Saturday, March 28, 2015

Quinoa Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bourbon Honey Glaze ~The Kitchen Witch ~ Recipes for Entertaining

With Easter just around the corner I wanted to come up with a new recipe that would be fresher and lighter tasting than our classic meal of ham and scalloped potatoes. This year I've got 8 people coming to dinner and the entire evening promises to be a lot of fun - mostly because I plan to keep things very casual.

I love to gather people around my large island table and serve them cocktails, and small bites as I cook - but I never want to be cooking anything too complicated while I entertain because that defeats the purpose of being relaxed and having a good time with guests. That's why a dish like today's stuffed pork is perfect because it can be entirely made ahead and then just popped into the oven 90 minutes prior to dinner.

Served over a bed of sauteed spinach with a to die for Bourbon and Honey reduction, the only other thing you'll need on the table is your favourite wine, and a beautiful loaf of bread.

 I like to do a final touch with the bread by making an olive butter.

Here's a link to the olive butter recipe I make (also to die for): Olive Butter - Living Tastefully

Visit the printable recipe here: Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bourbon and Honey Glaze

Learn to make this yourself with my easy to follow step by step video.

Prep Time: 24 hours to brine, 45 minutes to stuff and roll
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Serves: 8

Stuffing Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened orange juice
  • 1/2 cup tinned mandarin orange slices, well drained
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
Brine Ingredients
(Original brine recipe from Nob Hill Foods)

  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup kosher or sea salt 
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pure liquid honey
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp coarse pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • leaves from 2 large stems fresh rosemary
  • 1, 3-5 pound boneless pork loin
Immerse the salt in the boiling water to soften and begin to dissolve. Mix all of the ingredients along with the salt water in a large, resealable, freezer bag. Add the loin, seal, refrigerate 24 hours.

Roast Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp each dry thyme, rosemary
Bourbon and Honey Reduction
(Adapted from Fine Cooking)

  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 clove minced garlic
Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about one-third, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

Directions for Stuffing and Roasting
  1. Bring the dry quinoa to the boil in the orange juice and water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  2. Drain a small tin of mandarin orange segments and toast a half cup of pine nuts over medium high in a non stick pan until golden. Add to the cooked quinoa along with 1/2 tsp of zest from a fresh orange. 
  3. After the roast has brined 24 hours, rinse it well under cold water and then pat dry with paper towels. 
  4.  Take the roast and cut it in half, opening it like a book. Make vertical slits into the meat to create more surface area (as per the video) Cover with plastic wrap and using a meat mallet or a rolling pin pound out so that the roast is about a half inch in thickness. 
  5. Lay the roast fat side down, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with half the garlic powder and dried herbs.
  6. Spread an even layer of the quinoa stuffing onto the flattened roast, roll, and tie (as per the video)
  7. Brush with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with the rest of the garlic and dried herbs, and pack a little more of the stuffing into the ends.
  8. Place on a roasting rack in a pre-heated 450 oven for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 325. Roast for 60-90 more minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145-165. (I prefer mine at 165)
  9. Let rest for 10-20 minutes. Carve into 1/2 inch slices and serve on a bed of sauteed spinach with the bourbon and honey reduction spooned over all.


Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  

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