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« White Bean Ragout | Main | Fettucine with Roast Pork and Three Cheeses »

Stuffed Pork Roast with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

Stuffed Pork Roast with Balsamic Reduction Sauce
  

It's been cool and clammy -- and raining! -- here in Maine for about ten days and everyone's getting cranky. Winter we can take, because if you're not ready for below zero temperatures for weeks on end and snow up to your hips you're not ready to live in Maine! But this sort of halfway winter we're having, all brown and gray, does nothing for the spirit and seems to chill deeper than real winter.

All of which must have influenced me the other day as I got an urge for a nice pork roast, with Braised Cabbage  with Apples and Onions and White Bean Ragout on the side. Pork roast, for me, is about as good as cold weather cooking gets, even with the challenges inherent in today's overly lean pork. The stuffing adds back some of the missing richness and infuses the roast -- and the house, while it's cooking -- with herby aroma. The balsamic vinegar reduction sauce adds a special note, plummy and vinegary at the same time, with a silky-smooth texture, and also contributes a bit of richness without being overpowering.

Stuffed Pork Roast with Balsamic Reduction Sauce

3 T shallots, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups crusty French bread, pulled apart into rough 1/2" pieces
8 oz pork sausage
3 ribs celery, chopped
1-1/2 T fennel seed, crushed
1 cup parsley, minced
3 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 T fresh thyme, minced
2 thin slices pancetta, chopped
salt, hot sauce, to taste
3-1/2 lb. pork loin roast, boned, rolled and tied
2 C white wine

Sauté the shallots, onion and garlic in some olive oil about 5 minutes on medium-high heat, stirring. Add the bread, sausage, celery, fennel seed, parsley, rosemary, thyme and pancetta and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sausage has browned, about 10 or 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Untie the roast and unroll on a board. Salt the meat and spread the stuffing over the surface. Reroll and tie. Salt and place in a lightly oiled roasting pan. Pour in the wine and roast 30 minutes in a preheated 425º oven. Lower heat to 350º and roast until the internal temperature is 150º, which will take an hour to an hour and a half. Baste occasionally. Remove from oven, cover with foil  and allow to rest ten minutes. Deglaze pan with a half-cup of water and reserve pan juices for another use.

To make the balsamic reduction sauce: reduce 1-1/4 C of top quality balsamic vinegar by 2/3. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, cut in small chunks. Stir in each chunk until it has melted completely before adding the next chunk.

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Comments

Who cares about the weather? ;-) You surely make it forgettable with those comfy foods!! Balsamic reduction sauce sounds divine! I will have to try that!

I'm not head over heels over pork usually but this dish is actually making my mouth water. Dude, you are killing my diet here!

Stephen,

I almost went for a pork roast this weekend, but ended up deciding to try Doc Biggle's oven-roasted spare ribs. Nevertheless, this post has me second-guessing my decision.

I'm all the way in Ohio and feeling your pain.I will be making this pork recipe this weekend!

Hi Stephen,

I've decided to try your recipe as I'm no expert at handling meat at all. I felt like I need some practice. And guess what? I've just finished roasting the pork and I loved it! I love the stuffing so much! Also the pan juices were delicious!!! I should make something like this more often. However, I haven't made the balsamic reduction sauce yet. Bet it will be a very nice contrast!

I'm just lovin' the result now!

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