Jazz up your Sunday roast with this stuffed pork loin recipe. Although the consumption of pork is not common in Morrocco due to religious restrictions, the distinct flavours used in Morrocan cuisine work really well with pork. Spicy harissa teamed with sweet dried fruits and fragrant coriander is a combination to die for. Add in a studding of pistachios for texture and it’s a real winner!
This is a recipe I got from my mum and I’ve tweaked it just a little bit.
As with all my roasts these days, I used my charcoal kettle BBQ but it’s not essential. If you do have a BBQ I would highly recommend using it however.
Set up the BBQ for even indirect roasting (equal amount of lit coals on each side of the charcoal grate, drip tray in the middle) at a temperature of between 180-190˚c. If using an oven preheat it to 230˚C to begin with.
2kg boneless pork loin joint
1 jar of harissa paste, about 90g
1 large bunch of fresh coriander
80g dried apricots, sliced
100g prunes, sliced
50g shelled pistachios, chopped
Salt & pepper
To butterfly (or technically roll cut) your pork loin, take a sharp knife and place the joint on a cutting board with the short side facing you. Remove any string that may already be tied around the joint and discard it. Holding the knife parallel to the work surface, and beginning along one long side, cut about 1/2″ above the underside of roast. Continue slicing inward along it’s length, pulling back the meat with your free hand and unrolling the roast like a carpet. It should look something like the picture below when you’ve finished. If my explanation isn’t that clear, there are loads of videos on YouTube demonstrating how to do this.
Next, spread the harissa over the unfolded loin, then arrange the coriander over it, stalks and all. Finally sprinkle over the apricots, prunes and pistachios as evenly as possible and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Now roll the loin back up snugly, but not too tightly that you squeeze all the stuffing out. Take your butchers string and begin to tie it up. Start in the middle and then at each end, this way your stuffing should stay put. Don’t worry if a bit of harissa leaks out, it’ll not affect the finished dish. I just tied regular knots in the string, but if you can tie a butchers knot feel free (I need more practice).
Once tied, rub the meat with a drizzle of olive oil and season the outside of the meat generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. If using your oven, place the pork on a rack in a roasting tray, or place a drip tray beneath if using the BBQ. You want to retain the meat juices.
Roast in the oven for 30 minutes at 230˚C, thereafter reduce the temperature to 180˚C for a further hour and a quarter or until the internal temperature of the joint reaches 60˚C.
If using the BBQ, sear the rolled joint on all sides over direct heat to get some nice colour on the outside of the meat. Move to the indirect area of the cooking grate and roast for a further hour and a quarter and begin testing the internal temperature, aiming for 60˚c as above.
Allow the meat to rest for at least 15 minutes. To make a simple gravy, skim the majority of the fat from the meat juices and pour them into a saucepan. Whisk in 2 tbsp of flour followed by a small glass of red wine (optional), reduce by half before adding 600ml of pork or chicken stock and 1 tbsp of redcurrant jelly. Simmer until thickened and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
I served the pork with simple roasted vegetables.