Roast Pork Loin with Cream Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Roast Pork Loin with Cream Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Roast Pork Loin with Cream Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 large garlic cloves

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil plus 4 tablespoons for searing

2,5 kilos whole pork loin

1 bar (225 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes salt and pepper, to taste paprika, to taste

1/2 cup dry white wine, as needed

3/4 cup dry white wine, deglazing

Crush the garlic and rosemary together in a mortar and pestle or with a large spoon until you can smell the rosemary. Pour in 1/2 cup olive oil and mix together, crushing the mixture a little more. Set aside.

Take the meat and make a cavity in which you will stuff the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Do this by laying the meat on a chopping board in front of you, its length running from left to right. Using a sharp knife with a thin long blade, make a small incision, about two inches wide, on the side facing you. Gently insert the blade, making a pocket in the middle of the meat without making the opening any wider than the initial incision. When you’re finished, the loin should have a cavity running its length with a 2-inch opening that is easy to secure with a toothpick.
Blot the pork loin with a piece of clean cloth to remove excess moisture. Rub the olive oil mixture all over the meat and inside the cavity. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes up to 8 hours.

Half an hour before you’re ready to oast, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Mix cream cheese with a wooden spoon until soft and creamy. Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the pork loin with the cream cheese mixture by pushing it inside the cavity a tablespoon at a time or by using a piping bag.

Squeeze out any air pockets and then secure the opening with a toothpick.

Sprinkle a liberal amount of salt, pepper and paprika all over the meat, and rub it in with the olive oil marinade. Just be careful you don’t squeeze out the stuffing.

Heat a heavy-bottomed roasting pan on a stovetop. Drizzle remaining 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil on the pan and sear the pork loin fat side first.

Refrain from moving it around while searing. The pan should be hot enough to instantly evaporate the juices oozing out of the meat or else they accumulate on the bottom of the pan, preventing the browning of the meat.

When you have finished browning all sides of the pork loin, put it in the oven (using the same roasting pan) to roast fat side up.

Roast 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the thickness. To test for doneness, quickly insert a small knife in the middle of the pork loin. Hold the blade in for 2 seconds and remove. Touch the tip of the blade. It should be hot.

Watch the bottom of the roasting pan, too, and prevent the pan juices from scorching into a black soot during the cooking process. If you see that the pan is drying up before the pork loin is cooked, add half a cup or so of white wine but don’t add too much because you do not want the pork loin to stew.

When done, remove the roasting pan from the oven. Transfer the pork loin orto another plate and let rest for 15 minutes covered loosely with foil. If there’s too much fat in your pan, remove all but about 2 tablespoons. Simmer the pan juices over the stovetop and deglaze with dry white wine.

Simmer to reduce the pan juices by half. The consistency should be uniform and slightly syrupy. Be careful that you don't reduce too much or the fat will begin to separate.

If it does, just add a few more sloshes of white wine and simmer to reduce, this time taking the pan out of the heat before the fat separates again. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Remove the foil covering the pork loin and cut it into slices 1/4-inch thick. Arrange on a platter and drizzle the sauce over it. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Chef's notes: Pork loin is simply pork chops without the bone; you'll find it in the meat section of most groceries. If you're buying from a wet market, just ask your friendly butcher to give you a slab of pork chops with the bones and skin removed but a thin layer of fat should be left to keep it from drying.

Extra virgin olive oil is preferable because of its flavor but its main purpose here is to act as a medium for the marinade, which is basically rosemary and garlic, so you may use any flavor-neutral oil you have in your kitchen.

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