Sunday, April 26, 2009

Olive Tapenade Stuffed Pork Loin

Just made this tonight (along with grilled zucchini slices and rosemary potato packets)& it was yum! Well, actually it was a joint effort - I made the olive tapenade & Mr. Kluges prepped the meat & grilled it. It looks impressive, too. I got pork tenderloin and it was rather small/narrow, so it just looked more like pork rolled around a center of tapenade than the pretty spiral effect the cookbook ("How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen) shows. Now this cookbook specializes on its step by step photos, so if some of the directions are unclear, it's because the photos are meant for clarification.

For the tapenade:
2 c. drained, pitted black olives (two 6-oz. cans) or 1 1/2 c. pitted kalamata and/or oil-cured olives
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped [Though my girls love olives & capers, neither liked the tapenade... I think the garlic was why & I'd leave it out next timejust for them.]
2 Tbl. drained capers
1 Tbl. Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp. dried oregano
black pepper
1 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil

For the pork:
1 pork loin roast (2 1/2 - 3 lbs.)
Coarse salt & black pepper
4 strips bacon or pancetta, optional (or more!!!!)
(You also need butcher's string/kitchen twine.)

1. Prepare the tapenade: Place the olives, garlic, capers, mustard and oregano into a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Add the pepper to taste and the oil and process until blended.

[If you're doing charcoal, you might want to start it around now, I think.]

2. Roll-cut the pork roast as shown in pix blah blah blah.... a)Trim off the sheath of fat and sinew that covers the roast. b)Hold a long, sharp, slender knife parallel to the cutting board, and starting at the bottom of the roast, about 1/2 inch above the cutting board, make a lengthwise cut in the roast. Cut almost to the other side. c) Unfold the top of the roast (it's a bit like unrolling a roll of paper towels that's lying on its side.) d) Continue cutting and unrolling the roast in a lengthwise fashion, knife parallel to and about 1/2 inch above the cutting board to obtain a broad, flat rectangle of pork that's about 1/2 inch thick.

3. Season the top of the meat with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt - the olives are quite salty). Spread the tapenade on the meat and roll it back into a roast. Cut four 12-inch long pieces of butcher's string and lay them out on a cutting board. If using the bacon strips, place 3 of them across the string, 1 - 2 inches apart. Place the roast on the bacon, parallel to the strips. Lay the 4th strip of bacon on top of the roast. Loop the ends of the strip over the roast and tie securely, starting at the ends to keep the stuffing from oozing out. Season the roast on the outside with salt (if not using bacon) and pepper.

4. Set up the grill for indirect grilling [have the heat only on the sides of the grill, not directly beneath the roast] and preheat to medium.

5. When ready to cook, place the roast in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and cover the grill. Grill the roast until cooked through, about 1 hour. To test for donness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the side of the roast: The internal temperature should be at least 160F.

6. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the strings. Using a sharp knife, cut the roast cross-wise into 1/2-inch slices.

[Admire, then eat!]

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