Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stuffed Pork Loin and Garlic Hassleback Potatoes

My experience with pork has been pretty limited since I started getting into cooking. In fact, my Mongolian pork chops were probably the first time I ever attempted to work with pork. This time, I decided to get a little more ambitious and grill a huge, stuffed pork loin served alongside garlic hassleback potatoes and baby broccolini. It turned out to be quite the ordeal, with things going wrong at seemingly every possible opportunity. I guess that’s what I get for improvising so heavily! The end result, however, was far from disappointing, so hopefully you won’t run into as many problems as I did.

Difficulty: Relatively Difficult
Active Prep Time: About 45 minutes
Total Prep Time: 2 hours
Special Equipment: Food Processor, Kitchen Thermometer
Serves: 5 – 6

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Baby Broccolini
  • About ½ cup of Emeril’s Essence (recipe follows)
  • 5 – 6 slices Prosciutto
  • About 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 2 ounces salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning) Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Herb Sour Cream Ingredients:
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


(Start by making Essence)

1. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, and thyme. If there are clumps in it (paprika has a tendency to form clumps), 2 or 3 pulses in a food processor will smooth it out. Store in an airtight jar or container and set aside.

(Make Herb Sour Cream)

2. Mix sour cream, garlic powder, and parsley in a small bowl. Add salt and better to taste. Refrigerate until needed.

(Move onto meat and potatoes)

3. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and begin building a fire in your outdoor grill (if cooking with coal)

4. Wash each potato and peel off the top half of the skin.

5. Place a potato in a large spoon and slice notches into it, being careful not to cut all the way through the potato. (The purpose of the spoon is to help ensure that you don’t cut all the way through.)

6. Slice 2 – 3 cloves of garlic and place a slice in between every few notches on each potato.

7. Melt 2 ounces of butter and mix in olive oil. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, then sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside while you prepare the pork.

8. To prepare your pork loin, use a long, sharp knife and slice along the side of the meat until you’re able to “unfold” it.

9. Liberally apply Essence rub to the roast.

10. Arrange prosciutto evenly over pork, overlapping if necessary.

11. Mince the remaining cloves of garlic and spread it as evenly as possible on top of the prosciutto.

12. Sprinkle with Panko.

13. Cut up broccolini and lay florets on top.

14. Crumble feta cheese on top of the broccolini.

15. Carefully roll the pork as tightly as possible and secure with kitchen twine and/or large skewers.

16. At this point, put your potatoes in the oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

17. Put the pork roast on the grill, but not directly over the fire. Cover and cook for about an hour, rotating 180º after about half an hour. You’ll know the roast is done when the internal temperature reads about 165ºF.

18. Remove skewers and twine, slice, and serve with potatoes and a vegetable of your choice (I simply steamed the unused broccolini). Use the herb sour cream for the potatoes as desired.

Additional Notes:

Timing is essential to this recipe. If you’re cooking with charcoal, be sure you don’t start the fire too far in advance. I did not anticipate it would take so long to prepare the potatoes and the meat, so by the time I was ready to put the meat on the grill, the fire had burnt itself out almost entirely, requiring me to rebuild it before the roast could be cooked.

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