Friday, May 2, 2014

Tomato Braised Pork Loin w/ Artichoke, Parmesan and Oregano Stuffing

This recipe is  another installment of my fun with stuffing things.  This dish will make for an amazing dinner and presentation especially for the up and coming Mother's Day!  The stuffing is filled with nutrient rich artichoke hearts,supplying substantial amounts of protein, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Additionally, it pairs well with the grated Parmesan and Oregano, picked fresh from my herb garden.  Panko is the binder because of it's versatility and graceful yet subtle presence.
 Assembly is easy, only requiring minimal legwork. The loin I used is a portion of a whole loin, about 1 1/2 lbs to 2lbs., which has been butterflied and pounded to about 1/3 of an inch thickness.  I am excited about any protein or recipe that involves using butcher's twine, but I misplaced it somewhere in the remodeling process in the kitchen lol.  Alas, not being easily deterred, I simply wrapped the loin tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated it for an hour or so to facilitate the idea of the loin keeping it's shape during searing and braising. Be sure to start the searing process seam side down.
 I served this loin with Garlicky Rice and the reduced crushed tomatoes, infused with bay leaf, garlic, olive oil and sugar to taste.
1 1/2 to 2 lb. portion of Pork Loin
1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped and squeezed of excess liquid
1/2 c. Panko
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 tsp. fresh julienne of Oregano
1/2 tsp. Coriander
1 25 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
sugar to taste
Olive oil for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350*(if using butcher's twine, otherwise this can wait until after loin has been refrigerated)
Butterfly loin that has been rinsed and patted dry.
 Layer several overlapping pieces of plastic wrap on cutting surface, long enough to accommodate the flattening process.
To Butterfly: Turn loin lengthwise, with short side facing you.
With a sharp knife, make a cut across the top third portion of the loin to the opposite side, taking care to stop cutting about 1/2 inch from the end.
Flip loin over and repeat process.
Cover with several more pieces of plastic wrap and flatten or pound, using a rolling pin to about 1/3 inch thickness.
 Remove top layer of wrap and SPST.
In a medium bowl, combine artichoke hearts, Panko, Parmesan, half of garlic, Oregano, Coriander and a drizzle of olive oil.
Spread mixture within 1/2 inch of protein borders.
Starting from one end, roll snugly lengthwise until cylinder is achieved.
Secure with butcher's twine.
Alternately, tuck ends of loin and wrap  loin tightly in bottom layer of wrap, folding in (like rolling a burrito) and refrigerate for at least an hour.
In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, drizzled liberally with olive oil, SPST outer loin and sear on all sides until browned.
Remove from pot and reduce heat.
Pour in crushed tomatoes and add bay leaf, remaining garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and sugar to taste.
Let simmer, stirring often for about 5 minutes.
 Place loin back in pot.
Cover and braise in oven WITHOUT basting until done, about 25 minutes.  Remove from sauce and let stand before slicing.  Serve as desired with tomato sauce  Serves 4-6.

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