Posted by: fireweaver | November 10, 2009

tasty tuesday: roast pork part 1

Chris is a hunter-gatherer of meat products at the grocery store.  when that man finds some hunk of flesh on deep discount, it’s going in the freezer, regardless of what’s already crammed in there.  last week, he found a **huge** pork loin (and by huge, i mean it’s easily as big as most beef loins) on crazy sale, so that’s been cut into 5 or so portions and frozen for future parceling out, too.  i’m quite confident that we shall be revisiting other pork chunks on future tuesdays.

i’m a big fan of cooking things that aren’t too terribly difficult, yet look and taste like you spent some time on them.  hoity-toity with minimal effort, if at all possible.  this week’s wild-rice stuffed roast pork falls nicely into that category, i think.

1.  prepare the rice stuffing

use a good quality wild rice blend, with plenty of the long, dark grains that give a rich, nutty flavor.  toss a few handfuls into the rice cooker (or cook by package directions), one serving per person or portion of finished roast.  while that’s bubbling along, mince some mushroom, onion, and dried fruit (i used craisins, but dried cherries or golden raisins would be fine for this).  melt a generous pat of butter in a saucepan on medium heat, add a few tbsp diced garlic and some french provençal herbs, and sauté everything just until done.  when the rice is done cooking, evenly mix the other ingredients into it.

2.  carve the roast

this will work best with a piece of roast shorter than your knife’s blade (so you can make it all happen in one slice).  picture the spiral-thru-the-long-axis pattern of a jelly roll:

slice the roast along the dark line in that picture (though with probably less turns; i only spiraled about 1.5 times), so that you end up with the whole thing carved to a sheet of about 1-1¼ inches thick.  by opening the roast in this way and slightly overlapping the 2 edges, you’ll create a much larger cavity to fill with the rice stuffing than if it was simply cut in half part way through like a book.

3.  assemble & cook

place your flat sheet of roast cut-side-down onto a large piece of aluminum foil.  sprinkle the outside of the roast with garlic powder and more french herbs, then flip so that the inside is facing up.  pile on the rice mix, then fold the roast closed so that the edges just overlap.  the object you end up with should look like a pork cylinder full of rice.  wrap snugly in the aluminum foil, pop into a baking dish, and then into a preheated 325° oven for 45+ minutes (longer if your roast is big).  when it’s mostly done, gently slice through the foil on top and push back to the sides of the baking dish.  back into the oven for 10 minutes or so to lightly brown the top, and you’re done.  cut into crosswise slices, the same as for that jelly roll.  yum!

4.  variations

the choices for stuffing are pretty endless.  you could replace the wild rice with a bread-style stuffing (or even stovetop, knock yourselves out), veggies alone (a mix of several types of mushroom would be great), or tweak the spices used.

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Responses

  1. Sounds good! I’ll have to try this one for Steve- he looooves pork. My knife skillz suck, however, so I may need to get these: http://www.askthemeatman.com/cut_resistant_gloves.htm

    • Ann, as chicks, we’re kinda screwed by several of the popular knife brands. i don’t have big meaty man-hands, and so the square-cross-sectioned handles of henkels (et al) just don’t fit my hands correctly. you’ll have much better knife skills with something that you can grip easily.

      i personally don’t like the kevlar or chain mail gloves because you loose so much sensation in your hands. you can’t feel what you’re holding on to, and that doesn’t help me be safer at all.

  2. That looks wonderful! Though it finds me wondering what a high-maintenance dinner effort would look like for you — that certainly looks pretty involved (or maybe your smoke-and-mirrors ‘hoity-toity with minimal effort’ is VERY effective!)

    • nah, Holly, i just talk a whole lot, so that up there is probably much longer than it needs to be. it occurred to me about the time i was wrapping it up to go in the oven that i should have been taking pictures. it’s pretty easy, i promise. short version: make rice stuffing, slice pork roast, fill pork roast, bake until done. poof!


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