Tuesday 23 January 2018

Roast pork with apple, apricot and pistachio stuffing

Serves six to eight


2kg free-range pork loin, skin unscored

Sea salt

6-8 small apples For the apple, apricot and pistachio stuffing 1 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

250g dried apricots, roughly chopped

3 green apples, peeled, cored and grated

140g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Handful each flat-leaf parsley, thyme and sage leaves, finely chopped

280g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs

50g butter, melted

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 240°C(fan)/ 250°C/Gas Mark 10.

To make the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for five to seven minutes, or until slightly softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the apricots, grated apples, pistachios, herbs, breadcrumbs and melted butter in a bowl, add the cooled onion mixture and combine. Season well with salt and pepper.

Place the pork loin on a clean work surface, skin-side up, and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Using a very sharp, small knife, score the skin widthways at 1cm intervals.

Take a decent handful of sea salt and crumble it all over the scored skin, rubbing it really well into the cuts. Pat the salt all over the skin, then flip the meat over so the flesh side faces up.

Place handfuls of the stuffing on the pork, pressing it down as you go and adding as much as will fit, then gently roll up the loin to enclose the stuffing.

Secure with a few lengths of kitchen string, then place in a flameproof roasting tin.

If you have one, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the pork.

Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (fan)/200°C/Gas Mark 6. Roast for a further 30 minutes, then arrange the apples around the pork in the tin. Cook for another 30 minutes or so until the pork is cooked through and the apples have softened.

The pork is cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the flesh is pierced with a skewer, or the internal temperature registers 73°C on a meat thermometer.

Set the pork aside for 20 minutes to rest before carving and serving.

Irish Independent

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