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Mushroom Fennel Stuffed Pork Loin

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Recipes posted a year ago:

Quite a few of the recipes we have posted started out as something we have seen in a magazine or an old cookbook and thought, “How about adding a little of this, and what about substituting this for that…”  A lot of them, however, start out as little more than an inspiration.  It might come while staring in the freezer at the variety of cuts of meat, all wrapped in nondescript white butcher paper with black marker labels like “elk roast” or “pork loin,” and thinking about how to work one of those into something new, or it might come while leaning over the open fridge door staring at the shelf full of fresh CSA veggies thinking about how to use some of them other than simply chopping them up in a salad (not that there is anything wrong with that).

A few of these “inspiration” dishes don’t turn out as well as we hope – we quietly consume them at the dinner table, but almost immediately delete the photos off the camera and toss the notes in the recycle bin (unless we really think there might be a chance for redemption with a few modifications).  Others come out so much better than we could have ever imagined, and leave us excited to share them on our site with everyone else.  This recipe is one of those that we could not wait to share.  So don’t be frightened by the number of steps below – there isn’t much effort to it and the results are certainly worth it.

Gather Up:

  • 3-1/2 to 4 lb boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 bulb fennel, top trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 shallot (one large “clove”), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 to 8 medium-sized leaves of kale, center rib removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp celery seeds, divided
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (not shown)
  • 9~10 pieces of 100% cotton string (butcher’s twine), each about 20~24″ long

Start out warming up the grill or the oven to 350 degrees (use indirect heat if grilling).  Next, grab your biggest carving knife and butterfly the roast.  You can do this by making a slice along the long side of the roast about 1/2″ up from the bottom (with the fat cap on top).  Continue to slice into the roast, parallel to the cutting board, until you are about 3/4″ to 1/2″ from the opposite side (like the photo above).

Flip the upper part onto the cutting board (like laying a book open on the board) and continue to cut about 1/2″ from what is now the bottom of this next fold.  Continue this until about 1/2″ from the edge, then fold that part open onto the cutting board and continue until the entire roast has been “unrolled” to a fairly consistent thickness on your cutting board.  Set it aside.  Meanwhile (this is a good time to have a helper in the kitchen, but it isn’t necessary), get all of your veggies chopped up.

Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.  Toss in the onion, shallot, garlic, and fennel, and saute for about three minutes (until the onion begins to turn translucent and softens).  Add in the remaining coconut oil, then toss in the mushrooms and kale.  Toss this around for about 2 minutes (the mushrooms will just start to soften), then stir in the whole mustard seeds and 1/2 teaspoon each of the celery seed, sea salt, and black pepper.

Spread the veggie mixture evenly across the entire butterflied pork roast, leaving about an inch uncovered at the edge where you originally started cutting the roast (the right-hand edge in this photo).  Starting at the opposite side (where you stopped cutting), tightly roll the pork over the stuffing mixture.

Use the cotton string to tie up the roast and hold everything together.  It doesn’t have to look pretty – just make sure that you cut pieces of string big enough to get a good knot in them, and then you can trim the loose ends when it’s all tied up.  If any stuffing tries to sneak out the ends, carefully stuff it back in there and add another tie closer to the ends.  Finally, combine the remaining herbs (that should be 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, fennel seed, celery seed, and ground mustard) in a small prep bowl, then rub the mixture all over the top and sides of the roast.

Insert a meat thermometer or probe into one end of the roast so that it reaches as close to the center as possible.  Place it in directly on the grill (if grilling) or on a wire insert in a roasting pan if using the oven.  Let it cook until the inside reaches about 145 degrees (roughly 75 minutes on our grill).  Remove it from the heat and tent loosely with foil to let it rest another 10 minutes.

Carefully slice into pinwheels about 3/8″ thick.  Make sure to grab that heel before anyone notices it’s gone!

Serve it up along with our standby “side” (the side salad), and our new favorite side – roasted baby leeks (look for this recipe soon).  And try to save some for leftovers…if you can!

Mushroom Fennel Stuffed Pork Loin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3-1/2 to 4 lb boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 bulb fennel, top trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • ½ shallot (one large “clove”), roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 to 8 medium-sized leaves of kale, center rib removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp celery seeds, divided
  • 1 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp whole fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (not shown)
  • 9~10 pieces of 100% cotton string (butcher’s twine), each about 20~24″ long
Instructions
  1. Warm up the grill or the oven to 350 degrees (use indirect heat if grilling).
  2. Butterfly the roast to an even thickness between ½" and ¾" thick (see website for details).
  3. Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.
  4. Toss in the onion, shallot, garlic, and fennel, and saute for about three minutes (until the onion begins to turn translucent and softens).
  5. Add in the remaining coconut oil, then toss in the mushrooms and kale and cook for about 2 minutes (the mushrooms will just start to soften), then stir in the whole mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon each of the celery seed, sea salt, and black pepper.
  6. Spread the veggie mixture evenly across the entire butterflied pork roast, leaving about an inch uncovered at the edge where you originally started cutting the roast.
  7. Tightly roll the pork over the stuffing mixture and tie with cotton string.
  8. Insert a meat thermometer or probe into one end of the roast so that it reaches as close to the center as possible. Place it in directly on the grill (if grilling) or on a wire insert in a roasting pan if using the oven.
  9. Cook until the inside reaches about 145 degrees (roughly 75 minutes).
  10. Remove from the heat and tent loosely with foil to let it rest another 10 minutes.
  11. Carefully slice into pinwheels about ⅜″ thick and serve.