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Lemon-Stuffed Pork Loin with Thyme & Roasted Apples

Lemon-Stuffed Pork Loin with Thyme & Roasted Apples
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Lemon-Stuffed Pork Loin with Thyme Photo/Art by Kindra Clineff

Total Time: 2 hours

Hands On Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

This beautiful lemon-stuffed pork roast will delight your guests, not just with its grand appearance but with the inspired flavor combination of lemon, honey, thyme, and apples. For extra ease, ask your butcher to butterfly the meat—then all you’ll have to do is roll it up and tie it with butcher twine. Note that you can stuff the pork a day ahead; bring it to room temperature before cooking it.

Ingredients:

  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 5 shallots (3 diced, 2 roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, packed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 3-pound pork loin, butterflied
  • 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large, firm apples, such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, or Jonagold, cored and quartered
  • 3/4 cup white wine

Instructions:

Combine the lemon zest, thyme, and honey in a small microwavable bowl. Microwave until the mixture is hot and simmering slightly, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let the thyme and citrus steep in the honey at least 15 minutes.

Put the herb/honey mix, diced shallots, parsley, mustard, salt, and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Process to a coarse, wet mash, about 1 minute. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture.

Preheat your oven to 350°. Trim the fat from the butterflied pork loin. Season both sides of the loin with salt and pepper. Spread the rest of the stuffing evenly over the inside of the loin, leaving about a 1-inch border at all edges (as you roll the loin, the stuffing will reach the edges). Roll the pork loin and tie it with butcher twine at 1-inch intervals. You want to roll it snugly, but not so snug as to force the stuffing out. (This job is a little messy, as some filling will squish out, but save it with the reserved stuffing to add to the skillet later.)

Dry the rolled pork loin to ensure a good sear. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the skillet. When the oil is hot, sear the pork loin on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until it has an even, nicely browned crust.

Remove the pork loin from the skillet and set aside. Reduce heat to medium. Add a little more oil to the skillet, if needed. Add the shallots and apples, stir to coat, and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, bring it to a boil, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet to deglaze; let the sauce reduce slightly, about 2 minutes.

Stir the reserved honey/shallot stuffing into the liquid in the skillet. Return the pork loin to the skillet, along with any meat juices. Set the loin on top of the shallots and apples, seam side down, and place the skillet in the oven.

Roast the pork loin, spooning the pan juices over it every 15 minutes, until the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer reaches 140°, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Carve the loin into slices, about 3/4 inch thick apiece, and remove the ties; serve with roasted apples and shallots and pan juices. 

Updated Monday, October 28th, 2013

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