UNQUIET MEALS MAKE ill digestions. - William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors
Do you ever get tired of the same-old same old? We have been suffering from the mealtime blahs at our house - feeling uninspired in the kitchen, none of our standby favorites sounding good lately. Maybe it's the change of season? When this happens it helps to fetch out the cookbooks and look for something interesting and new.
The whole family joined in the search for inspired eats and we agreed on a few dishes in a book of recipes from Shakespeare's time, Shakespeare's Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook by Francine Segan. We had fun all crammed together in our tiny kitchen, searching for new - old - recipes and found a pork roast stuffed with herbs and fruits. Though bacon adds a little richness, the herbs and fruits make it fresh and surprisingly lighter than it ought to be, hence most perfect for spring.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Butterfly the pork loin (see photo below) and use a meat pounder to flatten it out a bit. Put it in a baking dish large enough that it can lay open.
Combine the fruit, herbs, pepper and salt in a large bowl except for the rosemary sprigs. Spread the mixture evenly inside the loin, leaving a little space along the outside edges. Carefully fold the loin closed and use either lengths of kitchen twine or toothpicks to hold it closed. Drape the bacon strips over the top of the loin and hold it in place by using the rosemary sprigs to tack the bacon down.
Place the loin in the oven at 450 degrees for 12- 15 minutes or until the bacon just begins to get the slightest bit crispy, then turn the temperature down to 350 and cook the loin for about an hour. It is best to use a meat thermometer and begin checking the roast at around 45 minutes. Check it every 5-10 minutes until the temperature at the middle of the meat (careful not to pierce through to the filling) is 140 degrees. Remove the loin from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Remove the twine pieces or toothpicks before slicing. Enjoy!