Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin

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Being that winter has finally arrived in the Chicago area, I’ve been wanting to do a roast to get more in the holiday mood.  Specifically a rolled and stuffed pork loin filled with yummy things like quinoa, mushrooms and healthy greens roasted with some parsnips, potatoes and carrots.  A dish like this always means winter to me.  There’s something comforting about pulling a roast out of the oven and knowing everyone will love it.  Stuffing it means that you have even less work to do while it cooks, because this is a dinner that will enhance itself as it cooks in the oven.  All the goodness of veggies and mushrooms and quinoa and wine to highlight the pork and when someone does the hard part for you, then it’s smooth rolling in your kitchen.  

I just knew Sunset Foods would have everything I needed to make this amazing dish.  Including a butcher who will custom cut your meat for you!  I needed a 3 lb pork loin roast tri-fold cut, while this is something I could do myself having the butcher do it for me makes my life a lot easier.  In just a few minutes my roast was cut, packed up and ready to go.  I love that Sunset is willing to go the extra mile and custom cut meats on demand for customers.

For this particular recipe I also wanted a wine I could use in the gravy to enhance the dish and also serve with it.  The staff at Sunset foods is incredibly knowledgeable and after asking what I wanted to use it for, was able to recommend a 2012 De Loach Pinot Noir for my dish.  Since I primarily drink whites, I never would have come across this wine on my own.  It’s also insanely reasonably priced at $9.99 a bottle!
Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin
3 lb pork loin roast, tri-fold cut and pounded flat
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-3 inch chunks
1 lb carrots, peeled and 1 grated for stuffing, with remaining cut into 2-3 inch chunks
28 oz mixed color potatoes
6 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 springs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 oz quinoa, rinsed well
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
5 oz mixed power greens (kale, spinach and chard)
1 medium onion, 1 tablespoon minced remaining onion cut into chunks
2-4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs, beaten
butchers twine 3-5 foot piece
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup DeLoach Pinot Noir
First start by making the herb paste to put on the outside of your roast.  In a food processor or strong blender, mix together the garlic, ginger, rosemary, thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Set aside.

Next make the quinoa.  In a large saucepan melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter and cook onion until softened, about 5-6 minutes over med-low heat.  Once onion has softened, add grated carrot and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add quinoa, 2 cups chicken broth and 1/2 cup water bring to a boil reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Once quinoa is done move it to a large heatproof bowl to cool.

In a large skillet, melt remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they release their liquid.  Add power greens and cook until wilted.  Add this to your quinoa along with 2 beaten eggs.  Mix well to incorporate eggs and this will form your stuffing.

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Before you start on your pork, in a large roasting pan combine your root veggies with 1 cup chicken broth and place in oven for 10 minutes.  The veggies take a bit longer than the pork to cook.

Now for the pork, taking a large piece of plastic wrap open up your pork on it with the fat side facing down.  Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and using a rubber mallet, beat pork until its more uniform in thickness, about 3/4-inch thick.  Remove top plastic wrap and spread with quinoa stuffing making sure to leave a 3/4-inch border.

Now comes the fun part, roll up the pork with the stuffing inside.  Tying it can be a little tricky and some stuffing will escape, but it will turn out fine.  Leaving a 3-4 inch tail, make a loop large enough to go around the roast.  Carefully slide under and around roast, tie twine fairly tight.  Go down about an inch further down the roast and holding that inch length on top, loop the rest of the twine under and around the pork to form a circle.  Tie this to the inch you were holding on top.  After doing this once it will go a lot faster.  Continue until you get to end of pork roast.  Taking remaining butchers twine and run under bottom of roast coming back up to your tail at the other end.  Tie both ends together and snip away excess.

Coat roast with herb paste and place on top of roasting veggies in the oven.  Continue to cook for 15 minutes at 450, then reduce heat to 325 and cook 30-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.

Remove pork from oven to rest for 10 minutes, tent with foil.

During last 10 minutes of roasting, place remaining stuffing in oven proof dish and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

After your pork is roasted, drain any accumulated juices and chicken broth from roasting pan into a small saucepan.  Mix cornstarch with pinot noir and add to saucepan after the broth mixture comes to a boil.  Cook until thickened.  Slice pork roast and serve with veggies, stuffing and pinot noir gravy.

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