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Pork Loin Roast with Wild Rice and Apple Stuffing

Serves 6 to 8

This stuffed pork recipe is an easy, healthy and delicious main dish. It is equally appropriate for a family dinner, special occasion or entertaining.

Ingredients

   Stuffing    Roast and Sauce

For the stuffing, cook the rice with the bay leaf in the amount of salted water as specified on the package until just tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes (see notes below). Remove the bay leaf and set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onions; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sage, apples, juniper berries, cooked rice, salt and pepper. Toss well to combine. Add the port wine and increase heat to high. Cook until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Taste for seasoning. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)

For the roast, preheat oven to 375° F. Butterfly or spiral cut the pork to a 1/2-inch thickness. Pound until even. Place fat side down. Season with salt and pepper; rub with a little olive oil. Place about half of the stuffing on the surface and spread to within 1 inch of the edges. Roll the roast and secure with butcher's twine. Sprinkle additional salt and pepper on the outside and rub with more oil. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add the pork, fat side down first, and sear, about 2 minutes per side. Turn fat side up and place in oven. Put the remaining stuffing in a lightly greased 1-quart casserole. Cover and place in oven. Roast until the meat is cooked and the stuffing is hot, about 35 minutes. (The internal temperature of the roast should register about 150° F.) Place roast on cutting surface, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the roasting pan over high heat. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of pan. Add the mustard, honey and sage. Reduce for about 2 minutes. Lower heat to low. Add the butter and whisk just until the butter is incorporated. Slice the meat and place on individual serving plates. Place some extra stuffing on the side. Spoon some sauce over all. Serve immediately.

Notes: The wild rice I use is a long cooking variety. Check the package of the brand you purchase as some cook more quickly. Either way, wild rice, which is actually a grass, does not absorb water like regular rice. If there is extra liquid in the pan after cooking, strain the rice in a mesh strainer to remove it.