Mains, Spring
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Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin (almost Porchetta)

You guys, I’m literally crying. I just created this recipe for Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin and I am just over the moon. This salty, porky, herby roast is heaven and you definitely have to try this this spring!

We picked up a large pork loin at Costco a few weeks ago for a really good price (I know, I know….Costco isn’t always local…but for this price, we couldn’t pass it up). We sliced the loin up into various pieces, making sure to save 2 large portions for roasts. Typically, I make pork loin in the fall with stewed apples and onions and various fall spices such as cinnamon and cloves, but I was just inkling to make a tasty summer pork loin roast for us.

When I think of spring, one of the first things that comes to mind is herbs. Parsley definitely comes first, followed by oregano and basil (more of summer herbs). But then out of the blue came sage (a fall/winter herb) and I knew I was on to something. Herbs + pork…maybe some garlic…. that was it! Porchetta!

Oregano, parsley, sage, fennel seed and garlic make up the herb filling in my recipe.

Porchetta is an Italian dish that combines the best of both worlds: meaty pork loin and fatty pork belly. The pork belly is wrapped around the loin and is roasted until the skin gets nice and crisp. Typically, it is stuffed with a combination of herbs, garlic, and fennel seeds and served with a herb sauce (salsa verde) on top.

If you haven’t had Porchetta before, I strongly recommend that you go out right now and find some. Then come back and finish reading this post.  If you are in Vancouver, one of the best places to get Porchetta is at Meat & Bread. They serve it up in a sandwich on a white bun, topped with salsa verde and delicious pork crackings. Honestly, the combo of the herbs, salt, and soft pork belly, and crunchy cracking make this sandwich irresistible. It’s really hard for me to resist this place for lunch when I am at work during the week- I’m right between the Cambie and Pender locations so either way, I will run into Meat & Bread….and most likely buy a nice sandwich and soup 😛

While pork belly isn’t all too hard to find in the city, I didn’t want to go out and pick any up- I knew I could achieve the same flavour just with a pork loin. I selected the pork loin with the most fat on it and got to preparing.

Preparing the pork loin was no easy feat. First, I had to roll-cut the pork loin (i.e. slice it in a spiral so that it lays flat). This was relatively simple for me as I have done this dozens of times before, but if you have never roll-cut a pork loin (or any loin for that matter) follow the latter half of this video. After cutting the pork loin and pounding it with a meat mallet to ensure that it was evenly flat, I began preparing the filling. In a mortar and pestle, I ground the garlic, herbs and spices together, then spread it liberally over the pork loin. From there, I rolled the pork loin back up, tied it with butchers string (a.k.a. 100% cotton string) and seasoned it generously with course sea salt. I then placed it on a bed of sliced onions and herb stems and fired it in the oven.

Channeling my inner Salt Bae

I began roasting the pork loin at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I then reduced the temperature to 350 and roasted it for an additional 40 minutes. Finally, I broiled the top of the roast for 10 minutes to ensure that the fat got nice and crisp. Once a meat thermometer read 160 degrees, I pulled the roast from the oven and let it sit for 20 minutes. By then, the temperature read 165 degrees- which meant the pork was fully cooked.

Crispy, porky goodness…..

Upon cutting the first few slices of the roast, I shed a few tears of joy. It was cooked to perfection. The fat was nice a crisp, the meat was perfect and that green spiral made it look absolutely gorgeous. Really, the oven did most of the work, I just made it look prettybut still I’m taking major credit. 

This recipe would make this a perfect meal to serve at a dinner party, or a early summer BBQ because not only does it look impressive, it tastes amazing and is perfect for this time of year. I guarantee that this Herb-Stuffed Pork Loin will be a hit with your friends and family…or maybe just for yourself (hehe :P)!

To get the full recipe, click here!

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