Italian cuisine: Stuffed Roasted Pork Loin and Pomegranate

Dec 15, 2018 368

An appetizing and colorful recipe for an unforgettable Christmas! If you are looking for an irresistible second course for Christmas eve to enjoy both with your eyes and palate, roasted pork loin stuffed with ham, chestnuts, celery, apple, and cranberries is a an excellent choice. 

This dish, in fact, in addition to being appetizing, is also quite spectacular. The bright color of pomegranate and cranberries adds a note of festivity and joy, creating the right Christmas mood. 

Cooking can be done either in the oven or in a pot. You can bake the loin in an oven previously heated to 180°(350°F), or in a stove-top pot, until it reaches an internal temperature of about 68°C - 70°C (155°F - 160°F) on a meat thermometer, followed a final roasting in the oven at 210°C (410°C) for a few minutes to color it. For this recipe I prefer the second method because the meat remains tender, but not dry, and its flavor is enhanced. Pork loin is a valuable part of the pork that, if not cooked properly, can become stringy. I recommend serving this dish with oven-roasted potatoes, sauteed Brussels sprouts with toasted almonds and red chicory salad. 

ARISTA DI MAIALE RIPIENA E MELAGRANA (STUFFED PORK LOIN AND POMEGRANATE)

Preparation time: 1 ½ hours          Cooking time: 65-70 minutes                Servings: 8 

INGREDIENTS

1.5 kg (about 3-1/4 pound) pork loin

150 g (5 oz) sliced ham, thinly sliced

150 g (5 oz) chestnuts, boiled and peeled

120 g  (4 oz) celery, diced

1 baking apple (annurca-type in Italy), cut into thin slices

4 tablespoons dried cranberries

5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

240 ml (1 cup) dry white wine

2-3 tablespoons vegetable stock

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pomegranate, grains

Kitchen twine as necessary to tie the loin 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a sharp knife, make a longitudinal cut along the three sides, about a third of the way down (about 1.5-2 cm or ½ -1 inch) from the top of the loin. Open and make a second cut in the lower, thick part of the meat (starting from the inside of the first cut and in the opposite direction), in such a way that, by opening the two parts to the left and right, a rectangle is formed. Pound with a meat-pounder to obtain a uniform thickness. Salt and pepper to taste
  2. Line with ham, leaving uncovered about ½ cm around the edge, add chestnuts, celery, apple and cranberries
  3. Roll up the rectangle and place the rosemary sprig on top. Tie the roast with kitchen string twine as necessary, spaced at a distance of about 4-5 cm (about 2 inches)
  4. In a roasting pan heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and pork on all sides to seal and limit the flow of liquids from the meat. Remove the garlic as soon as it is colored. Your meat will be softer and not stringy. Add salt and pepper
  5. Add the white wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Continue cooking slowly with a lid, adding a few tablespoons of broth, as the cooking sauce is reduced. During cooking, baste the meat with the juices. The more you do it, the more tender the meat will become. Turn from time to time, and cook for a total of about 60-65 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to determine the ideal cooking level, about 68°C - 70°C (155°F - 160°F) for medium
  6. Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F)
  7. Place the roast on a baking sheet with some of its juices (2-3 tablespoons). Bake and cook for a few minutes until golden brown
  8. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove the twine and slice with a sharp knife. Serve, topped with some filtered sauce and the pomegranate. Enjoy it !!!

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