Part of the reason for my wine habit is to give me an excuse to go to the liquor store here in Toronto and pick up the latest edition of their home grown and totally free, I mean, totally free, magazine Food & Drink. Believe me? I just figure while I'm there picking up the rag...I might as well disguise my visit with a bottle...Believe me yet?
Anyway...the Holiday 2006 issue came out a little while ago and as usual they have so many beautiful recipes, it makes my stomach rumble while I'm in line waiting to pay for my latest Syrah. In return for the free-ness, I just have to marshal my way through hundreds of booze ads...
While marshalling away the other day, I came across their recipe for apricot stuffed loin of pork. Which put me in mind of my copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook - and where it's bent now. Its spine now demands that I look at page 105. Fruit Stuffed Loin of Pork. So I thought I'd share it with you.
I've made this often and the recipe has spread to friends far and wide. I even make the sauce when I don't have all the ingredients, just to cook the meat. It's very beautiful too, as you slice through it the fruit and the garlic start looking like a still-life painting.
Fruit Stuffed Loin of Pork - adapted from, and hats doffed to, Rosso & Lukins and The Silver Palate Cookbook
4lbs boneless pork loin roast
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup dried apricots
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
8 tbsp sweet butter, softened
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 cup of Madeira wine
1 tbsp molasses
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
I take a long, narrow knife blade and cut a slit through the length of the roast, right down the middle. Then, as they suggest, I take the handle of a wooden spoon and work it down the slit to open the meat a little. I use the handle to then start stuffing the dried fruit into the middle of the roast. Alternate the fruit and try not to end with a prune (it just doesn't look right, believe me on this).
Cut the garlic into thin slivers and then using a knife to cut slits into the roast's surface, insert the garlic slivers into the slits. If the roast isn't already bound with twine, do it now and then rub it with salt and pepper.
Set the roast in a shallow baking pan and smear the meat with the butter. Sprinkle with thyme.
Stir the molasses and the Madeira wine in small bowl. (I never have a bottle of Madeira at hand, but I usually have Port wine...it's works like magic.) Pour the mixture over the roast.
Set the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 90 minutes or so. (20 mins to the pound). Baste the meat frequently.
Don't overdo the meat. When you pull it from the oven, let it rest under tented foil for 15 or 20 mins. Cut into thin slices, place on a platter, and pour the pan juices over it all...Garnish with watercress if you like...
You can imagine how good the leftovers are, made over into sandwiches...
And above all, may it give you joy...Bon Appétit.