Date Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

porkdatesMary

When our oldest son invited us to his apartment for dinner for his birthday celebration, we were expecting a nice dinner…but we weren’t expecting a spectacular dinner.

Here’s what you get when your kids see you entertain and cook and serve great food. I don’t mean to pat myself on the back here, but hey, I like to give myself a little credit where it’s due!  However, to give some credit to my son, he is certainly far surpassing me in cooking and entertaining. Lucky us, we get to be the fortunate recipients!

We arrived to a beautifully laid out cheese board with dates and grapes and a lovely variety of crackers. My son was talking about how one of his roommates had not returned with the shrimp while he busied himself with putting the finishing touches on his pork roast.

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The roommate suddenly appeared with the shrimp and before we knew it, we were each handed a small plate of rice pilaf with delicious sautéed spicy shrimp. It seemed magical in that it just appeared! I never even saw him cook it.

Dinner was this amazing pork loin roast, stuffed with dates, covered with an herb garlic crust. He spread broccoli florets around the pork toward the end of the roasting time, so as they cooked, they became flavored with the wonderful pork loin juices.

Additional vegetables, along with some potatoes, were oven roasted separately and served, completing a beautiful plate that was really scrumptious. The pork was divine, moist and rich, with the dates sweetening the meat and the crisp herb crust—just terrific!

Date Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

Ingredients

  • One 5 lb. pork loin roast
  • About 12 pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash and pat dry your roast.
Stand it on its end and cut an X down through the middle of the roast, coming at it from both ends with a long knife
Take a knife-sharpening stick or a long-handled wooden spoon (something long and round) and push it through the middle of your X from both ends to create a cavity.
Now push the dates in from both ends to fill the cavity.
Set the roast in a roasting pan, fat side up and score the fat.
Salt and pepper the roast all over.
Create a paste out of the thyme leaves, garlic and olive oil, and spread all over the top and sides of the roast, pushing it into the scored crevices.
Roast for about an hour, until an instant read thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let the roast rest for 15 minutes before slicing into thick ½-inch slices.

I am not convinced my dessert of vanilla pots stood up to his meal. Aren’t we the luckiest to have such a talented son? This meal serves about eight people with a generous portion.

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Mary Frances writes about food in her blog LOVE – the secret ingredient.

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