This is a lovely centerpiece dish. Depending on the intensity of your port, the sauce may be darker or lighter. To make toasted breadcrumbs, pulse 2 ounces bread in a food processor. Spread the fresh breadcrumbs on a jelly-roll pan and bake at 300° until browned, or toast in a skillet over medium heat.
1 cup tawny port
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped fennel bulb
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sourdough breadcrumbs, toasted
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 1/2 cups no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Swanson), divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed
2 thyme sprigs
2 fresh sage leaves
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine port and cherries in a small saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Drain cherries in a sieve over a bowl, reserving cherries and port.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add fennel and onion; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Combine fennel mixture, cherries, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Drizzle the melted butter and 1/4 cup stock over bread mixture, and toss. Stir in 2 teaspoons chopped sage, chopped thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Cut horizontally through center of pork, cutting to, but not through, other side using a sharp knife; open flat, as you would a book. Place pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet. Brush 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over inside of pork; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread bread mixture evenly over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch border around outside edges. Roll up pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting with short side. Secure at 2-inch intervals with twine. Brush outside of pork with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle all sides of pork evenly with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add pork to pan; cook 8 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Place pork on a roasting rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in a roasting pan. Pour remaining 2 1/4 cups stock in bottom of roasting pan. Roast pork at 400° for 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in center of pork registers 138°. Remove pork from pan; let stand 15 minutes. Cut crosswise into 12 slices.
Place roasting pan over medium-high heat; add reserved port, thyme sprigs, sage leaves, and shallot; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes). Combine flour and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to port mixture, stirring with a whisk; cook 5 minutes or until port mixture begins to thicken. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, stirring until butter melts. Strain sauce; discard solids. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon chopped sage, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve sauce with pork.
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I made this for Sunday dinner with company coming. It was outstanding. The first time I made it, I used dried cherries, and the second time, I used dried cranberries; it was delicious either way. Both times, I added about a third of a cup of chopped celery for a bit more texture in the stuffing. Next time I make this, I'd like to add some type of rice side dish. I didn't pan-brown the roast, as I prefer a roast cap that is very caramelized and brown. I served it with fresh green beans sauteed with garlic and shallots, and a spinach salad; I used dried cranberries in the salad, and it tied the dishes together really nicely! Thanks so much......wonderful recipe!
I made this for Christmas dinner and we really enjoyed it. It took a bit of time but now that
I've made it I think it can be done in less time. I started chopping at 5 pm and dinner along with a wild rice blend and shallot roasted green beans was on the table by 7:30. The sauce was pretty delicious on all of the elements of the dish. I see this in my future for special occasions. I also see a few variations to include maybe cranberries instead of cherries, maybe add some sausage or fennel seed to the stuffing. Or perhaps some other textural elements such as chopped pecans, celery, apple, or water chestnuts. I will definitely make this again and will refer others to it.
This was easy to make, and I did not not find it particularly time-consuming, just a little bland. The cherries were nice but the fennel seemed to evaporate. Don't know about the cooking over broth method either. I think I like a roast more caramelized on the outside and with a sharper flavor. Would use a spicy rub next time and a different filling.
Very time consuming but well worth it. My daughter complained it was a bit too sweet. I thought it was fine. I used low sugar craisins. In addition I baked it in the fry pan which I had browned it in. Helps in making the gravy after it comes out of the oven. I also needed to almost double the stock in making the gravy because all the stock had evaporated. The adjustments I will make next time will be to add sausage to the stuffing and decrease the dried fruit to 1/4 cup.
My in-laws made this dish for our Christmas dinner and it was a hit! The butcher sliced and pounded the pork for them, which was a huge help. They used store bought bread crumbs and added spicy chicken sausage to the bread mixture. They also decided to leave out the port and honestly, no one missed it. The roast was moist and delicious, a beautiful dish for a special occasion. Thin slices of the leftover roast were used to make scrumptious sandwiches!
This is a fabulous entree, stuffing & port wine sauce were worth all the prep time...I would plan 3 hours start to finish or make the stuffiing a day in advance. I served it with roasted vegetables for New Years Eve with just my husband, and glad I didn't experiment with guests as it took much longer than I thought. .
A bit time consuming in the preparation but it turned out lovely. It took me a little more than an hour to get this in the oven, but it was worth the time invested. I used a 1 lb pork tenderloin but I made the rest of the recipe as noted (except for time, it took only 30 mins at 400 to come out perfectly medium). I didn't use all the stuffing because my tenderloin was so much smaller than the recipe, so I simply heated the leftover stuffing and served it on the side. I finely diced up the half a head of fennel I had left, mixed it with some diced onion and sautéed it before mixing into my mashed potatoes. The slight hint of fennel in the potatoes was a nice compliment to the pork. The port sauce, however, is the star of this show. And I don't think that just because I had a glass (or was it two?) of the port while I was cooking.
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