Pork on Pork…Why Not?
Pork Loin really lends itself to dried fruit and bacon helps keep it moist. It’s a lean cut and the juiciness of fruit and fattiness of bacon helps bring it to life. A few weeks ago I made a Roasted Leg of Lamb using a pistachio crust. The recipe makes more than you need for one 4-5 pound Leg of Lamb so I had leftovers and decided to change it up by adding dried prunes and use it with a Pork Loin.
The nut topping will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks or if you freeze will keep even longer. It’s also great on or rolled into chicken.
The original pistachio recipe calls for roughly chopped pistachios, Panko bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, finely chopped fresh rosemary, lemon zest and salt/pepper. For the Pork Loin I added 1/2 cup chopped prunes to make a total of 2 cups stuffing.
Make the pistachio nut stuffing/topping first if it is not already in your fridge. Next, butterfly the Pork Loin. Do not let this intimidate you. It is very easy.
Simply roll the Loin onto its side and with your sharpest knife make a cut through lengthwise without cutting all the way through so the pork lies flat like a book.
Rub 2 Tbsp. olive oil onto the inside of the pork and liberally salt and pepper. Use at least 1 tsp. of salt.
Here is the pork, oiled and ready for the pistachio stuffing. The oil is important as the pork has so little fat and no one likes dry pork!
Add about 1 1/2 cups of stuffing, gently pressing into the pork. Using both hands close the pork as you would a book.
Do not worry if some of the stuffing falls out, push it back in as the tying process begins. As you can see my “book” opened, but as you tie with kitchen string you can bring it back together.
The kitchen string is just to hold it together before wrapping with bacon. Stretch each piece of bacon before beginning to wrap. This is kind of fun!
Wrap bacon around the pork tucking in ends of the bacon as you wrap.
Use enough bacon to completely wrap the pork.
Next, sprinkle the last 1/2 cup of stuffing over the rolled and wrapped Pork Loin. Top with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and your Loin is ready to go into a hot oven for the first 10 minutes of roasting.
Stuffed, rolled, wrapped and ready to roast!
Turn the oven down to 350 degrees after 10 minutes and roast another 45-60 minutes until you have an internal temperature of 145 degrees. It’s ok if the pork is a little pink and also, please remember it does keep cooking even after you take it our of the oven.
Rest the Pork Loin tented with foil for 10 minutes before slicing.
Slice in 1 inch thick slices. I served with baby Yukon golden potatoes with rosemary and garlic and lightly steamed pea pods.
Please let me know what you think of this recipe. There are a fair number of steps, but if you take your time it is not daunting, and can be prepared in the morning and roasted just before dinner. Plus you can make the pistachio prune nut stuffing way in advance.
It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Snacks today include: Deviled eggs, Shrimp cocktail, Manchego cheese, various crackers, Sopressato and Coppa salami and then we’ll move into slow roasted Pork Ribs with a rich homemade BBQ sauce and Mexican Mac N Cheese. I hope we have enough food!
Pistachio Prune Pork Wrapped in Bacon
Salty, sweet with great texture combinations. The pork is moist, tender and delicious!
For the Pistachio Nut Stuffing and Topping
- 1 1/2 cups Roasted and salted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, more for the pork preparation
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus a few more sprigs for topping the pork
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon zest, freshly grated
- 1 tsp. Kosher or coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
- This will make more stuffing then required for this recipe. You will only use 1 1/2 cups of the pistachio stuffing. For the pork add 1/2 cup of chopped prunes to 1 1/2 cups of this original recipe.
For the Pork Loin
- 3 1/2 Lb. Pork Loin
- 4 Tbsp. Olive oil, divided-2 for inside the pork and 2 for topping
- 1 1/2 cups Pistachio nut stuffing
- 1/2 cup Dried prunes, chopped
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 sprigs Fresh rosemary
To Make the Pistachio Nut stuffing
In a medium bowl combine roughly chopped pistachios, Panko, 3 Tbsp. olive oil, minced garlic, and the Dijon mustard. Mix well.
If it seems too dry, add a bit more olive oil. Stir in the chopped rosemary, lemon zest, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper until thoroughly blended. Set aside.
This is the original pistachio nut stuffing. For the Pork Loin, use just 1 1/2 cups of this stuffing and add 1/2 cup chopped prunes to make a total of 2 cups of stuffing for the Pork Loin.
To Prepare the Pork Loin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Butterfly the pork and open like a book. Rub 2 Tbsp. olive oil inside the pork. Add at least 1 tsp. of Kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the pistachio prune stuffing inside the pork. Gently bring the pork together.
Tie the pork with kitchen string.
Stretch about 5 slices of bacon; enough to completely wrap the pork loin. Wrap the bacon around the loin tucking in ends of bacon as you wrap.
Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of pistachio prune stuffing. Drizzle 2 more Tbsp. olive oil over the top. Place 5 sprigs of rosemary on top of the loin. Halfway through roasting, check to see if the pork looks dry. If it does add another Tbsp. of olive oil.
Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and roast another 45-60 minutes until an internal temp of 145 is reached.
Rest, tented under foil for 10 minutes. Remove all kitchen string and then slice into thick 1 inch slices.