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A special holiday treat: Fruit-stuffed pork roast

A gift of food is a gift of so many things – it’s an extension of yourself; an expression of love, care and friendship. And it’s a precious gift of time from the kitchen that is priceless these harried, crazy days.
I love giving and receiving food gifts for all seasons, so I am always on the lookout for special recipes that create unique holiday gifts. This year, my friends and family will be receiving holiday nourishment in the form of a specially prepared pork roast: butter-flied, pounded, stuffed, tied and magnificent – all ready to be roasted.

When giving a gift of food, I’ve learned how very important it is to include the recipient in a part of this food ritual. By allowing them the opportunity to cook their gift, it gives each one ownership in the final outcome and they are simply delighted, proud to be included in the cooking process. This holiday season won’t be any different – I know each one will thoroughly enjoy roasting their own pork roast, my homemade gift of sustenance.

Chef Alli’s Fruit-Stuffed Roast Pork

Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, Sept. 2007, by way of Rob Russell, Ace of Hearts BBQ Specialties, tweaked by Chef Alli

1 cup apple cider ½ cup cider vinegar ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar 1 large shallot, peeled, thinly sliced ½ cup dried apples, packed lightly ½ cup golden raisins ½ cup chopped dried apricots 1/3 cup dried cranberries ¼ cup dried cherries 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger 1 Tbs. yellow mustard seeds ½ tsp. ground allspice ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes 2 ½ - 3 lb. boneless center-cut pork loin roast, double-butterflied by your butcher to approx. ½” thickness all across, when laid out flat Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Bring all ingredients except pork roast to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; cover saucepan and reduce heat to low, cooking ingredients until fruits are quite softened, approx. 20 minutes. Strain this mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid to use as a basting glaze.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place prepared roast out onto a clean work surface and cover with plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a mallet, pound out the thick parts of pork loin until pork loin feels even all across; season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread prepared filling out over seasoned roast, leaving a ½ inch border around the edges like a picture frame. Starting with one short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure rolled roast with kitchen twine at 1 inch intervals; season outside of roast with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place roast onto a foil-lined baking sheet that has been coated with a bit of canola oil. Roast, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until roast is nicely browned. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue to cook until internal temperature of roast is 130-135 degrees. Remove roast from the oven and tent with foil, letting rest for 15-20 minutes to let roast continue to raise in temperature. While roast is resting, warm reserved basting glaze. Slice roast and slather with warm glaze to serve.

Certified Personal Chef and Speaker, Chef Alli is a Kansas Press Association contributing columnist. Watch for her new website launch in 2012!

December 7, 2011

Chef Alli — Who's Cookin’ Now?


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