Savory and sour meet in a Fennel, Apple, and Spinach–Stuffed Pork Loin with Molasses-Cider Glaze.
Fennel, Apple, and Spinach–Stuffed Pork Loin with Molasses-Cider Glaze
Makes 10 to 12 servings
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced and chopped
- 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and finely chopped
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1¼ cups apple cider, divided
- 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 (5-pound) pork loin, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place a roasting rack in a roasting pan, and spray rack lightly with cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add fennel, apples, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 12 minutes. Add 1 cup cider, and bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is almost evaporated. Gradually stir in spinach until wilted.
- Remove from heat, and stir in bread crumbs, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt. Let cool for 30 minutes.
- Butterfly pork by placing the loin lengthwise on a cutting board, with one short end closest to you. Holding knife parallel to cutting board, make a lengthwise cut along the bottom third of one long side, cutting to within ½ inch of other long side. Open meat as if opening a book. Again holding knife parallel to cutting board, with the blade facing the thicker side, make another lengthwise cut into the thicker side of the loin, cutting to within
- ½ inch of opposite side. Again, open meat as if opening a book. Using the flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin, flatten any thicker portions of meat until thickness is even throughout (do not flatten any thinner than ½ inch thick). Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons salt and pepper onto butterflied pork, and spread apple mixture over pork, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Starting at one long side, roll up loin and filling. Tie loin together at 1-inch intervals using butcher’s twine. Place pork on prepared rack.
- In a small bowl, stir together molasses, remaining ¼ cup cider, and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Brush one-third of mixture over pork.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Brush pork with one-third of molasses mixture, and bake until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of loin registers 145°, 30 to 40 minutes, brushing with remaining third of molasses mixture halfway through remaining baking time. Let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
For more mouthwatering harvest recipes, see page 31 of the October 2017 issue of Victoria.