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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Morrison

Roasting moist and juicy meats; Stuffed Pork Loin

The holidays are the perfect time to brush up on roasting skills. You can roast just about any large cut of meat in the oven. And it is perfect for feeding a crowd. All you do is prep it, pop it in the oven, and carve it up once it’s done. But it’s not always that simple. “Until it’s done” can mystify some folks.

There are many roasting guides on temperatures, times, and weights. The internal temperature of the meat determines doneness. Also, how well your oven holds or distributes heat can vary the cooking time. I like to start off roasting my meats and birds at high heat and then lower the oven heat and loosely cover my dish for the remainder of the cooking time. This will build consistency whether you are cooking in your kitchen or your mother’s.

I essentially oven sear my roasts to seal in the juices. Then loosely covering allows the roast to lightly steam in its own juices. It is the steam helping to cook and break down the meat fibers that bring more consistency in cooking times and heat distribution.

I first learned this method watching my grandmother roast turkeys in her avocado green kitchen in the seventies. Her turkeys were always juicy and full of flavor. I have used her method on rib roasts, chickens, briskets, hams, and pork tenderloins. They always come out crisp and browned on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.

I decided to take my pork tenderloin up a notch by stuffing it with my grandmother's rice dressing and wrapping it in thick-cut bacon. You can use a leftover dressing or whip up a fresh batch. The seasonings from the dressing infuse into the tenderloin making the meat extra scrumptious. And the bacon on top ensures that every bite is moist and tender. This is a great dish for any holiday throughout the year. This is a beautiful centerpiece to all of your dining favorites.

Rice Dressing

  • Turkey or chicken neck, liver, and gizzards

  • 1 pound lean ground beef

  • 1 pound sage breakfast sausage

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • ½ tsp. black pepper

  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ bunch green onions, sliced thin

  • 2 cups rice

  • 4 cups turkey stock

  • 2 tsp. Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning

Boil turkey neck, gizzards, and liver in 3-4 cups salted water for 30 minutes. Drain reserving 2 tbsp. stock and allow meats to cool. Remove meat from the neck. Combine neck meat, liver, gizzards, and the 2 tbsp. stock in the food processor. Pulse until smooth. In a large dutch oven, brown ground beef and sausage over medium-high heat. Do NOT drain. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne to season. Stir to combine. Stir in the sweet meat mixture from the food processor. Add yellow onion and bell pepper and continue sautéing until onions become clear. Add garlic, rice, and green onions. Continue stirring for 3-5 minutes until all liquids are absorbed. Stir in turkey stock and bring to a boil. Top with Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Lower the heat to a simmer and place the lid on the pot. Simmer covered for 35 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Remove lid and stir.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

  • 4-5 lb. pork tenderloin

  • 2 tbsp. Creole seasoning

  • 2 tsp. dried thyme

  • 16 oz. thick-cut bacon

  • 4 cups dressing

Preheat oven to 400. Butterfly pork tenderloin by slicing it in one inch of thickness like a jelly roll. Season both sides of the flattened tenderloin with thyme and creole seasoning. Rub in the seasonings. Spoon rice dressing down the center of the tenderloin. Wrap the edges of the tenderloin around the rice dressing. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Lay bacon slices across the tenderloin. Tuck the bacon ends under the tenderloin. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Loosely cover the baking dish with foil. Lower the oven heat to 300. Return covered baking dish to the oven. Bake an additional 2 hours. Remove from oven. Uncover and slice to serve.


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