Fennel, Apple and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pork Loin
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
- Servings: 4 - 6
- Course: Main Dish
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium shallots, diced
- 1 medium fennel bulb, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
- 1 large tart, firm apple (like Granny Smith), diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon apple brandy
- 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola dolce or other blue cheese
- 2 strips bacon, fried crispy and crumbled
- 1 3–4 pound boneless pork loin roast, butterflied
- Kitchen twine
- Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and shallots and cook on medium heat until fragrant and translucent, about 1–2 minutes. Add the fennel, fennel seed, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, apple, salt, black pepper, honey, vinegar and apple brandy. Cook on medium heat until the apple and fennel are browned, about 15 minutes. Fennel should be soft but not mushy and still have some firmness. Remove the filling from heat and cool to room temperature. Toss in the blue cheese and the crispy bacon.
Line a baking sheet with a sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil, making sure the sheet is long enough to wrap up over the ends of the roast. Layer another two sheets of aluminum foil over the first one. Set aside.
Place the pork loin fat side down on a work surface, season the inside lightly with salt and pepper, and then evenly spread the filling. Roll the pork up lengthwise and tie it securely with kitchen twine. Rub with oil and season evenly with kosher salt. Heat a large heavy skillet (big enough to hold the entire loin) over high heat until very hot. Add the pork loin and brown very well on all sides, about 1 minute per side.
Using tongs, place the roast in the center of the foil. Sprinkle with pepper and the rest of the rosemary. Bring up foil sides. Double fold top and ends to seal packet, leaving room for heat circulation inside.
Bake the wrapped loin for 45 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 130°F. Let the pork rest, wrapped, for 10 minutes. Open packet carefully by cutting along top fold with a sharp knife, allowing steam to escape; then open top of foil packet. Slice and serve.
To make it a complete meal, add vegetables to the packet with the roast. Try onions, potatoes, more fennel and whole garlic cloves.
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