Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner: Main Dish

Instead of the traditional turkey, which Andy’s family doesn’t really like, I made a fruit-stuffed pork loin inspired by an Anne Burrell recipe. Sam’s Club has a good price for this cut of meat; the trick it that you have to trim it yourself. The untrimmed pork loin weighed 9 pounds and cost $18. The thinner end of the pork loin is the tenderloin. I cut off that portion into four pieces and froze them for later meals. Once the excess fat was trimmed off, I butterflied it and then pounded it with a meat mallet. (You can skip this step and have a butcher do it for you.) The fruit stuffing contains a combination of apples, dried plums (prunes sound unappealing), and bacon. The trick I learned from the TV chef was to freeze the stuffing in a log shape; this allows even distribution throughout the meat. Yes, this is technique is a little complex, but it’s not hard to pull off. When you get ready to tie the meat, definitely enlist help. Enjoy!

Fruit-Stuffed Pork Loin
3 bacon slices, chopped
1 shallot, minced
3 Granny Smith apples, cut into chunks
3/4 cup dried plums, cut in half
1/2 cup dry sherry
Salt and pepper
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped
1 (6-lb.) pork loin, butterflied
Kitchen string
Major Grey chutney
1 (32-oz.) box chicken broth

1. Cook bacon in a skillet until browned; remove from pan. Cook shallot in hot bacon drippings for 1 minute. Stir in apples and dried plums, and cook 10 minutes or until apples are softened. Season with salt and pepper; add in rosemary. Remove pan from heat, and pour in sherry. Return pan to heat, and cook 5 more minutes. Allow apple mixture to cool. Shape mixture into a log, and wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze overnight.
2. Sprinkle pork loin with salt and pepper on one side. Place apple mixture log in center of pork, and use kitchen string to tie up meat around apple mixture. Place pork, seam side down, in a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; spoon chutney over pork. Pour 2 cups chicken broth into pan.
3. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until pork is done. Add additional chicken broth to pan as needed. Allow to rest 15 minutes before removing string and slicing.

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