Stuffed pork loin is a magical way to dress up the otherwise inexpensive but boring pork loin. Pork loins have become as dry as turkey and stuffing the simple loins can really add flavors and get the pork loin moist, tender and impart beautiful tastes. Use of the unexpected combination of lemons and prosciutto bring out the pork’s flavor.
Broccolini is the perfect winter accompaniment for this dish.
Ingredients and Directions:
- 1 4-6 pound pork loin roast (NOT a pork tenderloin)
- 12 thin slices of Prosciutto (but not paper thin)
- 3 lemons
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- Freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- Kitchen string (butcher twine)
- Very sharp knife or a mandolin
- A second set of hands from a friend
- Large roasting pan or dutch oven
- Meat thermometer
Place the pork loin fat side down on a cutting board. If the pork loin is not already prepared, butterfly the pork loin with a sharp knife. To butterfly a pork loin, cut the pork loin like a jelly roll would look. The idea is to create on flat piece of pork. Try to keep the thickness of the pork even all the way around. See the photo. This is not an exact science.
Sprinkle the roast inside with salt and pepper. The prosciutto will add some salt so don’t salt too much. Arrange the prosciutto over the open pork loin overlapping the prosciutto. Slice two (2) of the lemons as thin as possible with a very sharp knife. Or use a mandolin if possible to get an even thinner even slice. Layer the lemon slices on the pork loin overlapping as needed. Place them in an area of the pork loin that will allow the roast to be rolled easily. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the pork loin and then sprinkle with the chives.
Now this is where a friend’s help is needed. With a friend waiting with a long piece of kitchen string, roll the pork lion up like a jelly roll. Push any stuffing that falls out from the ends back in. While you hold the pork loin closed, have the friend tie the pork loin at about 1 inch spaces placing a piece as close as possible to the 2 ends of the pork loin roast. Tie each piece of string tight, tie and cut. Sprinkle the exterior of the pork loin with salt and pepper. Any leftover string has probably got some pork juice on it so be sure to dispose it and don’t attempt to use for something else.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place an oven proof and range proof roasting pan or dutch oven on the stove. Add just a little olive oil to coat the bottom on the pan. Heat the pan over medium-high heat until the oil just shimmers. Add the pork loin and brown it on all sides. Once browned, move the roasting pan or dutch oven to the oven. Insert a meat thermometer and cook until the pork’s internal temperature reaches 145°F, about 45 to 60 minutes.
Once done, remove the pork loin from the oven, remove to a cutting board and squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon over the roast. Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the kitchen string and slice the pork into 1/2 inch slices. Serve with a green vegetable.