Pork is a great meat. It is inexpensive, easy to prepare, makes great leftovers, and best of all, tastes delicious! I love both Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin. A Pork Tenderloin is a boneless, narrow round cut of meat from the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. It is extremely tender and cooks in minutes. A Pork Loin is a cut from the back of the pig, either boneless or with bone. It is larger and flatter than the tenderloin, but still cooks very quickly. Pork can dry out quickly if overcooked. I came up with this apple stuffing, which also helps to keep your Pork Loin very moist. It is starting to feel like fall here in Ireland so this meal was perfect.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH APPLE STUFFING
First, the stuffing, which can be made in the morning, and then assembled just before roasting.
2 Gala apples (You can use any apples you have, but I like the texture and flavor of Gala’s.), peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 Green Granny Smith Apple, peeled and roughly chopped; plus more of both cut into thick slices for bottom of roasting pan. You don’t need to peel these slices.
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced leeks–more leeks thickly sliced for the bottom of the roasting pan. Use white part only.
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/4 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh parsley, sage, chives, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh marjoram, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread, cut into small 1″ cubes
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp. Olive oil, plus more for rubbing on the pork loin
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt/Pepper to taste, but don’t skimp on the salt
To save on washing up I made the stuffing in the pan that I roasted the Pork in. Heat oil and butter in a roasting pan. When the oil and butter are bubbling, add celery, leeks, apple. Mix together and cook down for about 10 minutes, until just soft. Add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper and cook another couple of minutes. Add bread cubes, panko bread crumbs and apple juice and cook another 10 minutes stirring well to incorporate all ingredients. Taste for seasoning.
PREPARE THE PORK FOR STUFFING
Lay the pork on a cutting board and carefully slice down the middle to open the pork like a book, or a butterfly, hence the term, butterflying. Do not cut all the way through the loin. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the pork. Oil the bottom of your roasting pan and toss in the sliced leek and apple slices. Generously salt and pepper that, as well.
Lay the butterflied pork on the bed of apple and veg, drizzle with olive oil, and evenly distribute all of the stuffing over the pork. Close the pork around the stuffing. Some of the stuffing may fall out, but that is ok.
Using kitchen string, tie the pork to keep the stuffing in. Start by bringing the string all the way around one end of the pork. Tie a knot. With the long, loose end of string continue down the length of the pork about an inch, and then loop the string around the pork again, catching the string you have brought up the middle. Continue this until you are at the end of the pork. This is not a classic tying job, but does the trick! If the pork has just come out of the fridge keep it on the counter until it warms up. In the meantime, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
I like to start roasting the pork at high heat and then reduce heat to finish. This helps to brown the pork and seal in flavors and moisture. The cooking time will depend on the size of your roast, but usually is about 20 minutes per pound. I now always use a meat thermometer to test doneness. 145 degrees is considered ‘safe’ and I like pork on the slightly pink, juicy, tender side, not overdone and dry. 160 degrees will cook the pork to a whiteness and very well doneness (aka dryness).
After 15 minutes reduce oven temp to 325 degrees and cook the pork for another 30-45 minutes until you have reached the desired internal temperature.
I served the pork with steamed and buttered peas, carrots and leeks, very roasted baby new potatoes and the additional stuffing that fell out of the pork. Next day we had it with steamed broccoli, and a big garden salad.
And finally I sliced it very thinly, cut some of the new Artisan Bread I have been making, topped the bread with Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, slathered butter (Kerrygold, of course!) on both sides of the bread, and grilled the pork and cheese sandwich. No pic as we ate it too quickly!
Our first course went beautifully with this Pork Tenderloin with Apple Stuffing. We started with…
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH
GREEN APPLE AND GINGER
I make butternut soup often as I like the rich creaminess and fact that you don’t even need to add cream or butter to make it perfectly creamy and delicious! Adding the potato also helps to thicken the soup.
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
2 green Granny Smith Apples, peeled and roughly chopped
1 potato, peeled and roughly chopped; about 1 cup
1 shallot, chopped; about 1/4 cup (You can also use leek or onion, but I love shallots!)
1 clove garlic, chopped
About 1 inch of ginger root, peeled and diced; at heaping 2 large Tablespoons
1 fresh sage leaf
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground dried ginger
4 cups (preferably) homemade chicken stock. Store bought works, too.
Garnish: Finely sliced green apples with peel; fried sage leaves; sour cream or Green style yogurt.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed soup pan over medium high heat. Add oil and heat until nearly smoking. Add squash, apple, potato, shallot, garlic and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly browned. Add ginger root, sage leaf, salt, pepper and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until butternut squash is fork tender. Allow to cool and blend thoroughly until you have a very smooth consistency. The soup will be quite thick so you may add water, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired consistency. I like it thick, but not the consistency of baby food.
This soup is good hot or cold. The ginger makes it quite spicy.
I HOPE YOU ENJOYED THIS EPISODE
OF COOK WITH CINDY!
OUR KIDS ARE COMING TO IRELAND
FOR A VISIT NEXT WEEK…
WE WILL SEE WHAT WE CAN COOK UP WITH THEM!
|After 3 wedding dates canceled due to COVID,
Justin and Alison finally got married
this past January privately on the beach
at Key West. Here they are this summer
enjoying a concert at Boston’s Fenway Park!
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