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!
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.