This recipe is courtesy of my husband, Troy. We had a pork loin in the freezer and wanted to use that up. Since Troy is a wonderful chef, I left it up to him to come up with what to do with it. I believe the first thing he said was to stuff it and roll it up. I was down for that. I initially wasn’t going to post this because I wasn’t going to be home yet to take pictures, and I didn’t want to bother Troy with it. But guess what, he was awesome enough and took pictures. 🙂 Isn’t he just wonderful?! I may be biased….
This recipe is almost Whole30 approved. I plan on doing an update on my journey and current thoughts as to why I chose to do what I did. Intrigued?! But that’s later. Back to the food because that is ALL that matters.
The food was absolutely amazing, and it hit the spot. It’s very flavorful and you can pick and choose what to include in it. The pork is versatile, which is a great thing. So, don’t feel the need to stick with what I did. Okay?
What you will need for the pork:
- 2 pound pork loin
- 2 sprigs of chopped thyme
- 4 sprigs of rosemary (chop up one sprig)
- 3 minced cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
- 6 pieces of bacon (we like thick cut)
- 2 handfuls of baby fresh baby spinach (or kale if you have that lying around)
- meat tenderizer (or a hammer…j/k)
- butchers twine
- tin foil
What you will need for the baked potato:
- 2 russet potatoes
- chopped green onions (or chives)
- chopped bacon (from the pork when it’s done)
- cheese (optional)
- butter (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Clean the pork loin of silverskin (that’s the thin layer of white on top of the meat) and some of the fat.
- Butterfly the pork. You will be making 3 incisions. Starting with the loin either vertically or horizontally (whichever way you feel more comfy), you are going to cut it length wise, about 3/4 of the way through. Do not cut all the way through. You will then need to butterfly each of the halves. Once you have the first center cut, open the loin up. Cut each half right down in the middle 3/4 of the way down. Remember not to cut all the way through. It will not be a flat surface. It looks more like there are triangles on each side. Don’t worry about that, you’ll be taking care that in the next step. (If this seemed complicated to follow, I’m sure there are videos online. The way that Troy did it was a lot easier than ways you may find online.)
- Take the tenderizer (the side with the spikes) and pound both sides completely. You’re not looking to make the loin bigger, you just want the meat to be tender.
- Add salt, pepper, chopped thyme and chopped rosemary, and minced garlic. Lay flat all of the spinach.
- Starting at one end, start rolling it all up.
- Next, you’re going to need the butcher’s twine. Cut 4 equal length strings. Long enough to go around the loin. Tie each end of the pork loin tightly. Then, with the remaining 2 strings, tie them around the middle of the loin. Troy did the fancy thing of trussing the pork, but this is made simple. If you are interested in learning how to truss, I’d say Google it. 🙂
- Rub mustard all around the pork.
- With the 3 sprigs of rosemary, fit them underneath the strings so they stay in place.
- Take one piece of bacon, cover one end (so you are covering the opening). While holding the ends of the bacon, take the next piece and place it over the loin and over the ends you’re holding, then tuck it under the loin. Do the same thing with the other end of the loin. The last 2 pieces of bacon will go over the middle.
- Take 2 pieces of foil and wrap each around each potato leaving it open on top. Think of it as placing the potato into a comfy basket (without a handle).
- Place the bacon wrapped loin into an oven safe corning ware. Do not cover. The foil wrapped potatoes can also go into an oven safe dish.
- Bake the pork loin and potatoes for 45-55 minutes. Depending on your oven. The bacon will become crispy on top. Push on the loin when you take it out; it should be relatively firm. The potatoes should be soft in the center. You can use a knife to determine if it is done.
- Let the pork rest. After it has rested, peel the bacon off, and cut the strings off. (I stuck the bacon back into the oven on a baking sheet to get them more crispy).
- Cut the loin into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices.
- Slice a slit along the top the potatoes. Do not cut the ends or go all the way through. Push on the ends to make it open up and look restaurant style. Caution: it will be very hot. Then use a fork to “fluff” it all up. Top it with your favorite toppings! We used the bacon from the pork, chopped it up, and put it on top.
- Plate all the food.
YUM! Doesn’t it look delicious?! I’ll admit, I ate it all. And very quickly. It was pretty much like I haven’t eaten in centuries.