Following Amy and Johnny's post, I bought my first pork loin. Sure, I buy bacon (my poor (religious) father loses sleep over this). I also love cooking with pancetta and have 2 pancetta recipes to share with you in an upcoming post. But I never make large chunks of pork. I've eaten pork chops or ham, but it's never been particularly tasty. I find pork chops are often dry and ham is salty. But, I believe that pork can taste better and that it's just a matter of finding something I like. I decided to go for the gusto and made my first pork loin.
After Johnny and Amy, my next source of inspiration was a gift. R's family is from Saskatchewan, a province in central-western Canada. His mom sent him home with some saskatoon berries, a berry commonly grown in that region. So yummy. Saskatoon berries are like blueberries, but they are not as tart and maybe more sweet. I know some people don't like blueberries, but I love all forms of berries. I've had these ones in my freezer for a couple of months:
Here's what saskatoon berry syrup looks like:
This bottle of saskatoon berry syrup is from a wedding we attended in Saskatchewan. It was an RCMP wedding (RCMP stands for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada's national law enforcement agency). This uniform, worn by the ringbearer, may look familiar:
I adapted this recipe by adding saskatoon berries and syrup.
Apple and Saskatoon Berry Stuffed Pork Loin Roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 boneless center cut pork loin roast (4 to 5 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup saskatoon berries
1 medium onion, cut into thin strips (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
approx 5 tablespoons of saskatoon berry syrup
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine garlic, salt, rosemary, thyme and pepper in small bowl. Cut lengthwise down roast almost to, but not through bottom. Open like a book. Rub half of garlic mixture onto cut sides of pork.
2.Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and onion; cook and stir 5 to 10 minutes or until soft.
Stir in saskatoon berries. About a minute later, stir in brown sugar and mustard.
Spread mixture evenly onto one cut side of roast. Close halves; tie roast with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Pour apple cider and saskatoon berry syrup over roast.
I used the better part of a bottle of a cider I got while in Prince Edward County.
Rub outside of roast with remaining garlic mixture.
3.Roast, uncovered, basting frequently with pan drippings 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 155°F. Remove roast from oven; let stand 15 minutes before slicing. (Internal temperature will continue to rise 5°F to 10°F during stand time.) Carve roast crosswise to serve.
Paired with sweet potato fries and salad, it the meal was great!
I'm submitting this post to our event, BloggerAid: Because We Can Help. This even features food that I would serve to guests in my home. The deadline December 28th. You can find more information here.