Spray your broiler pan (see my makeshift one, below) with cooking spray
10. Place the rolled pork on the pan, and bake for 20 minutes (or so, watch it!!), then, without removing the pork, lower the oven to 325.
11. Bake for about 1 hr or 1 hr and 15 minutes depending on how much your pork weighs
12. When the pork is almost done, heat a pot and add 1 c apple cider or apple juice, 1 can of chicken broth, and the cornstarch- heat until it boils, then let it cook until it reduces to about half of what you started with- this makes a great complimentary sauce.

I had some leftover stuffing, so I put it in the oven with the pork for the last few minutes, and served it on the side. The recipe also called to cook the pork over some sliced apples- if you have a functional broiler pan and more apples than I did, then go ahead and place them at the bottom of the pork (and let me know how it turns out!).
I sliced the pork into 1 1/2" (or so) pieces, and served with sauce, and a side of baked sweet potatoes, and it made a great, healthy weeknight meal.