Apricot-Stuffed Pork Loin

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 6

More than any other type of meat, pork works well with a variety of fruits. Here, dried apricots and raisins are key flavors in a stuffing that is spread on a butterflied pork loin before it is rolled, tied and roasted.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄2 cup (3 oz./90 g) dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup (2 oz./60 g) golden raisins
  • 3 Tbs. brandy
  • 3 tsp. olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup (2 oz./60 g) thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast, about 3 lb. (1.5 kg), butterflied
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 3⁄4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) chicken broth

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together the apricots, raisins and brandy. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the fruits, transferring them back to the bowl. Reserve the brandy. In a small fry pan over medium heat, warm 1 tsp. of the oil. Add the shallots and sauté until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar, cook for 1 minute and then stir into the apricot mixture.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

Place the pork loin, fat side down, on a cutting board. Spread the meat with the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread half the apricot mixture over the center third of the meat. Fold one third of the meat over the filling. Cover the top of this third with the remaining apricot mixture, and bring the remaining third of the meat over the top of the filling to make a roll. Using kitchen string, tie the roll crosswise at regular intervals, forming a compact cylinder. Tie a long string lengthwise around the roll.

Heat a large, heavy ovenproof frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add the remaining 2 tsp. oil. Sear the pork loin until nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Turn the meat over and transfer the pan to the oven.

Roast the pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin registers 135°F (57°C) for medium, 1 to 1 1⁄4 hours, or until done to your liking. Transfer the pork to a carving board and tent with aluminum foil.

Carefully spoon off as much fat as possible from the pan. Pour the broth and the reserved brandy into the pan, bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, snip the strings and cut the pork crosswise into thick slices. Arrange on warmed plates, spoon a little of the juices on top and serve immediately. Pass the remaining juices in a warmed bowl at the table. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Year-Round Roasting (Weldon Owen, 2011)