the appetizer:

Sunday Roasts, A Year's Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, from Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys and Legs of Lamb by Betty Rosbottom includes recipes like Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Apples; Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey; and Pork Loin with a Blue Cheese Stuffing and Roasted Pears.

Cookbook Profile

Pork Loin
with a Blue Cheese Stuffing and Roasted Pears

Serves 6

Golden Cider-Roasted Turkey


Cost: Moderate
Prep Time: 30 minutes, including making the fresh bread crumbs
Start-To-Finish Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, including resting time for cooked meat

Natural partners, blue cheese and pears can be used inventively to turn an ordinary pork loin into something extra-special. The cheese finds its way into the herbed bread stuffing, which is packed compactly into the center of this boneless roast. Quartered pears, brushed with a balsamic glaze, roast alongside the meat. The pork slices with their delicious nuggets of stuffing are napped with a simple pan sauce and garnished with golden pear wedges.

1. Using a long, narrow knife, insert the blade into the center of one end the pork and push the knife all the way through to the other end. Turn the knife to create a pocket about 1 in/2.5 em in diame'ter all the way through the roast.

2. Mix together the rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Put half of this mixture in a bowl with the bread crumbs and the cheese; reserve the rest.

3. Using your fingers, rub together the bread crumb mixture (as you would for a crumble), and then stir in 2-1/2 to 3 tbsp of the broth,just enough to moisten mixture. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or, if easier, your thumb), push the stuffing into the pocket to within 1/2 in/12 mm of each end. (It will seem as if you have too much stuffing, but it will be compacted as it is pushed into the cavity.) Pat the roast dry with paper towels/absorbent paper and rub the remaining seasoning mixture over the entire surface. (The roast can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

4. Arrange a rack at center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F /200 degrees C/ gas 6.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 2 tbsp of the balsamic vinegar, then add the pears and toss to coat.

6. In a large, flameproof roasting pan/tray, add the remaining 2 tbsp oil, or enough to lightly cover the bottom, and set the pan over 1 to 2 burners on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the pork on all sides, for 6 to 8 minutes. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pork for 10 minutes, and then scatter the pears, skin-sides up, around the meat. Roast for another 10 minutes, and then turn the meat and pears. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F/65 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the meat and the pears are tender and golden, for 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove the meat and pears to a cutting board; cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove and discard (or sample!) any loose stuffing from the pan. Skim off and discard any fat in the pan.

7. Place the roasting pan/tray over high heat and add the remaining 1 cup/240 ml broth and remaining 1 tbsp vinegar; reduce the liquids by a third while scraping the bits on the bottom of the pan into the sauce. Swirl in the butter and season with additional salt if needed.

8. To serve, slice the roast 3/4 in/2 cm thick, removing the strings. Place the slices on a serving platter and garnish with the pears and, if desired, with fresh herbs. Drizzle the meat and pears with some pan sauce.

Sides: Honey-Glazed Carrots and Parsnips (page 145 of the book) would make a colorful and tempting accompaniment for this roast.

Leftover Tip: Serve leftover slices as you would a pate or terrine with some French cornichons and a good crusty baguette. A green salad tossed in a vinaigrette could round out the garnishes.

Cooking Tip: To make coarse bread crumbs, use a good-quality peasant or country bread loaf that is 1 to 2 days old; sourdough works particularly well. Remove the crust and process large chunks of the bread in a food processor until you have 1-1/2 cups.


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This page created December 2011