By MITCH LYNCH for HOMEPLATE HOMESTYLE
1 boned pork loin
1 large butternut squash (skinned and cut into 1/4 by 3/4 inch sticks)
1 bunch of Swiss chard
salt and black pepper
2 feet butcher’s twine
FOR THE BRINE
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sea salt (if possible. Kosher also works well.)
1 quart water
3 whole sage leaves
1 sprig of thyme
3 bay leaves
Cut the pork loin into two equal portions and place in a container overnight (9-12 hours). Rinse off the pork and discard brine. Take one piece of pork and butterfly (lengthwise cut into the middle of the meat from the side to 1/2 inch from the other side) and lay the whole piece open like a sheet of paper. Add salt and pepper. Blanch the Swiss chard in boiling water just enough to wilt the large leaves. (You may need three large leaves to cover all but an inch from the edge. You also may need to cut the large spines out of the Swiss chard as they can be tough.)
Lay your butternut squash sticks end to end down the center of the chard (three to four in a bunch). Wrap the chard around the squash, lightly salt and pepper, and fold the meat around the chard and squash. Now, working one end to the other, tie a loop around the top and tie all the way down. Remember to tie off both ends. Repeat with the other piece.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lay the fat side of the roast up in the pan. The roast should take about 15 minutes per pound of meat, or approximately three to four hours for traditional 185-degree roast. Brining will give the meat a pinker hue and you are safe at 165 and up. I like to remove the roast at 165 and let it settle on the table. By allowing the roast to rest, you will find it slices nicely and gives you amazing color. The pan drippings may be saved and used for a pan gravy.
Each roast yields approximately 15 portions.
ABOUT MITCH LYNCH – “Homeplate” host Mitch Lynch is owner of Friends Roastery in Salem, Ohio. Mitch was trained by European pastry chefs and brings decades of experience and know-how to “Homeplate” each week. Visit http://www.metromonthly.net for more of Mitch’s recipes.
© 2011 The Metro Monthly. All rights reserved.
Editor’s note: The following video contains segments demonstrating how to make roast pork loin, German potato salad and German red cabbage.