Monday, January 24, 2011

Around My French Table: Stuffed Pork Roast

Last week while menu planning I realized that we hadn't had pork in a while - and it was on-sale at the grocery store, thus my first recipe from "Around My French Table" was the Chard Stuffed Pork Roast.

I almost ALWAYS have kale in the house - I blame my Portuguese rather than buy swiss chard at the grocery store, I subbed my favorite green.

This was relatively easy and quick to prepare on a weeknight.  I started by chopping my kale, onions, and garlic.  The recipe also called for plump raisins.  My golden raisins had seen better days, so I put them in a bowl and covered them with some hot water to plump while I prepared the rest of the filling.

I sweated the onions and garlic, then added the kale to wilt.  Once the stuffing was cooked through, I transfer it to a bowl and combined the stuffing with the golden raisins.
Next, I prepped the pork.  I used a smaller roast than the recipe called for, since it was just for two of us. 
I sliced the pork almost completely in half, and filled it with the kale stuffing.
Then I used kitchen twine (thanks Lee, for having an amazingly stocked kitchen!) to put the pork back together.
Although the roast was a little smaller than Dorie calls for,  I kept the ratio for the stuffing and the seasoning the same, since pork is generally a very mild meat I though it would stand up to some extra seasoning.  (that is also why it is falling apart at the seams, filled with delicious savory/sweet stuffing.
The pork roast is then very simply seasoned with salt, cracked peppercorns, and crushed coriander seed.  

I don't cook with coriander very often, so I wasn't exactly sure what flavor to expect in a dish where it was a major seasoning.  I knew that coriander was the seed of the cilantro plant and I love cilantro so I was optimistic.  Coriander actually has a really fresh and almost lemony flavor....but still a little earthy.  Think mild citrus and a hint of sage.

Dorie suggests roasting the pork in a cast iron skillet.  I love this method!  The pork got great color in the pan.  I only wish I had though to have some veggies ready to sauteed in the pork fat drippings while the meat was resting!! Next time.

After the meat rested for a few minutes, I sliced it up and plated it with some simple roasted carrots and potatoes.  Look how juicy that meat looks!

I really loved this recipe.  I particularly enjoyed the sweet/savory combo of the stuffing, and the way that a very simple recipe opened my eyes to a new seasoning.  I really liked the addition of coriander.

Rafe liked this -- but did mention that he prefers the way I normally cook pork roast....hmm.  He's not yet sold on Dorie.

Kale Stuffed Pork Roast
adapted from 'Around My French Table'- Dorie Greenspan
3-4 large stalks of Kale - ribs removed, washed and shredded
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1.5 lb pork roast
olive oil
salt & pepper

If your raisins are somewhat shriveled - start by putting them in a heat-proof bowl and covering them with HOT water while you prepare the rest of the stuffing.  

Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion becomes translucent, then add the kale.  Stir the mixture to ensure even wilting of the kale.  It should take about 5-7 minutes for the kale to cook down - then transfer the mixture to a bowl.  Drain the raisins and add them to the mixture.  Stir gently to combine.  Season with salt and red pepper flakes.

Slice the pork roast evenly in half - but not completely through.  Fill the pork roast with the cooled stuffing.  Fold it back up and secure it with kitchen twine.  Poke any filling back inside as necessary!

Rub the fatty side of the pork loin with a bit of the olive oil and season with salt, and the crushed black pepper and coriander.  Place the roast fat side up in a cast iron skillet (or roasting pan - I won't tell Dorie).  Roast until the pork registers an internal temp of 140.  Mine took about 30 minutes.

Once the pork is cooked through, remove it from the oven, and place it on a cutting board to rest, tented with tin foil.

Dorie recommends serving with honey mustard on the side, which is exactly what I did.  Next time however, I am determined to use the pan drippings!  Either for sauteed string beans, or a pan sauce!

Have you ever used coriander?  Do you like it? What has been your favorite herb/spice discovery?


  1. this is an impressive dish! It plates so beautifully. Good tip for the rasins, I never knew that.

  2. BEAUTIFUL! I love that you use kale so much! I've never really worked with it- Ill have to now! Lovely dinner!

  3. This is beautiful! Looks really delicious. I absolutely love coriander in a nice curry. I usually just crack the pods with the back of the frying pan and toss them in. I also love tarragon and fennel.

  4. Meghan,
    That is a great tip for coriander. For this recipe I used a mortar and pestle and the coriander and peppercorns kept jumping all over the counter. The next recipe I made with coriander, I put them in a zip-top bag and smashed them a couple times with a frying pan.

    Rafe was upstairs studying -- the noise concerned him and he came to check on me - but other than his fright, I think it was a much easier way to prep my ingredients!

  5. ooh the raisins here surprised me - but I love them! Sounds delicious.

  6. I love the addition of the raisins. This sounds tasty!

  7. ooh, this sounds lovely, especially with that filling :)

  8. I love that you didn't reduce the filling amount. I am known for making such kitchen decisions too. It looks like a great meal!

    I'm not a fan of chard and I'm not quite sure how I feel about kale, but I could definitely see myself making this with spinach.

  9. That stuffing looks amazing. My friend made collards a few years ago and sauteed them with raisins and pine nuts. It was wondrous. Greens and raisins are fantastic together.

  10. I have now made this twice...a very wonderful and tender pork roast...served it with the green beans with pancetta..and also the cauliflower and bacon dish...just used pancetta instead of bacon...great company dish...impressive to serve!! Served with mashed potato's once and roasted another night! Whole Foods with give you a price break on a whole pork I stuffed the whole thing and cut enough for my dinner party and froze the rest for another nice evening!! Thanks!