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Apple-Raisin Stuffed Pork Loin with Natural Pan Jus
Recipe courtesy of the Blue Team (Mike, Jake, Lee, Tracy, Tony, Sheetal)
Get this recipe and more with the official MasterChef Cookbook
When the 12 remaining contestants were divided into two teams to cook for the Marines at Camp Pendleton military base, the challenge was daunting: Each team had to prepare a memorable meal for 400 Marines about to depart for active duty, as well as for the families they would soon be leaving. As Blue Team member Jake said, "We literally have an army to feed! And we can't let down our nation's greatest."
The Blue Team's hearty and heartfelt dish satisfied the Marines and secured a most gratifying win for the team members.
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- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 (4-pound) pork loin
- 1/2 cup chicken broth - homemade or quality store-bought
Heat the wine in a small pot or microwave until hot. Pour over the raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit and plump up for 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Coat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of the oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and apple. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until the onion and apple begin to soften. Add the almonds and garlic. Continue to cook, tossing, for 3 minutes, or until the almonds are lightly toasted and the garlic is fragrant. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. No need to wipe out the skillet, it will be used again to sear the pork.
Drain the wine from the raisins and reserve. Mix the macerated raisins, parsley, and basil into the apple mixture. Season again with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and set the stuffing aside.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pork loin lengthwise down the middle and open it up flat like a book. Season the surface of the pork loin generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Evenly distribute the apple mixture inside the pork and pat down.
Push the loin back together to close up the stuffing. Cut kitchen twine into 6 (12-inch) pieces. Tie the roast securely with the twine but not so tight that you squeeze out the stuffing. Season all over with salt and pepper. The pork loin may be stuffed and tied a day in advance, if desired. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, lay the tenderloin in the pan and sear on both sides for 2 minutes each to form a crust.
Set the pork loin in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F.
Remove the pork loin to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Put the roasting pan on two burners over medium heat. Add the reserved wine from the raisins, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Stir in the broth and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Pour the pan sauce from the roasting pan into a gravy boat.
To serve, cut off the kitchen twine and cut the pork into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the jus on the side.