Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apple and Saskatoon Berry Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

This post draws its inspiration from a few places. To begin, Amy and Johnny from We are Never Full shared a post for pork loin roast, which looked delicious. Their pork came directly from their new friend, the butcher. Note to self: make friends with a butcher.

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.



Anonymous said...

That pork loin looks yummy but I too find the final end products seem a little dry. My husband never complains, but... hmm.. wonder if wonderberries would work instead of saskatoon berries? Vikki www.survival-cooking.blogspot.com

kat said...

Yummy! We love a good pork loin roast. Matt always makes them & they come out so juicy & perfect

What's Cookin Chicago said...

This looks amazing and I love learning about unique and uncommon ingredients!

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered what Saskatoon berries are like! This looks like a great combination of flavors.

Elle said...

I love pork, and with fruit? Even better! It looks beautiful, and I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks.

Anonymous said...

Now that's food art. Love , lurve it.

Darius T. Williams said...

Never had this before - but now I want it! Looks great

Hopie said...

Boy does that look good! I love berries too, all kinds. I've never has saskatoon berries though, even blueberries are almost impossible to find in France, which is sad. I'm going to have to try this recipe with some regionally-appropriate berries :-)

Dharm said...

That loin looks just superb... I thought you said you couldn't ever make a good roast?? Seriously, I would love to have some of that yummy roast with those lovely sounding berries.

Julia said...

That looks great! Isn't it funny how Jews will eat bacon but not chunks 'o pork. I only recently started cooking pork at home and ordering it in restaurants.

PG said...

Vikki - I've never heard of wonderberries before. I figure, as long as they're not poisonous, they'd be good.

Julia - so true! You'd think small chunks of bacon are more kosher than large ones.

Navita (Gupta) Hakim said...

WOW...thts awesome.
Gee..thanks for stopping by Giz, am glad to be associated with Blogger Aid.

Ivy said...

Wow, your pork roast is gorgeous. If only I could get some of those berries...

BTW, I made the salmon of your previous post and it was delicious.

grace said...

and here i thought i'd heard of all berries. silly me. this one looks tasty, and the name is certainly fun to say. :)
great loin. :)

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Doesn't this pork look delicious1 I can just imagine how well the tartness of the berries must compliment the pork. Of course I can only dream about your berries here...haven't come across them..yet..

Lori said...

That looks amazing! I love pork loin and all the flavors!

Fifi Flowers said...

All I can say to MOST of your posts is YUM YUM!

Anonymous said...

Looks at that cute little guy. Brought a smile to my face.

Anonymous said...

really delicious. pork loin has to be cooked perfectly to not be dried out. i personally think if it's bone-in loin it stays more moist than boneless.

Lori Lynn said...

This is great! I am a big fan of all berries, learned a lot about them on my driving excursion to Alaska. And familiar with huckleberries, from a biking trip in Glacier and Waterton. Need to explore Saskatoon berries too now! The recipe sounds excellent to me.

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