Roast Loin of Pork with Fig Preserves

Fall is here and that can mean but one thing: break out the roasting pans! That’s right. No more excuses like, “It’s too hot!” or “The meal’s too heavy!” No sir-ee, Bob! It’s time to choose your weapon (beef, fowl, pork, or veal), set the oven temperature (low, medium, high, or roar), and prepare yourself for a feast. Lest anyone think that this party is reserved for carnivores alone, however, let me assure every vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian that roasting does wonders for the foods in your diets, as well. In due time, we’ll get to a few of those recipes, too.

Some of you may recall a discussion in the comments section of the post detailing the making of strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. The consensus was that the jam would “work” with pork or veal roasts. A few weeks later, I made some fig preserves, also with balsamic and black pepper, and the idea of using it with pork was never far from my thoughts. In fact, the very next weekend, I purchased a pork loin and I was off and running.

That first roast was an end piece of the loin and, because of that, it was a little tapered. Once it was brined and coated with fig preserves, it had to be re-folded just as it had been butterflied. I used sliced pancetta on the top of the roast and placed it in a roasting pan with some potatoes. This did not work out so well. Once heated, the preserves leaked out of the roast and any potatoes that were near the preserves burned. The roast was very tasty but the potatoes a disappointment, to say the least. Enter roast no. 2

A couple of weeks later, as luck would have it, there was a sale on whole pork loins. Count me in! This time, I asked the my friend, the butcher, to do the butterflying for me, using the loin’s center cut. Once home, it was brined and slathered with fig preserves but this time, the roast was thick enough so that it could be rolled, as one would a jelly roll. After that, I covered it completely with sliced pancetta. The overall effect was to limit the amount of preserves that leaked into the roasting tray. Still, I didn’t want to take any chances. The potatoes were roasted separately and I added liquid to the roasting pan, eventually making a sauce out of the drippings and any “escaped” preserves. This is the method used in today’s post.

Before sharing the recipe, a few things need mentioning. The amount of salt and sugar used in this brine is exactly half what I would normally use, the reason being that the roast was already butterflied. Since it was going to be in the solution overnight, I didn’t want to risk it being over-brined. It is better to be under-brined, trust me. (See Notes.) When roasting, remember that brined meats cook more quickly. Other than that, roasting times will depend upon the size and cut of meat. I used the loin’s center cut. It weighed about 4 lbs. (1.8 kg) and was finished roasting in under an hour.  (An instant read thermometer is your friend.) The FDA’s guidelines no longer require pork to be cooked to 165˚ as it once did. Today, pork roasts are considered safe if cooked to a temperature of 145˚. No matter the temperature you prefer your roast, remember it will raise a few degrees while the roast rests after being pulled from the oven.

I’ve not listed the amounts of the spices required for they, too, will depend upon the roast’s size, as well as the amount of potatoes you’ll be preparing. Just make sure to make enough of the olive oil & herb marinade to cover the roast and the potatoes. You’ll note that I only added garlic to the reserved marinade that was used on the potatoes. I just didn’t feel that garlic would go well with the fig preserves in the roast or the sauce. And lastly, some pancetta is more salty than others. Take this into account when seasoning the pork roast.

 *     *     *

Roast Loin of Pork with Fig Preserves Recipe

Ingredients

for the brine

  • ½ tbsp table salt per cup of liquid used. If using kosher salt, ¾ tbsp per cup of liquid.
  • ¼ tbsp (brown) sugar per cup of liquid used.
  • 1 pint (16 0z, 473 ml) apple cider

for the roast

  • 1 pork loin, butterflied in thirds (see images below)
  • ½ to 1 cup fig preserves with balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ lb (112 g) pancetta, thinly sliced
  • rosemary, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut into equally sized chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced or grated
  • water, white wine, and stock (vegetable or chicken)

Directions

The Night Before 

Click to enlarge

  1. Carefully butterfly the pork loin 3 ways. Your butcher will do this for you.  Otherwise:
    1. Divide the roast’s thickness into thirds. The first cut will be ⅓ of the way down from the top. Be careful not to cut through the meat. The object is to create a flap not a separate piece
    2. Use your knife to cut the thicker portion in half, again creating a flap and not separate pieces. (Click image on left to see how it is done.)
  2. Following the guidelines, mix enough of a brining solution to ensure that the roast is completely immersed. Select a large enough non-reactive pot, bowl, or sealable bag to make this possible. If need be, place a plate on top of the roast to keep it submerged. Place everything in the refrigerator.
  3. Do not brine longer than 8 hours.

That Morning

  1. Combine enough olive oil, rosemary, salt & pepper to coat both the roast’s exterior  and the potatoes. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Remove the pork from the brine, rinse it under tap water, and pat dry.
  3. Open the roast and use the fig preserves to fully coat its inside.
  4. Close/roll the roast, cover with marinade, and set aside.
  5. On a clean work surface, spread a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to fully encase the rolled roast.
  6. On top of the plastic wrap, place 4 or 5 pieces of butcher’s twine that are long enough to tie the roast.
  7. Place the pancetta pieces atop the twine, making one large sheet. Use a pastry brush to coat the pancetta with the marinade.
  8. Place the roast onto the pancetta and roll it, as you would a jelly roll, to completely cover it in pancetta. Tie the twine to secure the roast.
  9. Coat the roast with olive oil before wrapping it in the plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before the roasting is to begin. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, preferably several.

To Roast

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚ F (204˚ C)
  2. 30 minutes before you start to roast the pork loin, remove the meat from the fridge and set aside.
  3. Place potatoes in a large bowl, add reserved marinade, add garlic, and mix until well-coated. Place in a roasting dish/pan.
  4. Unwrap the pork loin and place it on a rack in the center of the roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. (See Notes.)
  5. Place pork roast in the center of the oven.
  6. 15 minutes later place the potatoes on the same rack or above. Check the pork’s pan drippings and augment with stock and/or wine, if necessary. Repeat every 10 to 15 minutes, as needed. Do not allow to dry completely.
  7. After 20 minutes, use a large spoon to rearrange the potatoes.
  8. Roasting time will vary depending upon the size and cut of your roast. Begin checking the temperature of a 4 lb. roast after 45 minutes. For medium rare, a temperature of 145˚F (63˚ C) is required. Remember, the roast will continue to cook as it rests.
  9. When the desired temperature is achieved, remove the roast, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  10. If potatoes are roasted to you liking, remove and tent to keep warm.
  11. If desired, strain the pan’s juices, separate the grease, and
    1. serve as-is
    2. heat in a pan over med-high heat to reduce
    3. use a couple tbsp of the grease with an equal amount of flour to make a roux. To that roux, add the separated pan juices and additional wine or stock, as needed to make a gravy.
  12. Check for seasonings.
  13. After the roast has rested, remove the strings, slice, and serve immediately with the potatoes and sauce.

*     *     *

Notes

The brining ingredients as listed take into account that the roast was butterflied before it was brined. If you decide to butterfly it after brining you’ll need to double the amounts of sugar and salt used. That’s simply because a whole roast has less surface area than one that’s been butterflied.

No matter how you “wrap” the roast, a little — or a lot — of the fig preserves are going to spill into the roasting pan. Because of their high sugar content, the preserves will burn pretty quickly once they hit the hot pan. With a little care, however, they can help make a great sauce. The key is to make sure the roasting pan never dries completely. Here I started with a cup of water since its purpose was to keep any preserves from burning. As the roasting progressed, I switched to a combination of wine (California Riesling) and stock, ensuring a more flavorful sauce.

*     *     *

It’s déjà vu all over again …

According to one of our more celebrated Italian chefs, snails, lumache, are served traditionally on All Souls Day in Le Marche. Since Friday is All Souls Day, this is the perfect time to review my family’s recipe for preparing the little devils — and you’ll still have 2 days left to go out and buy/capture some for your dinner. You can see the recipe by clicking HERE. Happy hunting!

*     *     *

Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Pan-Seared Salmon with Dill Sauce

 *     *     *

 

Advertisements

126 thoughts on “Roast Loin of Pork with Fig Preserves

  1. I wish I was coming over for dinner. That roast looks so delicious. I’m going to try this. I’ve never brined anything before but I happy to tackle new tasks. I will let you know how this works out! xx

    Like

    • Thanks, Charlie. I started brining my Thanksgiving turkey about 10 years ago. It really does give the meat a lot of flavor and keeps it moist. Since then, I’ve expanded to include chickens and pork but it certainly isn’t necessary to brine this roast. Either way, there’s plenty of flavor to go around. 🙂

      Like

  2. ‘Roast loin of pork’ sounds so boring and you bring it to life! Living alonesome at the moment I may not consider the piece, BUT . . .the fig preserves undoubtedly make the recipe An interesting food challenge 🙂 !!

    Like

    • Thank, Eha. I do know what you mean about “living alonesome.” If it weren’t for the purposes of this blog, I wouldn’t be making many of these recipes, especially the roasts. On the other hand, it’s nice having an excuse to make them without all of the work that hosting a dinner party entails. And a slice o pork roast makes a very good sandwich for lunch the following day. 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks, Roger. It was a cloudy afternoon that day and I had to move my kitchen to the back porch to take advantage of what little light there was. Between the intermittent wind and a persistent dog, I’m surprised that roast ever got into the oven, let alone that pictures were snapped beforehand. 🙂
      I hope your son enjoys this roast as much as I do.

      Like

  3. With all that flavour in the sauce and the pancetta I wonder why brining is necessary. I’ve never done it but have heard good things. Does the pork shrink as much as the “plumped” pork you get from the less expensive grocers? I had some fig preserves in the fridge before the blackout, sadly I think it may be toast since we haven’t had power for more than 24 hours. Ugh, all that wasted food. I’ll be cleaning out the freezer tonight!

    Like

    • Such a shame, Eva! Even if you cook up a storm during the next day, you still cannot store it anywhere. I know. I once went without power for a week. I hope you get your power back before the day is out.
      When I brine a turkey, I use far more spices than I did here for this pork roast. You’re right. The preparation here is flavorful enough for the roast. Brining, also, helps keep the roast moist and that’s primarily why I did it here. Of course, there’s no need to do it and, if you don’t, the prep time – and mess — is reduced considerably –something I think about frequently when I’m trying to find room in my refrigerator for the roast & brine.

      Like

    • Thanks, April. Well, it’s not often that I post a GF & DF recipe but I sure am glad when I do. Since making this roast, I’ve been considering other ‘stuffings.’ After all, I won’t always have fig preserves on hand. I’m sure strawberry jam would work, as well as spiced apples. I may even try tart cherry jam next year, once I make some. 🙂

      Like

  4. I would love nothing better than being a guest at your home with a main dish like this! Elegant, delicious, I am very fond of pork made this way. A little labor intensive, but not that bad, right?

    Like

    • And you’d be more than welcome, Sally! This is a little labor intensive but you can speed things up a bit by skipping the brining. I like to brine my pork and poultry because it makes them so much more moist but it’s not necessary. Seasoning, wrapping the roast in plastic, and letting it sit for a couple hours does plenty to insure a flavorful piece of meat. Of course, the pancetta doesn’t hurt either.

      Like

  5. You are a jelly roll, roast genius! Oh my gosh, this looks extraordinary! The color of the jam baked into the pork is exquisite. I am salivating and it’s only 8:30a.m!!! I’ve never brined meat, but with the holidays right around the corner, I think I’m going to have to give this a try! I need to find a butcher friend too!

    Like

    • Thank you, Tanya. This is a very simple brine because I didn’t want to interfere with the preserves’ flavoring. When I brine a turkey, I use star anise, bay leaves, a couple cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and whatever else strikes my fancy, as well as the salt, sugar, and apple cider. The result is a very flavorful, moist bird — and a hassle trying to store it overnight the day before Thanksgiving.
      I’ve “made friends” with the butcher(s) in each store I frequent. They can be so helpful, even alerting me of upcoming sales. A couple of them are probably reading this comment. 🙂

      Like

  6. That does look delicious. But, being a singleton, it’s too much for little ole svelte me…HA! But still, it looks great!

    Like

    • Thank you for commenting. I agree and really enjoy the flavor that pancetta brings to a dish, especially roasts.
      Just to make sure there’s no misunderstanding, I add apple cider and not apple cider vinegar to this roast. However, now that you mention it, that might not be such a bad idea. And I just so happen to have a couple pork loins in the freezer and plenty of fig preserves. Hmmm …

      Like

      • Oops. Reading too quickly again. I like the idea of apple cider much better than cider vinegar — or perhaps just a bit of cider vinegar mixed in. Otherwise, you might end up with pork ceviche 🙂 But it would be fun to experiment.

        Like

        • That’s my thoughts, too. I wouldn’t replace all of the cider with vinegar but a little wouldn’t hurt at all. Time to don my lab coat and get back into the kitchen. 🙂

          Like

  7. I’ve never tried to brine anything before, so I sure appreciate this tutorial. I really love this kind of cooking too, it’s so relaxing and comforting to me. I’d love to just stop the whole photography thing and do this kind of cooking every day.

    My challenge for this dish will be, not just to achieve the proper brine (not to over brine), but to make mine look as beautiful as yours. John, your food is gorgeous! I know this will be delicious. Added to the list! And again, Hubby thanks you. Me too!

    Like

    • Brining is easy, Sarah, and this one is very simple. I get much more creative with the brine used for my Thanksgiving turkey. And remember, you don’t have to brine this roast. With the preserves, marinade, and pancetta, there’s plenty of flavor in this roast. I brine mine not so much for the enhanced flavor but to make the roast more moist. The choice is yours.
      Your roast will look every bit as good as this one, if not better. You’ll have your Hubster there to help and you won’t be taking photos. I had Max circling my legs, hoping that the roast would roll an inch to far and go onto the floor. Besides, it’s pork wrapped in pancetta. One taste and no one will care what it looks like. 🙂

      Like

    • This is all your fault! 🙂 It was your post about making fig jam that inspired me to try my hand at making fig jam. So, thank you for this roast! I couldn’t have done it without you!

      Like

  8. confessions of a pescatarian: I won’t be clipping this recipe, but honestly John this is one of the most beautifully prepared roasts I’ve ever seen. The care you took with it, the brining, the pancetta wrap, your incredible figgy preserves and the herbs and spices you chose, just really Beautifully (impressively) done!

    Like

    • That’s very kind of you to say, Spree, you pescatarian, you! I’ve a few friends like you who no longer eat meat but they’ll let me know when a meat dish I’ve prepared has hit a nerve. This roast is one of them. 🙂
      I’ve got some fish dishes planned for the future, thanks to my newfound fishmongers. Stay tuned …

      Like

  9. Ya buddy…I’m pretty sure that you made this just for me. And if you didn’t this will be one of the dishes we feast on when Liz and I get back to Chicago. Man oh man!! ….though is that a Green Bay Packers “G” that I see in the opening image? Shame on you Mr. Bear.

    Like

  10. My family is sometimes a challenge when it comes to special meals. About half of us aren’t too big on meat, and the other half just can’t get enough. The big meat eaters sometimes get short shrift, as the vegetarian-types are the cooks! I frequently try to do something special for my son and son-in-law, in particular. This would be such a perfect holiday gift of a meal for them. And I think some of the lesser meat eating crowd would be tempted, too! There are at least six guys who might send you a holiday thank you card! 🙂 I don’t think I’m “in” for the snails, though. Salmon is great!

    Like

    • Thank you, Debra, that’s very nice of you to say — about the roast, not the snails. 🙂
      My family often served a pork roast, porchetta, on the holidays. Of course, there was also a platter of ravioli to go with it. Not eat meat? I think my parents would have wondered where they went wrong. My brother liked his beef cooked well-done. My Dad never did approve.
      Granted, snails aren’t for everyone and I certainly don’t prepare them often. Still, if some future Bartolini ever wonders how to fix a plate of snails, they need look no further than this blog. 🙂

      Like

  11. Oh sweet heavens, this looks divine, John! Pork ROLLED in pancetta?!?! I am so ready for hearty, fall meals like this. I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for pork loins on sale, so then I can make this. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Caroline. Pork loin was on sale again this past weekend. I considered buying another but I still have 2/3 of the last one. At this rate, I’ll run out of fig preserves before I do pork! 🙂

      Like

  12. What a delicious and lovely combination. If I going to go through all that trouble with brining, I would most likely double the recipe and cook for the freezer. Trying to figure out how many meal-size portions i would get.

    Like

    • Thanks, Norma, and that’s a great idea. I love a good sandwich, so, what I didn’t serve sliced with my meal, I used in my lunch sandwiches. Either way, you cannot go wrong. Still, the next time I make a roast, I think I’ll do as you suggest and freeze half. I’ll get at least one meal out of the frozen half and a few sandwiches, too. Thanks for the idea.

      Like

  13. John, this is a masterpiece! Looks and sounds delicious; including the roasted potatoes. I can only imagine the aromas in your kitchen. I really like how your butcher {friend} butterflied the meat. And you made the fig process look easy. Something I won’t attempt though : )

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Judy. I know it seems involved but it isn’t really that bad. You don’t need to brine the meat, saving quite a bit of time and hassle. The rest, if you go step by step, is much easier than it appears. And the “Oohs!” and “Aahs!” you’ll hear when you serve the roast is well worth it. 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you. I’m from the old school. A dinner plate has to have meat/fish, vegetables, and a starch. In my hose that starch was pasta or potatoes. Old habits are hard to break. 🙂

      Like

  14. Oh my and ditto ditto everyone else’s comments…this looks and sounds heavenly…the only thing is, I have no fig preserves…can you send us some? 🙂 can one buy fig preserves or could you suggest a preserve that would be similar and easier to find??
    We live in the Northwest and catch our own salmon, so am looking forward to your recipe for salmon with dill! Yum!!

    Like

    • Thank you but I’m afraid you’re just outside of our delivery zone. It ends at the Montana border. Wouldn’t ya know it!
      You may be able to find fig preserves at a high-end grocery or maybe even Whole Foods, though I’ve never looked for them there. Early this Summer, I made some strawberry preserves with balsamic and black pepper. I’m thinking of using them in a pork roast. You could use store-bought preserves as-is or maybe spice them up a bit with some balsamic and black pepper, to taste. A previous commenter has fig jam and she’s going to “doctor it up” before using it to stuff a roast. What do you think?
      I envy your fresh salmon. Back in the ’80s, my family moved to an area on Lake Huron where Coho salmon were stocked, their fry dumped in a creek that bordered the back of their property. When the Coho came back to spawn, it was just incredible! The program was halted due to budgetary concerns and I’ve never seen anything like it since — and do I ever miss those fish!

      Like

  15. It’s new to me (like many of the other commenters) to roast brined pork, but I may just give it a go as pork is one of our favourites regardless of season – cold roast pork with salads in summer is worth a warm kitchen:) I love and will also take on your suggestion of replacing the pan water with wine & stock in the later stages of roasting.

    Like

    • Thanks, EllaDee. I find that brining a roast — poultry or pork — results in a more flavorful and moist roast. I did it here just for the moisture; the roast has plenty of flavor with the herb marinade and pancetta. You could skio it here and not really notice. I would definitely advise brining chicken and turkey. I add more spices to the brine and the effect is wonderful.
      That sauce was great. Using a sweet wine, Riesling, really complimented the figs that leaked from the roast. Since the pan was so hot, much of the early additions evaporated quickly, that’s why I started with water. I just wanted some liquid to keep the figs from burning. I switched to wine near the end for the flavor. It worked, I’m happy to say. 🙂

      Like

  16. I’m really, really dying to make this! I’ve been wanting to stuff a pork loin forever and this looks like the perfect recipe! Wish I could find one of those sales and butcher! Butchers aren’t very common in these parts. Love it!

    Like

    • Thanks, MJ!, I’ve made it a point to get to know my butchers and the people behind the meat counter at my grocer’s. Both will butterfly a roast for me, special order a specific roast or meat, and let me know of upcoming specials. They really have been helpful.

      Like

  17. No sir E Bob there are no excuses for not getting those ovens going this fall! What a great inspirational post. I always like my pork with something a little sweet and a little salty so this is one perfect little package. My hungry teenagers love anything wrapped up with bacon or pancetta so you have them on board as well. Your first photo is just stunning and really making hungry for the taste of fall. Bookmarking this recipe for later… as I guess I first need to start by making my fig balsamic preserves. Take care, BAM

    Like

    • Buona sera, BAM! This roast was on my mind as I was making my fig preserves. It didn’t disappoint. And the sauce, flavored by the fig drippings, worked out well, too. As I’ve mentioned, I’m thinking of trying it again with some strawberry preserves that I also made with balsamic and pepper. I bet it will be every it as good as this roast was.
      Pork on pork. I’m sure your Teens will love it! 🙂

      Like

  18. What a beautiful roast John. The step by step is perfect and I like the idea of sandwiches the next day(s). I love this time of year when we can heat up the Kitchen without being uncomfortable.

    Like

    • Thanks, Dave. Yeah, I love having a roast or some braise in the oven this time of year. Sure, it will get old by the time February rolls around but, for now, this is great! And yes, this roast makes one great sandwich!

      Like

  19. Super recipe! The fig preserves really sound excellent with the pork, and they’re so pretty nestled in the folds of the pork loin. Nice photos! I used to brine pork (and chicken) a lot, but have gotten out of the habit. Silly, because it does add quite a bit of flavor. This recipe has enough flavor that the pork wouldn’t demand a brine, although that would definitely enhance the pork’s flavor. And I’ll bet the sauce you make with the pan drippings must be wonderful! Good tips and a good post – thanks so much.

    Like

    • Thanks, John, for leaving such a nice compliment. I agree that this roast certainly doesn’t need to be brined; it has plenty of flavor from the marinade and pancetta. I brined the pork because it makes for a more moist roast. It, also, afforded me the opportunity to explain the brining process. Judging by the comments, many haven’t brined anything before.
      And yes, the sauce was a good one. I’m looking forward to making this dinner again. 🙂

      Like

  20. That’s so true about switching th eoven on John!! It’s cottage pie tonight – warming and comforting, but I’d happily sit myself down to your meal. How clever to use Fig jam, a favourite of mine! I’m wondering whether quince jam would work too?

    Like

    • Thanks, Claire. Got any pie left over? It sounds so good for a chilly evening like we’re having.
      I’ve never had quince jam, Claire — I know. I’m such a naif! — so, I’ve no idea how it would pair with pork. I know that figs worked, as would apples, and I’m going to try strawberry preserves. I say give quince a shot. I bet it will be delicious. Or, you can wait until next year when I make some quince preserves and try it for myself. 🙂

      Like

  21. What a beautiful pork loin roast and gorgeous pancetta! Pork roast and fig jam is one of my most favorite combos in the world…they just sing together. I love your preparation because it gets a good jam to pork ratio going on, plus some gravy/sauce. My current fave has been an herbed pork loin topped with pancetta and served with a port wine and fig jam alongside…but I want to try your version now!

    Like

    • Thank you, Betsy. I’ve seen some recipes where the pork is stuffed with bread and jam but I’m not such a fan of those. For me, a simple stuffing works best.
      I bet your pork roast with the port and fig jam must be incredible! Do you plan on sharing the recipe? Please! I’ve got the roasts and the fig preserves. I’m ready! 🙂

      Like

      • I’ll have to make that this fall. We usually make it for a holiday meal, but I haven’t made it in a long time and your post reminded me of it. I think this fall or winter would be a good time to just make it for us and share it (great leftovers don’t you know!) The advantage of the jam with this particular roast is that it’s made from dried figs, so you can make it year round if you can get the dried figs..and if you don’t have some of your fabulous fig and black pepper jam. 🙂

        Like

  22. Isn’t it fun when one recipe leads to a brand new idea? It’s so cold here, I’ve been roasting for a while now, so this one would be an excellent change my standard fare. I will have to break out the equipment and make a few jars of fig preserves too. I saw some the other day, so it’s doable! I take it your city wasn’t part of any electrical black outs? It’s pretty scary reading about what’s going on down East. Take care, Barb

    Like

    • I must admit, Barb, to being shocked when you wrote of your area’s snowfall. Your Summer was so short and Autumn more so.
      I do wish I could find more figs. The preserves I made are going fast. It’s probably just as well. My dining room table looks like a general store. It’s loaded with jam, jellies, preserves, and pickles. And my fridge has giardiniera and olives. I may have overdone it this year. 😉
      Chicago was on the far outside reach of the storm. We had winds sweeping down Lake Michigan, causing 25 foot waves but, unless you lived right on The Lake, there were few problems. I had expected some power outages due to falling tree limbs but that didn’t happen. I’m so glad, too. With so little to do here, our repair people can go East and lend a hand. Like many, I’m in a state of disbelief over the extent of the damage. Parts of the coast will never be the same. So sad.

      Like

  23. Oh wow John that looks and sounds amazing, and by the look of the number of comments you have here, everyone agrees! Love the idea of brining it, and it looks so special. Definitely one I´ll be making when I get back to the Land of Pork! Glad to hear that you are safe and sound…how awful the storm was for so many people.

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Tanya. I’m really do enjoy this roast and will be making it again soon. Next year I’m making twice as much figs preserves!
      We were on the far outer limits of the storm’s reach and had little effects other than some strong winds. Parts of the East Coast, on the other hand, will never be the same. We’re all very thankful the loss of life wasn’t greater. Thank heavens people heeded the warnings and evacuated.

      Like

  24. Wow, this is such a treat. I have pancetta, but am out of figs. Your timing is funny though, I just made a stuffed loin and I was thinking of fig preserves yesterday with something different. I must have known I needed to come here. Seriously, this is fantastic.

    Like

    • Thanks, Greg. I’d no idea these fig preserves would be so good and “useful.” Next year I’m making twice as much. I hope you plan on posting the recipes for both the stuffed loin and the other dish you were contemplating. Now that I’ve (finally) mastered butterflying, I’m a stuffing fool!

      Like

  25. this gorgeous hunk of meat has distracted me from my writing, I have no figs (sad face) but the most important part of this post for me was the cutting of the meat so that i can make something similar! Wonderful.. c

    Like

    • Gee, thanks, Celi, but I seriously doubt I could ever write something that could distract you from your writing. That’ just impossible.
      I’ve only recently “mastered” butterflying a roast. It’s not that hard to do but a sharp knife is a must and using a “center cut” roast is easier than an end roast that may be tapered. You’re such a good cook that I doubt you’ll have any problem. And if you do, just wrap the thing up in pancetta or bacon and who will know the difference? 🙂

      Like

  26. John, whoa this just looks fabulous. My other half suffers from a serious fig addiction and would love this. You are so creative with your recipes. I’m afraid I haven’t been able to devote as much time to my pots and pans lately as I would like and my poor blog is suffering a bit from neglect. Hopefully over the holidays I will be able to publish something more substantial. I can always count on you to do something fabulous that I can borrow 🙂 Susie

    Like

    • Thank you, Susie. I know what you mean. Sometimes, for whatever reasons, I just don’t seem to be able to get into the kitchen like I should for the blog’s purposes — and I only post once a week. You post more frequently and your posts are more involved. I can easily see how missing a few days in the kitchen would make a difference. Of course, if only we didn’t have to post pictures, Life would be so much easier. I wouldn’t be eating nearly as well but I’d be posting some absolutely incredible recipes. 🙂

      Like

  27. I never heard of brining before, John. The fig preserve would no doubt be a perfect accompaniment for the port, your number 2 roast looks wonderful!

    Roll on next August when our fig crop is ready 🙂

    Like

    • I learned to brine about 10 years ago using a turkey. Since, I’ve expanded it to pork and other chicken. The meat is more moist and flavorful. You should try it sometime. I’m here to answer any questions you may have.
      Our figs are gone now, too. Next August, I’ll be making twice as much fig jam. This pork roast was just too good not to. 🙂

      Like

  28. I don’t think I’ve seen a more delectable pork loin. The fig preserves are the perfect filling in my book and had to be delicious. What really has me though – the layer of pancetta over top. I have a major thing for pancetta lately. I’ve only made a pork loin once. I’m not sure why as we all liked it. So many recipes, so little time. Life is certainly delicious. I know I won’t be making fig preserves any time soon, but I’m going to keep my eyes open for a jar or two now. 🙂

    Like

  29. Nice presentation John and I love the idea of combining figs and pork. It’s so nice when dialogue results in new recipe ideas, isn’t it? I sometimes scour comments of my favorite recipes on Epicurious.com. It’s a gold mine!

    Like

    • Hello, Michael, and thank you. And you’re so right. I’ve learned so much from our fellow bloggers and I always look through all of the comments before trying a recipe from an unknown site. I’ve gotten some pretty good tips from them.

      Like

  30. John, this roast looks amazing. I literally caught my breath when I saw the first photo. I will definitely be trying this (albeit with a purchased fig jam), and your clear instructions will help me every step of the way. And, by the way, I highly approve of adding the riesling to the pan juices for a flavourful sauce. I find the addition of wine makes all the difference!

    I’m hosting an Italian themed dinner party this Saturday, and it’s a toss-up between this roast and my tried and true Spezzatino di Maiale. If I go with the stew that will only be because I can make it ahead and heat up just before the party!

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Mar, for such a nice compliment. This is a very tasty roast, one that I’ll be sure to make again and again. Next year I’m making more jam, too.
      It takes courage to try a new recipe when guests are seated at your table. I’m not so sure I would do it. I learned the hard way.
      By the way, any chance you’ll be sharing the Spezzatino di Maiale recipe? Tis the season for a hearty stew. 🙂

      Like

      • Oh yes, I’ll be sharing that recipe. I’ve been making it for over 10 years now, and I still remember the first time I had it. It was so much more flavourful and bright than the (non-Italian) beef stews I’d been used to. Certainly on my top-ten savoury dishes list!

        I love making pork roasts, but I find my challenge when we have company is getting everything to come together at the right time. Nothing worse than having to delay dinner in 15-minute increments while waiting for the roast to come to temperature. Or worse, having to hold it while waiting for side dishes to finish. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to make myself sound like a total klutz in the kitchen, but the last minute timing issues can be stressful. I find a stew eliminates a lot of that!

        Like

        • Oh, I’m with you, Mar. My timing is off more than it is on, especially when I’m serving a primo piatto. I’m not much of a juggler. Still everything does make it to the table, eventually. I just make sure there’s plenty of wine and nobody seems to mind. 🙂
          I can’t wait to see this recipe. A good pork stew is a wonderful thing!

          Like

    • Hey, Linda! This is my new favorite way of preparing a pork roast. The fig preserves really do go well here. I only wish I’d made more preserves. Next year I will.
      And yes, since some of the fig preserves will “escape” from the rolled pork, roasting the potatoes in the same pan was a mistake. Never again!

      Like

  31. thank-you, john, i will try and find the fig preserves…although i was kidding you about sending me some but you said your delivery zone ended at the montana border…were you kidding as well or do you actually have a food business?? yes, nothing beats fresh caught salmon….we also trap dungeness crab, dig for clams, oysters, mussels….am i making you jealous yet?? 🙂

    Like

    • I was kidding, Chris. The only deliveries I make are to a few nearby friends whom I’ve labelled my Taste Testers. And, yes, all of that readily available seafood is more than enough to turn my brown eyes green. Although I’ve recently discovered a few fishmongers with fresh, not previously frozen, fish, I’m paying top dollar for it. Still, I buy what I can. Last night’s dinne was salmon and tonight’s will be pasta with clams. Life is good. 🙂

      Like

    • Sure you can! If butterflying the roast is a concern, your butcher (even the one working the counter at your grocery) will do it for you. There’s no need to brine it if you don’t want to. The rest is easy. Just go slow and you’ll be fine. And you’ll be amazed at the result!
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I’m off to check out your blog now. 🙂

      Like

  32. Pingback: Pork Loin Stuffed with Fig Preserves and Goats Cheese « Kitcheninspirations

  33. Pingback: Apricot Stuffed Pork Loin « Chica Andaluza

  34. Figs, balsamic and rosemary – an inspired combination – oh, my. And the addition of flavor-filled proscuitto is so decadent! Of course, the potatoes look perfectly crisp. It’s time to break out the roasting pans, for sure. Your family and friends are very lucky! ! ! ! !

    Like

  35. Pingback: This Pork Tenderloin is Plum Tasty | from the Bartolini kitchens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s