Grilled Stuffed Pork Loin with Apricot Almond Wehani Rice

Début de l'été 2008
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Thick slices of this indirectly grilled loin are quite elegant looking. And since the rice is made ahead and the loin needs little tending, this delicious main course is easy to make for a dinner party. Choose a loin with a cap of fat as this bastes the pork during the slow roasting.

Rice & Pork
1½ cups (375 mL) Wehani rice
3 cups (750 mL) reduced-salt chicken broth
One 3 lb (1.5 kg) boneless pork loin (see Tip below)
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
1 small onion, chopped
4 large button or cremini mushrooms, diced
⅓ cup (75 mL) chopped fresh parsley
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots
½ cup (125 mL) dried cherries or cranberries
½ cup (125 mL) toasted slivered almonds
1 cup (250 mL) coarse fresh bread crumbs
Splash peanut or canola oil

Sauce & Reheating Rice
3 cups (750 mL) reduced-salt chicken broth
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter
⅓ cup (75 mL) all-purpose flour
Several grindings black pepper
¼ cup (50 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Rinse rice and combine with broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat, drain off any remaining liquid, and cool. Turn into a mixing bowl.

2. To form pocket for stuffing, sharpen a long thin slicing knife. Working from either end, use the knife to cut a slit about 2-inches (5-cm) in width being careful not to get too near outside. Use your fingers and a thick-handled wooden spoon to make sure this hole is formed in midpoint of loin. Leave at room temperature while mixing stuffing.

3. Heat butter in a small frying pan over medium heat until bubbly; stir in onion and mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir into cooled rice along with parsley, fruit and almonds. Remove 1½ cups (375 mL) of mixture to another bowl; cover remainder and refrigerate.

4. To measured rice mixture in bowl, work in bread crumbs until mixture is clumpy. Working alternately from pork loin ends, stuff mixture into hole. Rub pork loin with a splash of peanut or canola oil.

5. As this is indirect grilling, place a metal or foil pan directly under grill on burner which will remain unlit and cool. Preheat other side of barbecue until hot. Place loin, fat-side up on cool side of grill over metal pan for indirect grilling. Adjust lit burner so temperature is about 325°F (160°C) in closed barbecue. Grill pork, rearranging once or twice as needed to keep browning even. Grill for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until internal temperature is 155°F (68°C) on an instant-read or meat thermometer.

6. Turn off burner. Bring meat into kitchen and tent with foil. Bring dripping pan into kitchen; spoon off and discard most of fat. Keep brown liquid and bits in pan.

7. Moisten refrigerated rice with ½ cup (125 mL) broth. Cover and either microwave on quarter power, stirring once, for about 10 minutes or place in a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until hot.

8. Pour some of remaining broth into dripping pan; let soak briefly and stir to get up all browned bits. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Sprinkle with flour; stir to moisten. Cook 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Using a whisk, slowly stir in remaining broth as well as broth from dripping pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently; immediately reduce heat so sauce just simmers, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Skim off and discard any white foam that forms. Taste sauce and season with several grindings of black pepper as needed. If sauce seems too thick, thin with more broth or water. Strain into a pitcher for serving; stir in parsley.

10. Place a spoonful of reheated rice on each warmed serving plate. Cut 2 slices of pork about ¾-inch (2-cm) thick for each person. Lay against rice mound; drizzle with a little sauce. Serve with steamed asparagus or green beans and garden-fresh young carrots. Pass pitcher of sauce at table.

Tip: The loin must be in 1 piece because if 2 loin pieces are tied together, the string will burn during grilling

Serves 6 to 8

What to Serve