I have the excellent fortune of living in close proximity to a very good butcher who carries the freshest, most diverse selection of natural meat I have ever tasted or laid eyes upon, primarily sourced from local farms.
For this recipe, my butcher butterflies the pork roast, allowing me to roll in the stuffing, pinwheel style. An easier method is to cut a lengthwise slit in the center of the pork, about a half inch from the outer edge, taking care not to cut the roast in half. The stuffing fits nicely in the center and the loin is secured with cooking twine once it is stuffed, so be sure to have that on hand.
When I prepare the stuffing, I use a special chili pepper from Syria, called Aleppo pepper. I highly recommend this if you can find it. Otherwise, use traditional red pepper flakes.
chard stuffed pork roast
1 bunch Swiss chard, about 6 stalks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, fine dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup golden raisins
red pepper flakes (Aleppo, if available)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 1/2 pounds pork loin roast, at room temperature
Wash the chard well. Trim the ends of the stalks, about 1/2 inch or so. Then, cut or tear the leaves away from the center ribs. Finely chop the ribs and tear or roughly chop the chard leaves.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and starts to color, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add the chard ribs and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves in two batches, adding the second when the first wilts enough to make room for it. Cook until the chard is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the raisins and transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Add a pinch or so of the chili flakes, plus salt and pepper, to taste.
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. Wipe clean the pan used for the chard mixture and place the pan in the hot oven.
Crack the peppercorns and coriander using a mortar and pestle or place between two sheets of waxed paper and pound with a mallet or skillet. Set aside.
If your butcher has not already done so, use a long, sharp knife to make a lengthwise slit in the pork roast, taking care not to cut the meat in two, about 1/2 inch from the outer edge. Open the roast and spoon the stuffing onto the meat. Close the meat around the stuffing and tie with kitchen twine, at intervals, replacing any stuffing that escapes as you go.
Rub the pork with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and rub the crushed peppercorns and coriander into the meat. Carefully remove the hot roasting pan from the oven. Place the pork loin, fat side up, in the hot pan. Roast uncovered and undisturbed until the thickest part of the loin, not the stuffing, reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Check at 25 minutes but expect that it will take about 40 minutes.
Once the roast is done, remove from the oven and tent lightly with foil on a plate or cutting board. The pork should rest for 15 minutes. Pour any juices back into the roasting pan. Place the pan on a burner over medium high heat and add 1/2 cup water to deglaze, scraping up brown bits and simmering until the juices thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
With kitchen shears, remove the twine from the roast and, using a careful sawing motion, cut the meat into 3/4 inch slices with stuffing intact. Spoon a bit of the jus over each serving, as desired.