We were on the East Coast a few weeks ago for our final wedding of the 2011 season and found ourselves with a few hours to enjoy before our flight. Lucky for us, our friend's A & D were home and invited us over for a late lunch on their roofdeck in the South End. They had hosted a dinner party the previous night and made the Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples from the cover of this month's Bon Appétit and we were lucky enough to enjoy it as well. I had already flagged the dish as a "must make" in my copy of the magazine, but enjoying A & D's version convinced me I needed to make this A.S.A.P.
Side note - I recognize the absurdity of this dish... does one really need to stuff pork with ground pork (and other ingredients) and then wrap it in pork? Probably not. But is it delicious to do so? Yes, indeed.
A & D gave me a few tips and adjustments to this recipe that worked well so I've included those in the variation below. It was surprising to me how the apples really make this dish and so I've increased the number of apples. I'd suggest making this dish when you have company - it can be prepared in advance and it feeds a lot of people. You can only eat so much pork so you really don't want to eat leftovers of this dish for a week (Rob, are you sick of these leftovers yet? I hope not!).
Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples
Adapted from the October 2011 Bon Appétit
- 1 cup finely-chopped mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms but any kind will work)
- 1 cup finely-chopped apples
- 1 pound kale, bottom stems trimmed
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons brandy or Calvados
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 (trimmed) 2 1/2–3 pound pork loin (I asked the butcher to butterfly this for me)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
- 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- 8 medium apples (such as Granny Smith or Fuji), quartered, or 8 small apples, halved
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry hard cider
- 1/2 cup low-salt chicken stock
Combine the finely-chopped combine in a small bowl, and set mushroom and apple mixture aside.
Meanwhile, blanch kale in boiling salted water just until wilted, about 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer kale to a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate until cool. Remove any large, tough ribs.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until soft and lightly golden, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and apples; cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cook for 1 minute. Add brandy and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool completely. Add ground pork and stir to combine well (yes, the ground pork should be uncooked).
To butterfly, put pork loin on a work surface with short end facing you. Holding a long, thin sharp knife parallel to work surface and beginning along one long side, cut 1/2" above underside of roast. Continue slicing inward, pulling back the meat with your free hand and unrolling the roast like a carpet, until the entire loin is flat. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound to an even thickness. Again, I had the butcher butterfly my pork, which made this step very simple. I also didn't bother to pound out the pork - I don't have a meat mallet and I got lazy...
I got to this step and refrigerated the pork for a day so there was no preparation required for dinner the night I actually cooked thisUncover pork. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place kale leaves on top of loin in an even layer, overlapping as needed and leaving a 1" border. Spread filling on top of kale. Roll pork into a tight cylinder. Wrap one layer of prosciutto around roast. Tie roast securely with kitchen twine in 1" intervals. Tuck rosemary sprigs under twine, spacing apart. DO AHEAD: Pork roast can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before continuing.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place apples in a roasting pan. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with oil in a large skillet. Brown pork on all sides, about 5 minutes total, then set on top of apples in pan. Add cider and 1/2 cup water to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Pour mixture into roasting pan. Roast pork until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loin registers 140°F (it will be cooked medium but still slightly pink), about 1 hour 40 minutes. Let roast rest for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Put roast on a platter. Reserve apples from roasting pan; spoon off fat from juices in pan. Place pan on top of stove over medium-high heat. Add chicken stock. Pour in reserved mushroom liquid, leaving any sediment behind, and cook, scraping bottom of pan to release any browned bits, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Strain sauce; slice pork. Serve sauce and apples alongside sliced pork.