Pork Loin with Spinach & Goat Cheese

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A sophisticated stuffing of creamy goat cheese, silky spinach, and lemony herbs give this lean and mighty pork loin 5-star flavor. Topped with apricot-infused sweet and sour sauce, we tip our hats to the slow cooker for coaxing out this degree of decadence. To achieve the coveted crisp-tender texture of the pork, we recommend browning it on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker. Once cooked, use a serrated knife to slice the pork with ease. Pair this divine main with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans or garlicky Brussels for a well-rounded meal that is sure to impress.

 

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add shallots, garlic, and thyme; cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until shallots are caramelized. Add spinach; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until wilted. Remove from heat.

Step 2

Combine goat cheese, chives, parsley, and lemon rind in a small bowl.

Step 3

Holding knife flat and parallel to cutting board, cut horizontally through the center of pork loin, cutting to, but not through, the other side. Open flat, as you would a book. Starting at the center seam, cut horizontally through each half, cutting to, but not through, the other side. Open flat on either side. Place pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet. Remove plastic wrap.

Step 4

Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread goat cheese mixture evenly over pork; top with the shallot mixture. Roll up pork jelly-roll fashion. Tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Step 5

Wipe pan clean. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add pork; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Place stuffed pork in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Step 6

Add apricot preserves, butter, and mustard to pan; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Pour over pork loin in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of pork registers 145°F. I cooked mine in the oven at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes and it was just great. 

Step 7

Place pork on a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes. Skim and discard fat from sauce in the slow cooker. Pour sauce into a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook 5 minutes, until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in vinegar.

Step 8

Remove and discard twine. Slice pork into 12 slices; serve with sauce.

Pork Loin with Spinach & Goat Cheese

Simple yummy meals

Simple greens are always wonderful for a Spring Dinner.  These were purchased from a local farmer at a Farmer’s Market this last weekend.  Add a little avocado (always good), some cherry tomatoes, and a few blueberries and you have a delicious salad.  I like the Italian way with dressing, but use Champagne Vinegar instead of Balsamic, as it is a little lighter.  I add a teaspoon or so of the best Olive Oil I can find.  Perfection with a little freshly grated Regiano Parmesano added on the top.

*Note:  I try to buy Regiano Parmesano that has the rind on two of the sides, as it has much more flavor closer to the rind. I grate it right before serving, so the flavor is fresher.  I keep the rind in the freezer and throw into soups for additional flavor, just pulling out what remains before I serve.  I noticed our local gourmet grocery store has started selling the rinds.

Tonights main course was a recipe I found in the newest edition of Skinny One Pan Dining.  Almond crusted Chicken with Fresh Spinach.  It was a delight!

Almond Chicken

A couple of tips.  Start the pan very hot, then lower temperature, so it does not burn, but is cooked all the way through.  I used Glutton Free Panko and put it with the Almonds and the Rosemary in my little blender, so they were all the same size.

Rosemary grows like a weed in the Pacific Northwest, so I have it several places in my garden and on my deck in my potted herb garden.  I just added another pot this weekend, so I could Dill and Mint.

Take it from me, do NOT plant mint in your yard, as it will take over your yard.  I did this one of my first houses and it took over the whole side of the house, sort of like bamboo, or Creeping Jenny.

Simple yummy meals