Some of my best cooking ideas are hatched as a last thought before going to sleep. A discussion usually ensues with Chris whereby he makes several suggestions. Some are good, some are left behind. Then sometimes I throw out some outrageous idea just to see if anyone scoops it up. The last words out of my mouth last night were, I'm going to take a whole pork tenderloin, cut a slit in the middle, stuff it with cheese, cover it with Nueskes bacon slices, and roast it. Dear sweet. Does that sound good or what?
Off to the store I went this morning to fulfill my dare. I mean, really, I wasn't going to cook my pork in bacon, right? Once at Whole Foods, and seeing that pork tenderloin was $11.99 a pound, (holy smokes) I opted for a rib roast at half the price. These are juicy and flavorful enough, they don't need the bacon blanket, though I did wrestle with it for a few moments. I decided to go with a more sensible route of a mustard coating since I was already going to stuff it with cheese.
1 Two pound pork rib roast
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese, I used a Willamette Valley Farmstead Fontina
2 tbsp Beechers Blank Slate with Honey
1 tbsp fig jam
1/4 tsp kosher salt
few turns of the pepper grinder
Make a horizontal cut through the middle of the roast, but do not cut through all the way out the other end. This will at least have one end well sealed so that the cheese does not ooze out when cooking. Mix the remaining ingredients together and stuff into the middle of the roast. Using a poultry needle and cooking twine, sew the cut end closed to help keep the cheese from spilling out.
For the glaze, mix together:
2 tbsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
several turns of the pepper grinder
Coat the roast with the mixture and place in the refrigerator for an hour or so. Remove roast from the refrigerator and bring to room temp before roasting.
Roast the pork in a 375f oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork, not the cheese portion, reads 145-155 depending on the doneness you like. Let rest for about 10 before slicing. I finished the plate with a drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar.
A little clean and simple endive salad makes a good accompaniment. Wash and dry endive leaves. Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and a little roquefort. Make a light dressing with grape seed oil, champagne vinegar, and just a touch of honey. Drizzle dressing on top.
Next time I will cut out a cavern into the pork to hold the cheese. The slit was not enough space once the pork got to cooking. The cheese oozed out nonetheless. But I just scooped it up and put it on top of each chop. Quite delicious actually. We loved all the components. Cavern next time, for sure!