Easter Pork Roast with Dried Apricots and Cherries
The Pork Roast requires a bit of preparation before going in the oven, but
it's not as hard as it might sound. You first make a stuffing of dried apricots
and cherries simmered with spring onions, white wine, ginger, and Meyer lemon
juice and zest. You then slice the roast most of the way through like a hot dog
bun, place the stuffing in the middle and tie it all together with kitchen
string. The remaining stuffing is pureed and made into a sweet- tart sauce that
accompanies the tender slices of roast pork.
Be sure to make a large roast, because the leftover meat is delicious in
sandwiches, with the stuffing serving as sweet-and-sour relish.
4 to 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
3 or 4 spring onions, or 1 large leek (white part only), sliced
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup dried cherries (about 3 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Meyer lemon zest (see Note)
4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice + lemon juice as needed
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup water
1 boneless pork loin center-cut roast (4 to 5 pounds)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken broth + broth as needed
Pinch of sugar, if needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and
saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Add the apricots, cherries, ginger,
lemon zest, lemon juice, wine and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and
simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit has plumped up.
Meanwhile, butterfly the pork loin by cutting it about three quarters of the way
through lengthwise, so you can open it up like a book (or ask your butcher to do
this for you). Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper.
When the fruit is done, drain the liquid into a bowl and set aside with half
of the fruit. Place the remaining fruit in a separate bowl and season it with
salt and pepper. Cover half of the inside of the pork loin with this fruit and
close the "book."
To truss, cut about 8 lengths of kitchen twine that will fit around the roast
widthwise with a few inches to spare for tying. Start by placing a piece of
twine under the loin about 1 inch from the end. Pull it around the loin into a
tight knot, then repeat every inch or so until the entire loin is tied together
firmly. (You can complete the recipe to this step up to a day ahead.)
Season the outside of the roast with salt and pepper and place on a rack in a
roasting pan. Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in center of the pork
registers 145 degrees to 160 degrees, depending on how well done you like pork,
about 20 minutes per pound (a total of 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes).
Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
While the pork roasts, return the remaining fruit and liquid to the saucepan.
Simmer until it has reduced by about half; this should take about 15 minutes.
Add the chicken broth and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or
food processor and process until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and add
more broth, if needed, to thin to a pourable consistency. Adjust seasonings. The
sauce should be sweet-tart. Add a little lemon juice or sugar as needed and set
aside until serving.
To serve, reheat the sauce, then whisk in the remaining butter. Carve the pork
roast into 1/2-inch slices and drizzle with the coulis.
Note: If you can't find Meyer lemons, substitute half the amount of regular
lemon juice and the same amount of zest. Taste, and add more, if desired.
Freezing note: Freezer-wrap leftover pork loin whole, and freeze for up to a
month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Slice for sandwiches, stir- fries
PER SERVING: 350 calories, 40 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 13 g fat (6 g
saturated), 110 mg cholesterol, 61 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.