January 3, 2010

Christmas Dinner - Rolled Roast Pork Loin with Apple and Chestnuts, Roast Vegetables with Thyme

For dinner on Christmas Eve, I opted to roast my first pork loin! Afraid of not being able to achieve a crispy crackling, I turned to Gourmet Traveller for a recipe from their June 2009 magazine. The loin is stuffed with apple and sage, then roasted with shallots, chestnuts and more apples. I simply served it with a large tray of thyme-roasted vegetables, placed in the centre of the table. By the end of the night, everybody was so full we pretty much had to roll into the lounge to open presents! I doubled this recipe (for just the five of us!):

Serves 6
- 1.8 kg piece of pork loin
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3 small pink lady apples, unpeeled, halved horizontally
- 200g peeled chestnuts (I used the dried variety, boiled for 10min)
- 12 shallots
- ½ cup (loosely packed) sage leaves
- 350ml dry cider

Apple and sage stuffing
- 20ml olive oil
- 10g butter
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 pink lady apples, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
- 125ml dry cider
- 50ml cider vinegar
- 20g caster sugar
- 2 tbs coarsely torn sage leaves

Preheat oven to 250°C. For the apple and sage stuffing, heat oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add shallots, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes). Add apple, cider, vinegar and sugar, stir occasionally until apple is tender and mixture is thick (8-10 minutes). Season to taste, stir through sage and set aside to cool.

Score pork skin with a sharp knife at 5mm intervals. Place skin-side down on a work surface, spread stuffing along the longest side closest to you, then roll away from you to form a cylinder. (Reserve extra stuffing to serve.) Tie at intervals with kitchen string, place in a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, and season to taste.

Scatter apples, chestnuts, shallots and sage around the base of a roasting pan, add cider, and season to taste. Place the stuffed pork loin on top and roast until crackling starts to form (30 minutes), reduce heat to 150°C and cook until just cooked through (12-15 minutes).

My stuffed loin burned at one end, had a lovely crispy cracking skin along the centre, but was still slightly rubbery at the other end. As you can see, there is a lot of room for improvement, trial and error! I roasted the 3.7kg loin for 1 hour, but should have left it in for 15min longer. I have also now come to realise where the hotspots are in my oven, so should have rotated the pork halfway through cooking time to ensure an even crackling with no under or over cooked spots.

After removing from the oven, rest the stuffed pork loin for 10 minutes, thickly slice and serve with apples, chestnuts, shallots, pan juices and the reserved stuffing.

 Roast Pork with Apple, Sage and Chestnuts

Mushrooms, Fennel, Beetroot, Carrots, Capsicum, Zucchini, Shallots - I drizzled it with extra virgin olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper and scattered over a handful of thyme sprigs.

Roast Vegetables with Thyme

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The roast pig looks disgusting! Why would you eat the leg from a dead animal?

The veggies look great though!