Roast Pork Loin Stuffed with Sweet Potato & Chestnut
Guilt- and gluten-free fare... fancy enough for company and easy enough for any night of the week.
This recipe uses pork loin, not to be confused with pork tenderloin, the former being a large cut from the backbone while the latter is a darker and much smaller cut from behind the backbone. When roasted whole, the meat can be sliced like a rib roast or filet mignon. The lean "white meat" keeps its healthy profile when stuffed with orange and white sweet potatoes combined with roasted chestnuts and Vidalia onions. Low in carbs but oh so high in flavor!
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; measuring spoons; peeler; rimmed sheet pan; roasting pan with rack; mixing bowl; fork; spatula; kitchen twine; aluminum foil
1, 3-pound boneless pork loin, butterflied
1 medium orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
1 medium Japanese yam or white sweet potato, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
½ Vidalia onion, chopped
1 cup roasted or packaged chestnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large egg kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh thyme & rosemary sprigs
"ILOC tip: if you are not comfortable butterflying (opening up) the pork loin, ask your butcher to do it for you."
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Place the sweet potatoes and Vidalia onion on a sheet pan and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss well to coat and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.
"Roasting your own chestnuts is wonderful when in season, but the vacuum packed or jarred variety work perfectly well, too. It's about technique, not torture."
3. Meanwhile, prepare the pork loin. Open the pork loin by making an incision halfway through the center of the loin vertically, from the underside of the loin. With the loin now butterflied, make two more likewise cuts, one centered on each side of the first cut. Sprinkle the pork flesh generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the roasted sweet potatoes and onions, chopped chestnuts, egg, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and some thyme leaves.
"If you already have leftover roasted sweet potatoes, you're one step ahead! Use them and just add some sautéed onions and chopped chestnuts."
5. Turn the heat up to 500F.
6. Place the sweet potato-chestnut stuffing down the vertical center of the loin. Gather the meat around the stuffing so that both sides of the loin meet. Tie the loin with twine to ensure that the roast cooks evenly and holds the stuffing.
7. Rub the top of the tied loin with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, then sprinkle generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Tuck sprigs of thyme and rosemary under the twine on the top of the roast. Place the roast on top of a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes at 550F, then reduce the temperature to 250F and roast for 45 minutes.
8. Remove the roast from the oven to a cutting near loosely tented with aluminum foil. Let the roast stand for 10 minutes before slicing 1-inch thick pieces. Serve immediately.
Makes 6-8 servings.