Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin

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This dish comes to me from a recipe I saw on a cooking show, Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin. I do love pork of any kind, but this particular cut is perfect to stuff and with endless choices of ingredients you can use. Two reasons I say this, one, is because of the finished dish and how delicious it is, and two, and even better is, it can be made ahead of time. I’m making a few changes of my own and I’ll tell you about those in a minute. Let me start with the filling that’s going to go into the center of my pork loin.

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If there is extra filling and you’re not sure how to prepare the fennel and onion mixture that’s leftover. Place the extra filling in a small oven-safe baking dish. Top with a little more of the Panko and grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese. Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and bake at 375-degrees F. for 20 minutes. Place the leftover filling in the oven during the final 20 minutes of cooking time for the stuffed pork loin.

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Now when I went to my grocery store and found this beautiful cut of pork loin, I spoke to the butcher at my local grocery store and had him/her butterfly this one for me. Of course, you can do this yourself but why? If the butcher will do it for you then I say go right ahead! 

I also made some cheesy, buttery French bread to go alongside. Everyone loves bread!

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Yields 4 servings:
Approx. Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Oven temp: 350-degrees F. for stuffed pork loin with potatoes
Oven temp: 450-degrees F. for the remaining cooking time for potatoes, and bread
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans aluminum foil, 12-inch sautépan, 3-quart saucepot, mixing bowl

Ingredients For Filling:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Pernod (substitute white wine)

3 to 4-pound pork loin,, butterflied
1 red onion, quartered
2 to 4 large red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
butcher’s twine
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt (1 for the inside of the pork and 1 for the outside, 1 for potatoes)
3 teaspoons of fresh ground black pepper (1 for the inside of the pork and 1 for the outside, 1 for potatoes)
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients For Gravy:
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of flour
3 cups of unsalted chicken broth
2 dashes of  Kitchen Bouquet browning seasoning sauce (this just gives a bit more flavor and a darker brown color to the gravy)
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Bread:
1 loaf of French baguette bread
1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons of dried parsley flakes
1 large piece of foil

Directions For Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin:
Preheat oven to 425 -degrees F.
For the stuffing, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter in a large sautépan. Add the onions and fennel with 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions and fennel are tender and lightly browned add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the Pernod to deglaze the pan, by using the back of a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for another minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before adding the binder.

Once the fennel and onion mixture has cooled add the breadcrumbs, stir to combine.  Lay the pork on a board fat side down, sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Spread the stuffing evenly on the pork and roll up lengthwise, ending with the fat on top of the roll. Tie the pork loin up using 5 pieces of kitchen twine, rub with olive oil and sprinkle the remaining salt and pepper all over the outside of the pork loin.

Now at this point, you can put this in the frig wrapped really well in plastic wrap the night before, or even 2 days before You don’t want season the outside of the pork loin and you don’t want to cut and lay the onions and potatoes underneath the pork loin until your ready to roast.

On a rimmed baking sheet pan, lay out the quartered potatoes and onions evenly into one even layer. Add the olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, toss to coat the potatoes. Pour the chicken broth on the bottom of the sheet pan to prevent the potatoes from burning or sticking. This liquid will eventually evaporate during the cooking process.

Place the rolled pork loin on top of the potatoes. Roast for 30 minutes.  Lower the heat to 350-degrees F. and roast for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 137-degrees. Note: If the thermometer hits the stuffing it will read at a higher temperature, test the meat in a few different places. Remove from the oven, cover tightly with foil.

Turn the oven up to 450 degrees F. Once preheated, return the potatoes to the oven for another 20 minutes while the pork is resting. The onions will be sweet and tender, and potatoes will be golden brown on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Allow the pork loin to rest for 20 minutes.

I like to serve this dish family style with the Fennel And Onion Stuffed Pork Loin and my roasted potatoes on a large platter then drizzled with light brown gravy.

Directions For Bread:
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
In a mixing bowl add the butter, mayonnaise, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Kosher salt, and black pepper, mix to combine. Slice the French bread in half then again lengthwise. Slather the butter mixture on both halves of the bread. Place the tops on, wrap tightly in foil. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and slice. Serve hot.

Direction For Gravy:
In a saucepot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until the raw flour is cooked, paste-like, and golden blonde in color about 2-3 minutes. Add unsalted chicken broth, Kitchen Bouquet, dried thyme, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Switch to a wooden spoon, adjust the heat to medium-high, bring up to a boil stirring continuously until gravy thickens. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.

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Garlic Fennel Pork Loin

2014-02-13 12.09.312014-02-13 12.14.172014-02-13 12.19.032014-02-13 13.47.482014-02-13 13.55.212014-02-13 16.12.40 Remember I had cut the 3 lb pork loin in half, which 2014-02-13 14.55.462014-02-13 16.01.572014-02-13 16.11.56gave me a 1 1/2 pound piece. In a food processor I put 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds, 3 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley, 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, the zest of 1 lemon,  2 tablespoons of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and I pulsed this mixture until it was chopped fairly fine then I drizzled in some olive oil to bring it all together. Not too much on the olive oil, you want to still have a chunky paste. While I was making the rub I let the meat sit out at room temperature. I rubbed the entire piece all over and then placed it onto a rack in my roasting pan. I roasted this at 400 degrees for around 40 minutes or until the internal temperature was 140 degrees. Took the meat out of the pan and covered it with foil to rest for around 15 minutes before carving.To serve with this dish I made some Farro. I soaked the Farro in some really hot water for around an hour. This helps the cooking process. I brought 3 cups of chicken stock or broth to a boil and added 1 cup of the drained Farro to the pot and cooked it for around 30 minutes, All you do is bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer with a lid on. About half way through I threw in some dried cranberries, and some dried pineapple. When the Farro was finished cooking and was tender but still had a nutty bite to it I added some pistachios the Farro to enhance the nutty flavor. So you get the sweet and salty flavors. Now that the meat and the side is finished I thought I’d make a gravy with the bits and the bottom of the roasting pan. There wasn’t a lot of fat to work with because the pork is so lean so I added a bit of butter to the pan and let it melt over heat on top of the stove, scraping the bits that were stuck with a wooden spoon.  I sprinkled in some flour and using a whisk I whisked that together until the flour was cooked out . Then I added some chicken stock to the pan whisking the entire time, until the gravy was to the consistency I wanted. As you saw in the pics I posted, I placed the Farro at the bottom of the plate and some of the sliced pork and then poured some of the delicious pan gravy over the top. Delicious!

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