Sunday, June 1, 2014

What's on Hand--Pork Roast with Dried Cherry and Apple Stuffing

Sliced pork roast, with rolled up stuffing of dried cherries and granny smith apples
Most of the time, I have basic ingredients around and have certain plans for what I am going to cook. I bought a 2-3/4 pound pork roast the other day, and had intended on doing something similar to a Chile Verde with it. But this morning, knowing I was going to cook it ahead of time anyway, I shifted gears and made stuffing  in a rolled up roast. Pork and apples or applesauce is a classic (and I have another blog post with stuffed pork chops). But in this case, I had some dried cherries to add to the mix and cooked the whole roast stuffed and rolled up.

So here is what I had on hand:

2-3/4 lb pork roast
1/2 green apple, diced
1/2 c dried cherries
1 shallot, diced
1/2 rib celery, sliced thin
1/2 c of panko breadcrumbs
Splash of sauvignon blanc (about 1/2 c?)
@ 1/2 c orange juice
olive oil
salt, pepper and garlic powder

I started out by inexpertly cutting the roast into a long flat piece, not really butterflying. I just picked a side and cut in about an inch deep and kept going until the piece all the way opened up. I will stress the non-expertise because it's not a task that should make people reluctant to try this. Just be careful not to cut yourself, go slowly. I salted and peppered and added garlic powder and let it sit while I made the stuffing.

Make sure you season the interior of the meat before rolling it up
I heated a saute pan with some olive oil, added the apple, celery, cherries, shallots, and sauteed until the apple started to soften. I added half the white wine and let that cook down, and then added the panko and a good drizzling of olive oil over the top. I sauteed it another minute and adjusted the taste with salt and pepper.
The panko adds a nice texture, and actually captures the pan juices into the stuffing
I then placed the cut meat on a cutting board that had two very long strings length wise under the pork. (These would be used to draw the roll up tight and tie it together.) I pressed the stuffing down along the pork and then rolled it up by hand.

I left a gap so on the start of the rolling I could get a good tight start after the first roll
I tied it off with a total of three lengths of kitchen twine and then placed it in a medium hot skillet with a little olive oil. I salted, peppered and garlic powdered the fat layer on the outside and seared the surface all over.

Any of the pan juices and stray bits and pieces can be added to the roasting pan
I placed the rolled roast into an oval baking dish with the small amount of stuffing that did not fit in the roast, about 1/4 c. of white wine, and about 1/2 cup orange juice and another drizzle of olive oil.

There will be additional meat juices, but this allows for some moisture and flavor  before that happens
I placed the pan in a preheated 325 degree oven, and roasted it for about an hour, or until the internal temp of the meat reached 145 degrees. I basted it once or twice with pan juices. While basting, I took a fork and mashed the cooked loose fruit  just a bit more to incorporate it into the pan juices.

There were a lot of pan juices and mashed with the fruits, it made a really nice sauce. You could actually puree it, but I like it more textured.
When the roast hit 145 degrees, I removed it from the oven, covered it with foil and let it sit about 20 minutes. I removed the strings and sliced it, serving it on a nice puddle of pan juices.

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