Recipe Improv: Apple-Mint-Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin
June 26, 2011
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Kiran held some sort of event that resembled a pot luck not too long ago, and the theme ingredients for the dishes were tequila and mint. Rather than trying to find a pre-packaged recipe that incorporated these, I decided to experiment, and this was the result:
The recipe is roughly as follows:
1/2 cup tequila (I used Aha Toro)
1 cup apple juice
2 tbsp yellow mustard
2-4 tsp kosher salt
2-3 lb pork loin (I used centre loin roast, 2 pieces)
1 medium semi-sweet apple (I used Braeburn)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
2 large cloves garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
Roll-cut pork loin so that you have a 1/2" thick slab of meat. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat, applying yellow mustard to the "inside" of the roast. Mince garlic and spread on the meat. Place meat in a marinating container and add tequila and apple juice. Allow to marinate for 30mins-1hr at room temperature (2-4 hrs in the fridge?). Mince 1/2 of the apple and add to a bowl with chopped walnuts and mint leaves.
Once the pork is finished marinating, scrape the garlic off and add to the bowl with apple/walnuts/mint. Add a couple tablespoons of marinade liquid to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread the stuffing on the "inside" of the roast, leaving a 1/2" border on all sides. Roll up and wrap with butcher’s string.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Coat the pork loin in oil and grind pepper onto it to taste. Fry the pork loin until is is nicely browned on all sides. Slice remaining apple thinly and fry in remaining oil. Top pork loin with apple slices and put in the oven, roasting for ~45-60 minutes or until meat temperature is ~150 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest foil-covered for 15-20 minutes.
I got the techniques from this series of videos (or you can read this if you prefer something more brief), but essentially freestyled the ingredients – it turned out surprisingly well, as even though I overcooked the meat slighty it was still quite juicy. The main problem I found was that the stuffing didn’t stick together too well and the meat had the tendency to unroll – if you have any tips on stuffing (or any other ideas as to what might go well with this recipe), feel free to leave a comment!