Ah, the Sunday dinner. A time for family and friends to come together, enjoy each other’s company, and remunerate about the events of the past week. And, of course, eat great comfort food until it’s time to roll into bed.
Living in Chicago, my nearest relatives are 350 miles away, so Sunday dinner with my family is close to impossible. I do, however, have lots of friends eager for a home-cooked meal, so I like to step in and offer them a fabulous Sunday supper a few times a month.
Sunday is a great day to try out the more complicated recipes you don’t have time for during the workweek. I often use Sundays for culinary experimentation (it’s never hard to find taste testers), and this past weekend was no exception. I bringing you one of my favorite Sunday Suppers: Stuffed Pork Roast with Mustard Pan Sauce, Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus & Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits.
OK, so I promise that actually stuffing the pork roast is not all that difficult. And to help you out, I’ve got detailed, step-by-step instructions, complete with images, so you can see what each step looks like. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to prep the pork loin for stuffing in about 10 minutes.
You know you’ve hit a home run when the dinner table’s completely quiet except for the sound of chewing and the occasional “Mmm,” and there’s no doubt that’s all you’re going to hear when you make this menu—contented silence. Below are my recipes for stuffed pork loin and Parmesan mashed potatoes. Click here for my Asparagus with Shallots & Gorgonzola recipe. I discovered this recipe for Fluffy Whole Wheat Biscuits by Ruth Ann Stelfox on Allrecipes.com. Everyone at my table really enjoyed them.
Stuffed Pork Loin with Mustard Pan Sauce
Besides being delicious, this dish is also relatively inexpensive to prepare. A pork loin roast is usually $5 to $10, and serves 6 to 8. Prep Time: 40 minutes; Total: 1 hr, 30 minutes. For a print copy of this recipe, click here.
For Pork Loin:
¼ c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
¼ c. onion, chopped
½ tsp. fresh thyme
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well dried
½ c. Italian breadcrumbs
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
3 Tbs. grated Parmesan, preferably parmigiano regiano
1 egg, beaten
1 (3 to 5 lb.) boneless pork loin roast
Special equipment: Kitchen/butcher’s twine or a long wood skewer soaked in water
For pan sauce:
2 Tbs. shallot, minced
1½ c. chicken stock, homemade if possible
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. flour
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. whole grain mustard
1 lemon, juiced
For Stuffing: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil, and sauté mushrooms, onion, and thyme until tender, about 5 minutes. While they sauté, combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sage and Parmesan in a small bowl. Add the spinach and breadcrumb mixture to the onion mixture. Stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
Prepping the loin: Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place the pork loin in front of you vertically on a plastic cutting board. Turn the loin on its side, and with a very sharp knife make a long, deep horizontal incision lengthwise down the meat, virtually cutting it in half without cutting it all the way through to the board. After you make this cut, the loin should open out like a book, as pictured. If the cut was not deep enough on the first try, continue making small incisions along the same line until you achieve the desired look.
Turn the roast and cutting board horizontally and cover well with plastic wrap, leaving lots of overhang. Using a meat mallet (or one created by covering a hammer with a thick kitchen towel held in place by a rubber band) pound the roast from the inside area out until it’s about ½ in. thick all around. Spread the cooled stuffing over flattened loin within 1 in. of the edge.
Starting at one end, roll loin up tightly. Secure loin wrap with kitchen or butcher’s twine, or sew the seam up with a long wood skewer that’s been soaked in water for at least a half hour, as I did.
Cook the roast. Salt and pepper the rolled loin. Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add two counts of vegetable oil. When it shimmers, add the pork roast seam-side down. Brown the roast on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place in a shallow baking dish lined with tin foil. Keep pan over medium heat.
Bake, uncovered for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers about 140˚F. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
Make the pan sauce: While the roast cooks, add the shallots to the pan in which the roast was browned. Saute until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes. Add flour; stir for 1 minute to incorporate. Add chicken stock, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. These add great flavor! Whisk in the mustards and continue whisking until the sauce has thickened. Turn on low heat, and let simmer until ready to serve, stirring occasionally. Before serving, whisk in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside or on the roasted pork loin.
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Serves 6. For a print copy of this recipe, click here.
2½ to 3 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, diced
½ c. heavy cream
4 Tbs. unsalted butter (½ stick)
1 Tbs. plus 1½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
¼ c. grated Parmesan, preferably parmigiano regiano
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes with water by at least 1 in. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring to boil. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Return to pan.
Add butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Using an electric mixer, beat potato mixture until combined. Add cheese, and beat potatoes until desired consistency is reached, but don’t over-mix. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with more Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper if desired.