A sweet-and-spicy fruit mixture fills this juicy pork loin, and pear preserves make a delectable glaze. You won't even need a centerpiece if Spicy Fruit-Stuffed Pork Loin with Roasted Pears and Onions is on the menu. The roasted pear halves, sage leaves, and bits of dried fruit showcase this outstanding main dish.
2 (7-oz.) packages mixed dried fruit bits
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 (4-lb.) boneless pork loin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
ROASTED PEARS AND ONIONS
6 firm, ripe Seckel pears*
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey**
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 (10-oz.) packages cipollini onions, peeled
1/2 cup pear preserves
Fresh sage leaves
How to Make It
Prepare Pork Loin: Bring first 4 ingredients and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring once. Remove from heat, and cool completely (about 40 minutes).
Meanwhile, butterfly pork by making a lengthwise cut down center of 1 flat side, cutting to within 1/2 inch of other side. (Do not cut all the way through pork.) Open pork, forming a rectangle, and place between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap. Flatten to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.
Spoon fruit mixture over pork, leaving a 1/2-inch border around edges. Roll up pork, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Tie with string at 1 1/2-inch intervals. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.
Preheat oven to 375°. Brown pork in hot oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat until browned on all sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Place seam side down in pan.
Prepare Roasted Pears and Onions: Cut pears in half lengthwise, and remove core. Stir together butter and next 5 ingredients. Stir in onions; gently stir in pear halves. Spoon mixture around roast in pan.
Bake at 375° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of stuffing registers 135°, stirring pear mixture halfway through. Cover with aluminum foil, and let stand 15 minutes.
Prepare Glaze: Microwave preserves in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Pour warm preserves over pork. Slice pork, and serve with Roasted Pears and Onions and pan juices. Garnish, if desired.
*3 firm, ripe Bartlett pears may be substituted. Core each pear, and cut into 4 wedges.
The prep work on this was fun! The only additon/change I'd make next time is to rehydrate the dried fruit with some sort of alcohol, rather than the water/brown sugar mixture. Rolling and tying is a two person job. The taste was great, the meat nice and tender. The only other caution is regarding browning the roast before baking. I did as the recipe required, and the roast was ALMOST too brown. Also, the fruit should be added half way through, as the pears especially were too soft. Additionally, next time (and there will be a next time) I'll turn the pan juices into a thickened sauce. Otherwise, this was a beautiful dish for Christmas dinner.
Enjoyed this dish. Second time I used fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries in a balsamic reduction rather than the dried fruits. Gave it a very different flavor. Liked it both ways -- oh and sans honey, I used peach preserves as a replacement.
Our family enjoyed the flavors in this dish very, very much, especially when paired with the Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes from the same issue of the magazine. Read my entire review at: http://bit.ly/1feivHL