The odd weather of August has put me in the mood for fall. Well, actually I’m always ready for
fall; I’m ready for soups, hot cider, pumpkins, jackets and comfort food. Even raking leaves is
something I anticipate all year simply because of the beauty of the trees and the crisp in the
air. Which leads me to this month’s recipe, it’s a bit more complicated than just grilling the
pork loin but well worth the extra effort. Besides, who is going to grill when its cold outside.
First, pork is the other white meat it pairs with lighter red wines or even nice a nice rose. It
is a lean meat so you have to add fats to pork roasts. Cooked correctly pork is juicy and blending
sage with it creates the flavors of fall.
So it may be a September recipe, but it could just as easily be a nice dinner through the rest of
the year and even through winter. The balance of the salty feta cheese with the spinach offset by
the sage and garlic is the key to this dish.
- Pork Loin, I typically pick the one with two small loins in one pack and it would feed 4-6 people
- Feta cheese, ½ a cup per pound of pork
- Spinach, chopped 1 cup per pound of pork
- Fresh Sage, chiffonade 2 leaves per pound of pork
- Fresh Garlic, finely minced 1 clove per pound of pork
- One egg
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Butcher twine
Most people will think butterflying the pork is the hard part. It’s actually straight forward;
lay the pork on the cutting board, start a horizontal slice with a sharp knife about ½ inch from
the bottom. Roll the tenderloin back and continue the slice creating a ½ thick pork ‘steak’. If
you’re a visual learner there are several great video’s online. At this point you can pound it
some to flatten it if your cuts are a bit uneven. Lay a piece of plastic over the butterflied
tenderloin so you don’t splatter.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl then spread on the butterflied loin. With the two
pack of tenderloins I butterfly both then lay the second over the first creating a sandwich of
the filling. Roll the loin as tightly as you can, then use the twine to tie it every two inches
starting a half inch in from the end / ending a half inch in from the other end to seal the
filling inside the pork.
I cook the pork in a pan large enough to add some carrots, onions and potatoes, at 350 degrees for
20-30 min per pound. I cover it for the first half of the cooking time, then uncover it to brown
for the second half. If you drain out any drippings from this pan it can make a great sauce to put
over the pork. Don’t over cook, internal temperature should be 145 degrees.
Slice the pork, and serve over the veggies as a single dish meal.
Options on this recipe, replace the spinach with apple, use goat cheese vs. feta.