Monday, April 13, 2009
Our congregation's play group held a hunt earlier this week, and Luke created a hunt Sunday afternoon in Laurel's room. (I was in the throes of last-minute dinner preparations, so we opted for an indoor event.) I love Easter dinner - and naturally, pork and a lamb cake anchor the meal. My lamb cake looked the most like a lamb it ever has (although my friend arrived and said, "Cool puppy." Sigh.) Well, it tasted good! I am no cake decorator, but I truly don't feel any shame in this. Maybe next year I'll have a long-distance apprenticeship with my sister and learn some skills! The pork loin was stupendously awesome - tender, moist, flavorful. This recipe is a keeper!
Stuffed Pork Loin With Figs (adapted from Mark Bittman)
Yields 6 or more servings
1 1/2 cup dried figs
1 boneless pork loin, 2 to 3 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 or 4 fresh rosemary sprigs, minced
1/2 cup red grape juice, more if necessary
1. Put figs in hot water to soak. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wriggle a thin, sharp knife into each end of meat, making a kind of pilot hole. Then use handle of a long wooden spoon to force a hole all the way through meat, making it as wide as your thumb.
3. Drain when figs are tender but not mushy, reserving liquid. Stuff figs into roast, all the way to center from each end.
4. Combine salt, pepper and rosemary and rub it all over meat. Put meat in a roasting pan and pour about half a cup of fruit-soaking liquid over it. Roast undisturbed for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 325 degrees and continue to cook, basting with pan juices (or added liquid, like wine or water, if necessary) every 15 minutes or so. When an instant-read thermometer registers 145 to 150 degrees — probably after 40 to 60 minutes — remove roast to a warm platter. (When checking meat, be sure thermometer is in meat, not fruit.)
5. Let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put roasting pan on stove over one or two burners set to medium-high. If there is a lot of liquid, reduce it to about half a cup, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release any brown bits. If pan is dry, add half a cup of juice and follow same process. When sauce has reduced, slice roast and serve with sauce.
Time: 1 1/2 hours