Roast Pork Loin with Herbs and Cream Cheese
Suggested Pairing: 2015 Lazy River Vineyard Pinot Noir
This is a delicious savory dish that is perfect for a special occasion dinner, or just a family Sunday evening. Often times people stuff a pork roast with dried fruits, which is also good. But I was intrigued when I saw this recipe in Small Victories by Julia Thurshen and I’m so glad I gave it a try. I love the herby creaminess with the pork. Don’t be intimidated at the thought of butterflying the roast - it’s really quite easy.
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup fresh Italian Parsley leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 pound pork loin
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine or chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 400.
With the food processor running, drop the garlic cloves into the feed tube and process until finely chopped. Add the herbs and process until everything is finely chopped. Add the cream cheese, a couple of good pinches of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Process until everything is well incorporated. Set the mixture aside.
Butterfly the roast. Rest the narrow side of the roast on the cutting board. Hold the roast perpendicular from the board and cut in half almost all the way through letting the now two sides of the roast to spread open. When you get to about an inch of meat left, stop. You should be able to lay the roast open like a book now and the meat will be virtually flat.
With the roast open, season the newly exposed side of the pork generously with salt. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the open side of the pork, using your hands or a spatula. Starting from a short side, roll the pork up tightly so that it resembles its old self, this time with the cream cheese spiraled throughout. Tie the roast up with kitchen string, spacing the string about in inch apart until the roast is compact and secure. (This is a little messy, but not to worry, it’ll taste delicious!)
Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a roasting or baking dish, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper. Pour the wine in the pan around the pork. Roast the pork until it is nicely browned, about an hour to an hour and a half. A thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast should read 145 degrees. Transfer to a cutting board and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Cut off the string and slice the pork about 1 inch thick. Arrange on a serving planner and spoon over some of the pan juices.