This is an eye-pleasing dish, taught to me by a Basque butcher in Bordeaux. It’s a lovely roast to make for guests, or when you have a bit of extra time to treat yourself.Kids and adults alike love the melty prunes (a native fruit of the Southwest) inside and the crunchy bacon outside (the Basques use a lot of bacon and charcuterie).
Please note that you will need some butcher’s string or cooking twine for this recipe. Tying is not necessary but it does hold the prunes and bacon in place and make for a pretty package!
You can also use boneless pork shoulder or ham (back leg) for this dish instead of pork loin.
Cooking Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- 2.2 pounds pork loin
- 1.5 pounds bacon
- 10 to 12 prunes
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
- Fleur de Sel, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 370˚F.
- Slice into the meat lengthwise, cutting it sandwich-style, almost to the edge, but leaving the two pieces attached.
- Line the inner edge of the open “sandwich” with a line of prunes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt along the line of prunes.
- Close up the “sandwich” of prune-stuffed meat.
- Place a piece of butcher’s string underneath the center of the meat and bring both ends to the top. Tighten the string around the meat and make a knot at the top of the meat.
- Use the string near both ends, if not along the entire length of the loin, tying off at every inch or two as well to hold the two halves and prunes in place.
- Place bacon strips side by side, crosswise, along the top of the meat. Use the butcher’s string again to secure the bacon to the meat.
- For added flavor and fat, pour half of the olive oil in a casserole dish the approximate size of the piece of pork, place the roast in the dish and pour the rest of the olive oil over the meat.
- Place your masterpiece into the oven and cook for about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Feel free to check the roast at 45 minutes, if you are unsure about the “doneness” of the center of the roast, which should reach about 170˚F.
- Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes (if you can resists) before carving into slices. Remove the strings before or after slicing and garnish the slices with coarse sea salt or fleur de sel.
Bonus French Wine Pairing Tip: For a regional pairing of food and wine, try a tannic, colorful and acidic red Madiran, a medium-bodied red Buzet, a pruney-noted Cahors, or a full-bodied, sweet red Banyuls, all from the French Southwest. A pinot noir from Burgundy or the Loire Valley, or a Syrah from the Rhône Valley will also do the trick.
The Bordeaux Kitchen is a forthcoming cookbook of ancestral French recipes. It serves as a guide to French culinary, butchery and wine traditions featuring beef, pork, lamb, poultry, seafood, and offal dishes, paired with wines. The Bordeaux Kitchen recipes have been selected to promote better health through high nutrient-density, healthy fats, and compatibility with a Primal-Paleo-Ancestral diet and lifestyle. Look for the book in Spring of 2018!