Tonight's dinner comes from another cookbook, Irish Traditional Cooking, by Darina Allen. According to the back of the book, this is one of the best Irish cookbooks one can use. "Darina Allen is Ireland's favorite and best-known chef. Her cooking is based on a family tradition of recipes handed down from generation to generation with an emphasis on the use of fresh seasonal ingredients...."
I chose this recipe because I wanted to include a pork or ham recipe for the week since the pig is so important in the history and cuisine of Ireland. It seemed simple and flavorful enough without veering too far from traditional. I had to make some modifications based on what was available and some time constraints, but we loved this because the flavors shine and it's a great, comforting meal.
Traditional Roast Pork
(Adapted from Darina Allen)
2 lb. boneless pork loin roast
2 T. butter
1/2 c. soft white breadcrumbs
1/2 chopped onion
2 T. chopped, fresh herbs: chives, parsley, thyme, marjoram, and sage
Salt and pepper, to taste
If skin is on roast, score the skin at 1/4 inch intervals with the grain on the roast. If not, skip this step.
Trim an excess fat from the roast. Preheat the oven to 375 F. While the oven heats make stuffing. Saute the onions in butter over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
Mix herbs well with breadcrumbs and add to onions. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow to cool while you work on the roast.
"Butterfly" the roast or cut a large, deep pocket into the pork. Brush with a small amount of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the roast. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon stuffing into the roast and bind tightly with a cotton twine or kitchen/oven-safe string. Season with salt and pepper, if applicable.
Roast in oven for 25 minutes per pound. Baste occasionally. Roast is done when juices run clear. Allow roast to rest on a warm plate to redistribute juices.
- The book suggests serving this with roast potatoes and applesauce. I always thought applesauce was an American tradition but the book not only suggests this but also includes a recipe for Irish applesauce. Who knew?
- The recipe also suggests making a roux and gravy with the juices. I didn't because this was flavorful and juicy enough on its own, but that would probably be the more traditional route.
- The first time I made a stuffed roast, I didn't bind it and the roast fell apart and the stuffing fell out. Never again. It was a tough lesson to learn, but a necessary lesson indeed.
- I served this with leftover buttermilk-chive mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.