With all of the cold weather blowing through this time of year, it’s a great time to turn to our ovens for warmth and comfort. For hearty dishes that can warm the bones and swirl rich aromas throughout our kitchens and homes.
Here, I’ve prepared a classic roast pork loin, which I’ve butterflied and filled with a rich mushroom, garlic, and shallot stuffing. When sliced and served on a platter for guests to enjoy, it’s something that looks decadent but requires relatively little effort to prepare. The perfect kind of dish to prepare when you’re hosting a large dinner party.
Because the pork has a deep umami flavor to it, I like to serve it with a bright and herbaceous sauce gribiche — a classic French sauce made of eggs, dijon mustard, capers, cornichons, parsley, and chives.
But don’t get hung up on the components of the sauce. It’s one that extremely flexible and adaptable to personal tastes. Don’t like capers? Leave them out. Have dill in your herb garden but no parsley? Swap one for the other. Just have fun with it! That’s what makes it special.
- 1 2-3 pound boneless pork loin*
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more for brushing roasting grate
- 3 shallots, chopped finely
- 2 cups of mushrooms (cremini, chanterelles, and shiitake all work well), about 8 ounces, chopped roughly
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (or 2 teaspoons of regular table or sea salt), plus more for seasoning exterior
- 1 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning exterior
- ¼ cup of chopped parsley
- 3 slices of bacon, cooked until crispy
- Special kitchen equipment: Kitchen twine
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- 1 medium shallot, chopped finely
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon of regular table or sea salt)
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon of capers, patted dry and coarsely chopped
- 4 cornichons, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs*
- ¾ cup of mild-tasting olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Butterfly the pork loin by slicing it lengthwise through the middle, stopping roughly ½-inch before the other side so that you do not slice it completely in half. Open the loin as if it were a book to spread it out and prepare it for the mushroom stuffing.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until they begin to turn soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Finally, add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, and bacon, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Allow to cool before stuffing the pork loin.
- Spread the butterflied pork loin on your work surface. Once the mushroom mixture has cooled, spread it all over the pork loin, stopping about 1-inch from the edges of the rectangle. Roll the pork loin around itself lengthwise, similar to how you’d roll a cinnamon roll log. Tie with kitchen twine* to secure the stuffing in the loin, brush with olive oil, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased roasting pan, fat side up.
- Roast for 50-60 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle registers 145 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing. This resting time is very important (no matter how hungry you are!) as it will both finish cooking the pork and also redistribute its juices. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with sauce gribiche (see below) spooned over it.
- Since the dish is fairly rich, I recommend serving it with a light side salad or other green vegetable.
- While the pork loin is roasting, pour the red wine vinegar into a small bowl and add the shallots. Allow to soak so that the shallots can soften while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Next, make a 4-minute egg, or an egg that’s hard on the outside but still soft and runny in the yolk, by bringing a small saucepan of water to a boil. Once it begins boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and gently add the egg to the water. Allow to simmer for 4 minutes, reducing the heat if the water comes back up to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately soak in a bowl with ice-cold water.
- Peel the egg and add it to a medium-sized bowl with the mustard, salt, and pepper. Mash them together using either a pestle or the back of a sturdy wooden spoon until the egg whites is crushed into small bits. Add the capers, cornichons, and herbs and mash again.
- Finally, add the oil to the bowl, just a few drops at first, whisking as you go. Doing this very gradually is key here. The goal is to get the oil to bind to the sauce and thicken it and the trick is to do it very little at a time, whisking continuously as you pour in a very thin stream until all of the oil is incorporated in the sauce. It should be just slightly thinner than mayonnaise.
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are two different things, though people often confuse them while cooking. For this recipe, make sure you ask your butcher for a pork loin – a whole one that has not yet been cut into rounds – of approximately 2-3 pounds.
When tying the stuffed pork loin together, use whatever method feels comfortable for you and also secure. I've used a tying system that's similar to what you see in a classic porchetta. But several (about 5) individual knots wrapped securely around the loin would also work just fine.
For the sauce gribiche, I’ve used a 50/50 mix of chives and parsley here. But I’ve also incorporated herbs such as tarragon and dill in the past when using this recipe, which have both worked well.