Blackberry, Spinach and Mint Stuffed Pork Loin is an impressive and easy roast to make on your TEC Grill. With fresh blackberries, spinach and loads of chopped fresh mint, it’s perfect for all of those al fresco occasions coming up this spring!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Pork loin, which is different from the tenderloin, is from the back of the pig. You can find it either boneless or bone-in, and around the holidays, as a rack of ribs tied into a circle as a crown roast of pork.
It is a large and long cut of meat, typically around 7-10 pounds, and is usually fairly inexpensive. All good reasons why it is perfect for feeding a crowd around the holidays, and when it is brought to the table the loin makes an impressive centerpiece. Depending on how many people you are serving, you can cut the loin into a smaller roast. Just slice the rest of the loin into 1-inch thick pork chops, and freeze for later.
HOW TO BUTTERFLY
In order to stuff the pork loin, you need to butterfly it. This is the technique of cutting open the meat, so that it is a flat uniform piece of meat that you can then roll up. It is very similar to opening up the pages of a tri-fold pamphlet.
The first step is to look at the meat from one end, and start making a lengthwise cut about 1/3 of the way into the meat. Cut along the entire loin until you are about 1/2-inch away from cutting through it, opening up the flap of meat as you go.
Next step is to cut back into the thicker part of the meat lengthwise, starting at your last cut and angling the knife toward the other side. Again, cut along the entire loin until you are about 1/2-inch from cutting through the side, opening up the second flap of meat as you go.
Once you have the second cut complete and the loin is open flat on your cutting board, use your hand to press on the loin to flatten it out further. You can also use your knife to make small cuts to further flatten the meat.
BLACKBERRY, SPINACH AND MINT STUFFED PORK LOIN
The filling gets an extra hit of pork flavor from the crispy bacon bits. Serve the slices of pork with a drizzle of the Blackberry Sauce, and a side of grilled asparagus and baby carrots.
3-4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large leek, pale white and green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups spinach leaves
About 1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup fresh blackberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced<
1 boneless pork loin, about 3-4 pounds
Place bacon in a cold saute pan over medium heat. Cook until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon bits from the pan and set on a paper towel lined pan, but keep bacon grease in pan.
Add leek to the pan, and saute until softened and starting to brown.
Add the garlic to the pan, and cook just until fragrant.
Add the spinach to the pan, and stir until spinach is wilted.
Add the bread crumbs and parmesan to the pan, and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in the blackberries and the mint. Season with salt and pepper and let cool to room temperature.
Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Carefully butterfly the pork loin so that it is a flat piece of meat about 1/2-inch thick.
Lay out the pork loin on a cutting mat so that it is open flat. Spread the filling over the inside of the pork.
Starting at one of the long ends, carefully roll up the pork loin into a roulade. Do not roll too tightly or the stuffing will squeeze out. Season the outside of the pork loin with olive oil, salt and pepper all over.
Place the Infrared Smoker/Roaster rack on the grates of the grill with the radiant drip tray below the rack. Preheat your TEC Grill over medium heat with the hood closed. Or if you don’t have the Smoker/Roaster accessory, set up your grill for indirect heat.
When grill is heated, place the pork loin onto the rack of the Smoker/Roaster, close the hood, and turn the heat down to low.
Roast the pork loin until it reaches an internal temperature of about 150 degrees (about 35-45 minutes).
Remove the pork loin from the grill and let rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
1/2 cup blackberry jam
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in small bowl and whisk to combine.