Hasselback Stuffed Pork Loin

The ‘hasselback’ style of cooking originated many years ago in Stockholm, Sweden. Overtime many variations have been made and are simply products and preferences of the individual preparing them. It is the slicing and roasting that distinguish the style rather than the variations on seasonings or toppings.

Today, I wanted to do a pork roast in this manner using some mushrooms and ‘pancetta‘. An Italian specialty, pancetta is made from pork belly that is spiced, salted and cured for about 3 months. Often seasoned with spices like fennel, nutmeg, garlic, dried ground hot peppers and peppercorns to create pancetta’s distinctive spicy flavor.

After it has been cured and dried for a few months, it is often rolled into a spiral so that the fat and meat form a cylinder, alternating each other. Pancetta is also sold as a slab so that most of the fat is located only on one side.

Although, both pancetta and North American streaky bacon are from the same raw cut of pork, in taste, texture and uses they have two key differences. Pancetta is cured, not cooked over heat while bacon is a smoked meat. Pancetta is described by the spices used to flavor and cure the meat whereas bacon’s many varieties are derived from the different wood pellets used to impart its signature smoky flavor.

This is such an easy way to make such a flavorful roast.

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Hasselback Stuffed Pork Loin
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Servings
Servings
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Rating: 5
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°
  2. In a medium frying pan add 2 tablespoons olive oil, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, parsley and garlic, sauté for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  3. Make approximately 6 x 1/2 inch slices in the pork loin, be sure to not slice right through, place 1 slice of pancetta between each slice and divide mushroom mixture between the 6 slices. Stick 3 long kabob sticks through the meat to hold the mixture in place.
  4. Drizzle a little oil on baking pan, Place stuffed pork on pan and sprinkle with more oregano, a little salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary.
  5. Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or meat thermometer reads 155-160° F. Let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Herbs de Provence Shrimp

If you are not familiar with ‘Herbs de Provence‘, it is a mixture of dried herbs considered typical of the Provence region in Southeastern France. This region is known for endless vineyards, olive groves and its vibrant, purple lavender fields. Lavender is the herb that adds a distinctive scent as well as working beautifully with the rest of the herbs (thyme, marjoram, savory, oregano & rosemary) that make up this blend.

Prior to the commercialization of the product in the 1970’s, the person responsible for bringing the French phrase into the vocabulary of cooks around the world was non other than Julia Child (American-turned-French chef), who included it in a recipe in her classic cookbook ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘.

This iconic French spice blend can easily elevate any number of meals. Like most spice blends, there is no set formula for the ideal Herbs de Provence. While it uses ingredients that are found in the North American creation known as ‘Italian Spice‘ (with the exception of basil), it also includes lavender flowers and has a strong floral taste.

Although I am using the individual herbs in this recipe, you can easily substitute with bottled, dried Herbs de Provence with no problem. They are readily available in the larger grocery stores. This makes such a great tasting meal …. well worth your time.

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Herbs de Provence Shrimp
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, fry chopped bacon until crisp, about 3 minutes; remove from pan & blot on a paper towel. Saute mushrooms, onion & garlic in bacon drippings until softened.
  2. Add peas, basil, lemon zest & 1 Tbsp oil. Season with salt & pepper.
  3. In a bowl, combine shrimp, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, lavender & remaining tablespoon of oil. Add shrimp mixture to saucepan; cook, turning once, until opaque throughout, about 2-3 minutes. Place in a dish & set aside to keep warm.
  4. In the saucepan, bring vegetable broth to a boil & add couscous. Cover saucepan & remove from heat; set aside until liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp mixture along with cooked bacon, lemon juice & tarragon. Gently stir together with a fork. Serve immediately.