Fancy dinners don’t need to be complicated, and they shouldn’t require kitchen slavery. Take a pork roulade recipe – when roasted to a perfect doneness that’s golden brown and delicious it gives an air of extravagance. But this Sunday dinner only takes 15 minutes tops to prepare. And it’s so easy a husband can cook it (mine did). As long as he knows the simple slice, stuff and roll…
The secret to creating rolling room is to first butterfly the pork or beef loin (or tenderloin) lengthwise, with long, smooth gentle strokes of your best knife.
To achieve the most surface area, take out your frustrations on the meat by sprinkling a little water over it, covering it with plastic wrap and pounding away in firm, circular motions using a mallet or heavy-bottomed pan.
The stuffing ingredients can be anything; cured ham and cheese for the classic cordon bleu, minced mushrooms and rosemary, or this version – olive tapenade and baby spinach with fresh-ground black pepper and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. Even sounds fancy, right?
The last step is to tightly roll, then tie up the meat with butcher’s twine. No complicated technique required, good ol’ knots spaced an inch or so apart serve the purpose just fine.
Then season the pork, sip a little wine while it roasts, rest the meat and slice. For a side dish, try creamed greens, another quick and easy winner for a simple yet glamourous dinner that’s also therapeutic (all the pounding). My kind of meal, especially on Sunday.
- 1 pork loin (or tenderloin)
- Olive tapenade (found in jars at most grocery markets)
- Baby spinach
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
- Butcher’s twine
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- On a clean surface with a sharp knife, slice loin open horizontally to achieve one large, flat piece of meat. Sprinkle with a few drops of water, cover with plastic wrap and pound to ¼-inch thickness.
- Sprinkle inside of loin with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Spread olive tapenade leaving an half-inch border. Lay baby spinach leaves over tapenade.
- Roll loin tightly, long end to long end, and secure with twine, tucking in the ends to prevent filling from spilling out.
- Season outside of roll generously with salt and pepper. Roast at 450° F until the meat is a nice golden brown, then reduce heat to 325° F and cook until pork reaches an internal temperature* of 160° F (if you like pork medium, take it out of the oven at 155° F).
- Let the meat rest covered loosely with foil for 10 minutes. Slice into inch-thick pieces, and serve drizzled with olive oil.