What is the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin?
The may sound similar but they are different cuts of pork. Tenderloin is a long, narrow, boneless and fatless cut of meat. Loin is flatter and wider, and may be boneless or bone-in.
Can pork tenderloin be substituted for pork loin?
I really wouldn’t recommend substituting. The ideal loin should have a thin layer of fat on one side (which tenderloin does not have). When the pork goes into the oven, it is positioned so that the surface with the fat is on top. As it melts, the fat will drip into the lean meat to help keep it moist. It will also give the rolled pork loin better color because fat browns better than lean meat.
What loin should you look for in the grocery? You may use blade loin, center loin or sirloin. I leave it to you to choose which kind of loin to use.
How do you cut a pork loin for stuffing?
There are two steps. First, you butterfly the meat and then you pound it until the thickness is uniform. The process is described in detail in the recipe below.
Bacon-stuffed pork loin
- 1 kilogram pork loin - preferably blade loin or center loin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil - finely chopped
- 200 grams belly bacon - chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup cooking oil
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Rinse the pork loin and dry with a kitchen towel.
- Lay the pork loin flat with one long side on your right (or left if you're left-handed). While lightly pressing the top with one hand, cut the pork horizontally in the middle without going all the way through. Just like splitting a bun.
- Turn the pork loin so that the cut side is on your right (or left if you’re left handed). Again pressing the top lightly with one hand, cut through the upper half horizontally (going in the opposite direction of the first cut) again without going all the way through. Do the same with the lower half.
- Pull the pork loin open. You should now have a larger but thinner slab of pork. Place a sheet of cling film over it. Pound with a mallet so that the meat is of uniform thickness. Somewhere between a quarter to half an inch thick is good.
- Discard the cling film. Rub the salt and pepper all over the surface of the pork (not on the underside though).
- Mix together the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, minced garlic and oregano. Spread on the pork.
- Starting with one long end of the meat, roll it away from you as tightly as you can until the filling is enclosed.
- Take a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the rolled pork in it.
- Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan. Drop in the foil-wrapped rolled pork and sear on all sides.
- Unwrap the rolled pork and transfer to a rack positioned over a baking pan. If you seared the meat sufficiently, it will not unroll when unwrapped. Bake at 400F for about 45 minutes.
- Take the bacon-stuffed rolled pork out of the oven. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 15 minutes.
- Slice the rolled pork into half-inch rings and serve with your favorite salad.