Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Grilled Pork Loin with Cranberry Chutney Stuffing

You've seen those giant Pork Loins in the grocery store, right?  They sure do make some awesome boneless pork chops if you take them home and cut them up, but have you ever considered roasting one, whole?  On the Grill??  Stuffed with a lovely cranberry chutney!?!?!  It's easier than you might think!  One word of note, it could take as much as three days to cook this, so read the recipe first and plan accordingly... Your patience will be well-rewarded!

You will need:
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 thick slices bacon, cut into "tiny bit-sized" portions
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 (4 or 5-pound) boneless pork loin
  • Non-stick aluminum foil
Make the chutney first, because you're going to freeze it (I know, how exciting is that?).  Start by re-hydrating the cranberries in the Bourbon.  Mix them together and let them sit and "do their thing" for at least 4 hours (better, overnight). Then, coat a large saute pan with a bit of Olive Oil and dump in the bacon.  Bring the pan to Medium-High heat and render out the bacon fat while crisping up the bacon bits.  When the bacon is crispy, add the onions. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent, then add the cranberries (Bourbon and all).  Be careful adding the berries,
the alcohol may flame up... just shout, "Flambe!" and let it burn out, or cover the pan with a lid.  Add the rosemary (things should start to smell really terrific right about now), stir it in and let it cook for a minute or two, then add the apples.  Cook the apples, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.  Measure the length of your pork loin (mine was about 20").  Tear off a strip of non-stick aluminum foil that is at least as long as your pork.  Pour the cool chutney into the foil and roll it into a tight "log." My chutney log was about 22" long and about 1.5" in diameter.  Don't let your log get too thick.  It's better to have a thinner log and some leftover Chutney, then to try to cram it all into a pork loin that isn't long enough to accommodate the lot.  Tighten both ends of the log and put it into the freezer overnight, to freeze solid.  Trust me, this is going to make things much easier when it's time to stuff the pork loin.

On the blessed day of consumption, pull your pork loin out of its packaging and make a hole in the center, for the stuffing.  This is the trickiest part of the whole darned procedure.  The hole needs to be able to accommodate the frozen chutney stick, so be "generous" with the knife. If your frozen Chutney stick is "two fingers" thick, then jam to fingers into your pork hole and make sure there is plenty of room in there... You may need to cut a portion out of the middle.  Make sure you come in from both sides of the pork loin and that the hole goes all the way through.

I'm doing my level best not to sound "dirty," so get your mind out of the gutter, people!

Now, unwrap your Chutney stick and lube it up with some olive oil.  Gently, but forcefully, twist and push the chutney into the pork's new cavity.  Work quickly, as the Chutney won't stay frozen forever!  Don't be afraid to pull the stick out and work the hole some more with a bigger knife.  Eventually, it will go in, I promise!  If you get it about half-way in, you can use your palm to firmly pound it the rest of the way home.  When you're finished, the pork loin will sit up, more round and firm, and you'll have a lovely Chutney filled center in the pork.

Season the top of the pork loin with your favorite dry rub, then wrap it tightly in plastic cling-wrap.  Let it sit, quietly, in the corner for awhile; after all, it's been through quite an ordeal... The meat needs time to adjust to it's new filling, and the Chutney needs to thaw before the whole ensemble needs to be moved to the grill.

When it's time to grill, get your coals going in the back of the grill space.  You're going to grill the pork loin over indirect heat, using some foil as a "heat shield" until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 135 degrees.  Be sure the tip of your temperature probe is NOT resting in the Chutney!  With the lid to your grill covered, you're shooting for a temperature of 375 degrees or so.  Note, the picture shows the pork nestled in a heat shield to keep it from getting too brown on the charcoal side.  Watch the pork's temperature during the cook, it won't take long; maybe 30-45 minutes or so.

Slice thinly and serve with a side dish of your choosing.  This is such a "Fall" dish, I suggest butternut squash, or roasted sweet potatoes.  Please disregard the hotdogs in the picture, they were for some kids who were over for dinner with their parents that night!  No adult in their right mind would want hotdogs when there's freshly grilled Cranberry Chutney stuffed Pork loin on the table...