I just might have a thousand recipes for pork (exaggerating a wee bit), but for some reason I’m completely bored with all of them. I think it’s time to get a little fancy with this week’s pork.
And by fancy I don’t mean lots of work, just really fresh and delicious and maybe a little different from the usual. Something that’ll make me smile and maybe even impress the Bennett Crew. They are my toughest critics. So far anyway.
I had the prettiest pink pork loin in my frig. I asked my butcher to butterfly the pork loin so I could stuff it. With what I wasn’t sure. I had spinach in the frig, and I always have feta cheese. I love feta cheese and my absolute favorite feta is Valbreso French Sheep’s Milk Feta. Yum!
I keep lots of dried fruit on hand (for those scones I’m always going to make but never get to), and I was thinking the golden raisins would go nicely with the spinach and feta. Throw in some onions, garlic and toasted walnuts and my boring pork just got exciting.
The pretty pink pork turned out beautiful. What was the first thing the Bennett Crew asked? Mom, does it come with a sauce? (if you know me, you know why that’s funny) So much for impressing the Bennett Crew.
And the answer is yes. I did whip up a little sauce for the stuffed pork and I’ve added it at the end of the recipe. A simple pan sauce that you can use for any meat dish. Just in case your family asks “does it come with a sauce?”.
3lb pork loin, butterflied (ask your butcher to butterfly)
5-6 oz fresh spinach (I like to use organic fresh baby spinach)
¼ cup golden raisins
1/3 cup white wine, warmed (you can substitute with warm water)
Butter (if needed)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, chopped (I used a Walla Walla sweet onion and it was delish!)
¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
3 1/2 – 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh chopped Italian parsley, for garnish
Shortcut Rosemary White Beans (recipe below)
I know the directions look long and tedious… but it’s just me being wordy again. It’s really very easy to put together and then pop it in the oven. Add some shortcut rosemary white beans and dinner is not only beautiful, but delicious.
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Place the warm wine (or water) in a bowl and then add the raisins. Let the raisins sit and plump while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Heat a skillet or sauté pan on medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add the fresh spinach to the pan and let the heat wilt the spinach. Try not to cook the spinach; you just want it wilted, not fully cooked where it omits lots of liquid. Transfer the wilted spinach to a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, add about 1 tablespoon oil or butter. Sauté the onions until translucent or nicely wilted. Then add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds longer just until fragrant.
Remove from the heat and place the onions and garlic in the bowl with the spinach.
Drain the raisins and then add them to the spinach mixture, along with the chopped walnuts and crumbled feta.
Gently toss the ingredients together, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Unfold the butterflied pork loin and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Spread the filling on the pork.
Roll the pork and then place seam side down in a baking dish or roasting pan. With kitchen twine, tie the pork in two or three places.
Place the pork in the oven and roast at 400F for about 10 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 350F for another 30.
At 30 minutes, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The pork will be done when the meat thermometer reads 145F. These are new guidelines for cooking pork. For more information about the new guidelines here is an informative website.
When the pork is done, remove from the oven and let it sit for about five minutes before slicing.
If you’d like a quick pan sauce for your pork, heat a few tablespoons of butter over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, whisk in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and then about 1/3 cup of white wine or chicken broth. Let the sauce simmer and reduce a bit. It will be not be a thick sauce, just a nice au jus type sauce to ladle over the pork once it’s sliced.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper and if you have any fresh herbs lying around, chop an assortment of fresh herbs and add to the sauce. I love fresh chopped oregano and Italian parsley with this sauce.
Slice the pork and place on individual plates or a platter. Sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian parsley. If you made the sauce, drizzle it over the sliced pork.
Serve with Shortcut Rosemary White Beans and a mixed green salad for a beautiful and delicious meal.
Shortcut Rosemary White Beans
1 15oz can organic white beans
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Add the beans and rosemary to a small pot. Heat the beans to a simmer, being careful not to over mix as they will lose their shape.
Turn off the heat and cover with a lid. Let the beans sit for a few minutes to absorb the rosemary flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Refrigerate the beans to top a salad or serve warm as a side dish.