Pork loin in our house is “The Other White Meat”! It’s a cut we use often for our family meals, usually served with very simple sides like roasted potatoes and some sautéed greens like kale or spinach… it always hits the spot.
I very much appreciate working with loins that are not too big as they cook quickly and are almost foolproof as long as you do not overcook the meat. However, the lager cuts I come across have become a way for me to experiment with some “added flavors” in the form of filling; an opportunity for me to elevate a simple loin to a real festive roast.
This recipe is a bit lengthy but absolutely worth the effort given its simplicity and I promise you, it will deliver an exceptional meal.
Serves: 8 / Prep Time: 15 minutes / Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes /
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed or bought in bulk
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (4 pound) boneless center cut pork loin
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 1 bottle IPA beer
1Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add the sausage and cook, while stirring and breaking up with the back of your spoon. Toss in the onion, garlic, bay leaves and rosemary, and cook until the meat is browned off and the onion is tender, about 8 minutes.
2Add ½ cup white wine and cook until half of the liquid has reduced. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Remove the mixture to a bowl to cool.
3Heat oven to 425 degrees.
4Meanwhile, while filling is cooling, butterfly your pork loin by cutting through the roast lengthwise, almost all the way through, but leaving 2 inches, so it can open like a book. Open up the pork and lay flat, then pound the pork with a meat mallet until it’s roughly 1 ½ inches thick. (You can also ask your butcher to do this for you.)
5Season the pork on both sides with salt and pepper.
6Combine the ¼ cup olive oil, fennel pollen, garlic, and thyme together in a small bowl. Rub half of the mixture on one side of the pork.
7Pat the cooled sausage down across the pork in an even layer. Roll it up tightly like a burrito. Using butcher’s twine, tie at 1 ½ inch intervals.
8Rub the outside of the pork all over with the rest of the olive oil fennel rub. Place the roast fat side up on a rimmed sheet tray, add beer to the bottom of the pan along with any juices left over from the skillet and place in the oven.
9Roast the pork for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees.
10Continue roasting for 40 minutes more, until golden and crisp on the outside, and an instant read thermometer reads 145 degrees.
11Remove roast from oven and allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes before removing kitchen twins and slicing.