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Pork Loin Stuffed with Turkey Sausage, Chard, and Sage

porkloin3

Recipe by Kirstin Jackson

When scalloped potatoes, yams, and pies are all supposed to be on the table in four hours, you may not want to bother with a bird that demands a lot of time and more oven space than the extra square footage a Hummer requires on the road. That’s where a juicy roasted pork loin stuffed with the requisite turkey fits the bill. Please don’t toss the cheese bits that leak from the center of the loin, they’re the ultimate comfort food and will sauce up the mashed potatoes or polenta on which you’ll rest the pork. There’s a good photo essay on how to “unroll” (or slice open) a pork loin at edibleeastbay.com. To find it, choose “explore” and “seasonal recipes,” then look at the Winter 2008 recipes for Bay Wolf Fennel Crusted and Stuffed Pork Rib Roast.

½ pound Italian turkey sausage, uncased

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ yellow onion, medium diced

1 bunch chard, washed, stems removed, and chopped finely

1½ tablespoon chopped sage

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3-pound boneless pork loin

2 teaspoons salt

Freshly ground pepper

3 ounces grated Havarti

Preheat oven to 350º

Bring a sauté pan to medium heat with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Add sausage, stirring to break it up as it browns. Once sausage is lightly browned, remove from heat (meat doesn’t need to be cooked entirely through) and cook onions in the same pan 7 to 10 minutes or until translucent.

Add chopped chard to pan with sausage and sage, stirring to cook until chard is well wilted (10–15 minutes). Stir in lemon juice. Set aside to cool.

Rinse pork under cool water and pat dry. Place on cutting board so loin is vertical. Start with one lengthwise cut to the loin about 1 inch from center and toward the middle of the loin, slicing with long, smooth strokes until you’ve reached halfway through. Unroll. Continue slicing with long strokes from one end of the loin to the other until the pork lies flat on the cutting board.

Season inside of loin with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Lay filling on top of pork, ½ inch high, leaving a ½-inch border widthwise on the pork (there may be some left over). Sprinkle with cheese. Roll loin with filling and tie to keep tightly bound. Season outside with remaining salt and pepper.

Heat large sauté pan to medium on stove. Cook loin in pan until browned, turning every 3 minutes. Place in roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, taking care not to let the pork’s internal temperature pass 145 degrees. Let rest and slice. Serves 6–8.

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