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To every thing (turn, turn turn) there is a season (turn, turn turn) October 26, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Eating Down the Fridge, Food, Garden.
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Summer is a time for tomatoes, a time for corn, a time to grill.

And Autumn is a time to roast, to braise, and for soups.

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Our herbs have grown phenomenally this year – the sage is INSANE, and the rosemary, well, I was able to salvage that from last year, so this year, it’s twice as big as it was last year.  Plus I added another plant this spring “just in case” – I am NOT going to get caught without rosemary!  And I love marjoram to pieces – only it’s an annual (here, anyway), so I’ve got to use it while I can because I’m going to have to start over with that every year.

Add to the lovely herbage a clove or two of the absolutely delightful German hard-neck garlic I’ve been stocking up on every time I see the garlic guy at the market.

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Plus a couple of apples, chopped coarsely, and some fennel seed.

Not just any fennel seed – oh no!  Fennel seed from the fennel-that-never-bulbed in the garden.

Is it a little nuts to note that my own fresh fennel seed taste so much better – more fennel-y – than any I’ve ever had before?  It really does.

Oh, and I added a bit of maple syrup, just because it goes so well with the rest of this team!

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Anyway, we combined that mixture in the food processor, discovered that it was WAY too wet and squishy,  and added a handful of bread crumbs.  (Note to self:  next time, I’d use a slice or so of fresh bread – I think it would lend a fresher flavor; live and learn, I guess.)

Oh, and a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Don’t go crazy, though, because we’ll be seasoning the meat.

Oh, did I forget to mention?  We’re going to use the apple-sage-rosemary mixture to stuff (wait for it!) a pork loin that I dug out of the freezer.

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You would be amazed by how much random meat just sort of . . . gets lost in a chest freezer!  I have no doubt you could use this, or a similar, stuffing for a pork shoulder roast (cook it lower and slower until tender), chicken (cook less low and slow), or even, I don’t know, acorn squash (cover and cook with a bit of water).  We’re about the Flavors of the Season here.

So anyway, I butterflied my pork roast (I have GOT to work on my pork-roast-butterflying technique –  my butterflied roast was actually more, I don’t know, dragonflied, I guess), seasoned the inside (cut side), then spread the filling in a thin-ish layer on that inside side – we want to minimize oozing, so we don’t want it too thick.

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Then we just rolled the roast up, starting at one end, and Peeps tied it, but not too tight.

Basically, we only want to hold it together.  We don’t want bulges hanging out over either side of the pieces of butcher’s twine.

Imagine a fat girl with a too-tight belt – or a plumber with a beer gut.  You don’t want that.    You want a well-fitting, if a bit snug, string.

PhotobucketNow I wrapped the roast in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours – mainly because it wasn’t dinner time.  Once we were ready to start thinking about supper, I patted the outside of the roast dry with a paper towel, then seasoned it with plenty of salt and pepper.

Then it’s showtime!  Take a cast iron pan, add a little oil, and get it rippin’ hot, then brown the roast on all sides.

A browned roast is a happy roast, you know.

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Once the roast is nicely browned, you may notice that there’s a bit of fond in your pan – it’s all good.  Take the roast out of the pan and let that sit on a plate or cutting board for a few while you deglaze the pan – I used about a half cup of white wine.

Then we added a bit more wine (why not?) and a single, thin-sliced onion.

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Return the roast to the pan, and stick it in a 350-degree oven until an instant-read thermometer reads 145-150 degrees.

Then we pulled the roast out of the pan, placed it back on the cutting board, and left it to rest, covered with foil.

Peeps pulled everything from the pan and hit it with the stick blender to make a lovely, onion-y sauce.

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And meanwhile, I sliced a clove of garlic, and added several handfuls of fresh spinach and further deglazed the pan sauteed the slightly-bitter spinach as a perfect complement to the borderline-sweet stuffed pork loin with pan sauce and basic white rice.

And, if you don’t manage to kill the entire roast, then the leftovers, sliced thin on fresh bread with a bit of dijon?

Magic.

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Comments

1. judy - October 26, 2010

That is beautiful! My mom had a super “stuffer” when she prepared this too. I can remember the wonderful smells and tastes. I know you enjoyed every last bite.

j

You know, Jude, even though there are just the two of us, we certainly managed to put a hurt on that little roast, too. 😀


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