Hazelnut Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Loin

 

Hazelnut Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Loin

All the Pacific Northwest fall flavors, toasted hazelnuts with rosemary in a deep fall pesto, of course mushrooms, and a crispy-succulent brined and grilled pork loin. Commence the drooling!
Keyword mushroom stuffed pork loin
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Brining Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 4
Author Ian Wickman

Ingredients

Brined Pork Loin

  • 1 each pork loin roast (mine was about 2 lbs of organic deliciousness)
  • 1 quart water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns

Toasted Hazelnut Pesto

  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Grilled Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Loin

  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced I used cremini
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1/4 cup sherry (Optional, for basting)

Instructions

Brined Pork Loin

  • Trim the thin layer of fat from the top of the pork loin and then butterfly it (lay it flat on a cutting board and cut most of the way through the middle parallel to the cutting board, it should be able to lay open like butterfly wings). It should now be able to lay flat and be about an inch thick.
  • In a bowl mix together the water, salt, brown sugar, and peppercorns. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
  • In a container that can be covered and refrigerated put the pork loin in and pour the brine mixture over top.
  • Cover and refrigerate, allowing to brine about 2 hours or up to about 12 (beyond that you will start to get more salt content than desired).

Toasted Hazelnut Pesto

  • In a skillet over medium/medium low heat toast the hazelnuts until they are starting to brown and smelling nice and roasted, stirring or shaking frequently. If the pan is too hot or you don't move them around they will burn.
  • Pour the toasted hazelnuts into your food processor and give it a whirl until it's more like a coarse meal. Add the chopped rosemary, minced garlic, and salt. Process again to combine thoroughly.
  • With the food processor running, slowly add oil until you have a thick paste (easier to spread inside the pork), if you're using the pesto for other purposes you can add a bit more oil and make it a normal pesto consistency.

Grilled Pesto and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Loin

  • Get your grill nice and hot, make sure you have a direct cooking area and an indirect cooking area (we're searing then cooking indirectly for the remainder).
  • If you haven't already, slice your mushrooms and remove your pork from the refrigerator and rinse quickly.
  • In a skillet over medium heat add butter and swirl to coat.
  • Add mushrooms and a little salt to the heated skillet and saut√© until mushrooms are cooked and have "released" their moisture, about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • On a clean working surface place the pork flat, smear the toasted hazelnut pesto over the entire surface and then cover with slices of mushrooms.
  • Roll into a log, there will be a swirl of the pesto and mushrooms. Sprinkle the outside with a bit more rosemary. Tie every inch or two with kitchen twine so that your pork loin stays together through the cooking.
  • Now transfer to the direct heat portion of your grill and sear each side for about 2 minutes each, it will pick up some nice browning and a bit of char over the whole exterior (about 8 minutes total).
  • Transfer to the indirect heat area of the grill and baste with a little sherry. Let cook, covered for 10 minutes, flip the pork loin and baste with a little more sherry. Repeat after another 10 minutes.
  • Cook until a thermometer on the thickest portion is at your desired temperature (145 - 160 degrees is the typical range). Remember that the temperature will continue to rise after removed from heat and rests for 5 - 10 minutes so don't overcook your meat!
  • Remove your tenderloin from the grill and let rest 5 - 10 minutes. Remove kitchen twine (or let each person remove their own) and slice into rounds. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Wow, this is such a delicious way to prepare a pork loin, and getting back to my Pacific Northwest roots with the fungi and hazelnuts! The brining helps with not overcooking or drying out the meat. Also, the toasted hazelnut pesto is going to be going on LOTS more things, so delicious!

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