First off, a heartfelt thanks for all of your well wishes. I am feeling much better and made it back into the kitchen for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Chard-Stuffed Pork Roast.
I hope that I am not the only one, but there are a few foods which I love to eat but hate to cook. Pork is one of them. The trouble with pork, from my perspective anyway, is that it has this tiny little window of perfection; take it out too early and it is dangerous, too late and it becomes dry and inedible. When cooked properly (something I have only managed a couple of times in my life) pork is juicy, flavorful, and delicious. But in my hands, not so much. I will admit here that part of the problem is sheer laziness. The Germans know a thing or two about how to cook pork and so why should I stress about cooking it at home when there are about 20 restaurants in my neighborhood which do a much better job of it? See, laziness.
But I really would like to learn, and Dorie’s stuffed pork recipe looked so darn tasty that I was looking forward to giving it a try. Though I decided to cut the recipe in half, just in case.
Dorie’s recipe calls for a pork loin to be split open and stuffed with sautéed onions and chard. As per her suggestion, I also threw in some dried cranberries for a bit of seasonal color.
Into the oven went my roast. After 20 minutes it registered 118 degrees… after 10 more minutes, 120 degrees… and after a final 10 minutes, 145 degrees. Grrr. Overdone and dry! The end pieces were completely inedible. The middle pieces were a bit better, but still much too dry. Obviously this is no fault of Dorie’s. In fact, she specifically warned me that, “because pork is so variable” it should be checked early and often. Maybe someday I will learn to cook pork properly, in the meantime I am happy to let someone else do it for me.
I love that you added cranberries – I thought about it! Next time. Our pork was nowhere near done after 40 minutes and 10 minutes in the oven resting so I feel your pain about it being so variable – annoying!
The filling looks gorgeous – the cranberries definitely up the festiveness of the stuffed pork roast. I love that you made the cauliflower gratin too!
ahhhh…. well you will have better luck next time! : ) Something that helps is to lower the temperature to 375 and it will need to cook for longer, but you will have a better chance of getting it out in time and not getting to the point where its completely overcooked 🙂
You are too funny. From the photo your pork looks great. I guess we like our pork dry? We like it really cooked!!! Hubby’s favorite part is the most dry end pieces. He went back for seconds and took the other end. Guess we are weird. We thought this pork roast turned out really good.
Honestly, I’m having a hard time figuring out if it really only a matter of taste, or if my pork didn’t have enough fat in it. My pork certainly did not look overdone, but the texture was so dry that I can’t imagine anyone liking it. I certainly would have been embarrassed to serve it to company. Who knows.
Your addition of cranberries did add a nice bit of color. Thanks for letting me know about the temperature. I’ll make sure to adjust mine accordingly when I make it later this week.
Enh, if you can pick any number of restaurants who can do it better, why bother? lol Your slice looks remarkably neat. I need to get a new oven thermometer. I have a cheapo crap one. The first time I checked it, it registered 150, but when I cut the meat, it was still pink. Whaaaat? Thermometers make good stocking stuffers, right?
I think thermometers make great stocking stuffers! But I also find them to be incredibly unreliable. My father always taught me to test the thermometers in boiling water about once a year to make sure that they are still accurate. He told me that he bought a brand new one right before Thanksgiving, brought it home to test it in boiling water, and the darn thing was a full 30 degrees off!
It looks good to me. Years ago, when hubby and were first married, we always cooked a roast
pork with sauerkraut and roasted potatoes when company was expected. The pork back then
had such a delicious flavor, and the bones were so crisp that we all enjoyed them too. Now,
everything seems to be boneless, and the meat does not have the same delicious flavor. We
find it extremely dry, and as you said, undercooking pork is not a good idea.. Your presentation is
wonderful and your stuffing delicious.
Thanks you Nana. My husband also blamed it on the meat and not on me, which is one of the reasons why I love him so much 🙂
It looked good in the picture!
Glad to hear you are feeling better & hey – if you know that someone else can do something well, it is a smart idea to let them have at it (and any headaches that come with it!)
Have a great weekend.
I can relate – I was talking on the phone and trying to get off before I overcooked the tenderloin. Just a tad overdone, but it stayed moist with the prosciutto wrap 😉
I think the problem was the meat! I cooked my roast to 160 and it wasn’t dry at all. 145 was way too rare for our taste in pork. The cranberries are a great idea. I hesitantly used golden raisins and was surprised at the touch of creamy sweetness they added.
I’m with you on the pork – it seems like the only time I get it right is when I put it in the slow cooker so it all falls apart.
Yours certainly looks delicious though!
Your roast looks so good and doesn’t look dry at all in the photo. Don’t be so hard on yourself! I really liked the addition of the cranberries to give it that added seasonal color and your table setting looks so festive and pretty.
That’s a slim window for sure! But you’re absolutely correct that when you’re surrounded by great restaurant pork dishes, the incentive to make it at home just plummets…there are food I strictly leave the cooking to professionals. Fruitcake being one of them. Seriously. 🙂
Your dinner looks so good! I feel your frustration trying to determine when a thick stuffed pork roast is done and then allowing it to rest for a while before slicing- the whole process is tricky. But, after your experience I bet next time you try this recipe it will turn out exactly the way you like;-)
Your pork looks delicious anyhow. I would be happy to tuck in – nothing that a little sauce couldn’t fix.
I always have a hard time with pork too. Looks delicious!
Your photo would have fooled me…your dinner plate looks delicious! In fact your pork looks perfect! Sorry it was too well done.
You would never know from your pics! My first impression was how delicious it looks!
I too have many reservations about pork and I think that’s why I went with crackling, I needed something to feel positive about! And I totally understand your feelings about cooking something you can easily go out for and know you will enjoy!