(Nov. 12, 2021) Successful cooking is based on knowledge, comprehension is enhanced with specifics.
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are similar, but in actuality are very different. Following is a brief summation of both types of meat.
A pork loin is the muscle that runs along the back between the back fat and the ribs. If a butcher does not remove the backbone or the rib bones, the pork roast may be sold as a pork crown.
Because of its size, pork loins are great for feeding large crowds. They are generally seared to achieve a crispy crust and then are finished over indirect heat such as a grill or roasted at low temperatures in the oven.
Pork tenderloin is a delicate muscle that runs along the spine. If you are in a hurry and only need to feed a few people, pork tenderloins cook quickly and are ideal for this situation.
Pork tenderloins are often referred to as the “filet mignon” of pork. Their incredible tenderness adds to their popularity but they are also quite pricy. Pork tenderloins can be cooked on the grill or in the oven, but the cooking time is brief.
Pork and brining go hand in hand. The salt solution is slowly drawn into the meat, which promotes juiciness and tenderness. The ratio of salt to water is 1/8 cup of table salt to one quart of water. Aromatics can be added for extra flavor.
Pork loins are perfect for stuffing. The wide, thick cut has plenty of room for the stuffing and at the same time allows the pork to be the star of the dish.
Stuffing a pork loin not only adds flavor but also makes a stunning presentation. That being said, there are a few different ways one can stuff a pork loin. The easiest option is to cut the cylinder of the meat lengthwise, add the stuffing, and close it up.
Another way is to make a hole in the middle of the loin, creating a sort of tube and fill the tube with stuffing.
Roulades (spiral cuts) are the most impressive and the best option to showcase the meat along with stuffing. It is imperative to have a sharp knife, and preferably one that is the actual length of the pork loin.
Place the pork loin, fat side down on the cutting board perpendicular to you. If you are right-handed, place your left hand on top of the meat. Apply a little pressure as you cut lengthwise about one-inch from the edge of the meat. Do not cut all the way through, leave a half-inch of uncut meat to hold both sides together.
Change the angel of the knife so it is parallel with the cutting board. Cut the uncut portion lengthwise, and at the same time use your other hand to peel back the uncut pork.
In other words, one hand is cutting while the other hand is pulling back the uncut pork. Continue this until the entire pork loin is flat. Using the back side of a small pan, pound the pork for a smooth surface. Once you do it, you will see how easy it is. Perseverance makes for perfection.
Place the stuffing on the pork, leaving a two-inch border, roll the pork, and tie it with cooking twine to ensure the stuffing remains on the inside.
Apples, raisins and pecans makes for a fabulous, fall filling. Feel free to improvise for personal preference.
If your family is not a fan of turkey, pork roulade with apple, raisin and pecan filling is another option for Thanksgiving.
No matter how you cut it, pork roulade with apple, raisin and pecan stuffing is not only delicious but is a great way to wow your guests. Enjoy!
1-quart cold water
1/8th cup table salt
1 boneless pork loin, 3 ½-pounds
1. Combine pork, salt and water in a 2-gallon Ziploc bag. Place filled Ziploc bag in a large bowl and brine for 36 hours. Every 12 hours, turn the Ziploc bag over.
½ stick unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cups favorite dried stuffing
½ cup chicken stock
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch dice
2/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
2/3 cup dark raisins
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ teaspoon dried sage
½ teaspoon crushed rosemary
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
one (3 ½-pound) pork loin butterflied
1. Rinse pork thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, follow the instructions for butterflying a pork loin. Set pork aside.
2. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add onions, garlic and celery, and cook for 3 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, combine stuffing, sauteed vegetables, apples, pecans, raisins, parsley, sage, rosemary, and salt. Add chicken stock and mix well.
5. In a small sauce pan, heat remaining butter over low heat.
6. Place open-faced pork loin on a chopping board. Lightly salt and pepper the meat. Top the pork with stuffing. Do not place the stuffing on the edges, allow a 2-inch border. Carefully roll the pork loin. Using cooking twine, tie the pork loin tightly every 1 ½-inches lengthwise, this will ensure the stuffing remains in place.
7. Place the meat onto a sheet pan, fat side up. Using a pastry brush, brush the pork with the remaining butter. Add salt, pepper and a light dusting of garlic powder.
8. Cook the meat for 20 meats, reduce the temperature to 325 and continue cooking until the internal temperatures reaches 140 degrees, about another 40 minutes. Remove the pork from the oven, place on a cutting board, and allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into it.
Secret Ingredient – Perseverance. “Just because your light flickers, does not mean it’s about to go out.”
– Yohance Salimu