GINNA PARSONS: Stuffed pork worth effort

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

A month or so ago, I saw a recipe in a magazine I wanted badly to try, but the ingredient list called for French bread, and I gave up bread for Lent. I decided then that I’d be making this stuffed pork loin for Easter dinner.
It took effort by both my husband and me, but we served this dish Sunday, along with a potato gratin, steamed asparagus, deviled eggs and sour cream muffins. My mother-in-law provided turkey and a fresh fruit salad and I made a strawberry cake for dessert.
When I make this again – and I will be making this again – I’m going to cut the bacon, onions and bread into smaller pieces to make stuffing the loin easier. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was just delicious and the presentation was awesome.

Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Rosemary, Bacon and Onions
4 medium onions, cut into 1-inch dice
1⁄4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups 1-inch cubes crustless day-old French bread
2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
2 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons chicken broth or olive oil, if necessary
1 center-cut boneless pork loin roast (about 4 pounds)
Place the bacon and onions in a roasting pan and roast, stirring once or twice, until the onions are slightly golden and the bacon is semi-crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer the onions and bacon, with all the drippings, to a bowl and set the pan aside. Add the bread cubes, garlic, rosemary, and parsley to the bowl and season with salt and pepper. Moisten the mixture with chicken broth and olive oil if needed. Let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the pork: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Insert a sharp boning knife or other long thin knife into the center of one end of the roast and turn it in a circular motion to create a hole. Then insert a clean sharpening steel or the handle of a wooden spoon and push against the meat to create a larger space in the center of the pork loin. Continue until you’ve created a 11⁄2-inch-diameter tunnel all the way through the pork.
Place the stuffing in a pastry bag without a tip and pipe the stuffing into the pork loin. Tie the pork loin into an even roll with kitchen twine. Season with salt and pepper and place in the roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and continue roasting for another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Allow the pork to rest on a rack set over a platter for 5 or 10 minutes before slicing.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.