Back on August 30th, I first introduced my Raspberry Chipotle Marinated Spiral Stuffed Pork Loin with a Bacon Lattice. By far, it has been my most popular post. Even 3 months later, this post shows up on search engines a couple hundred times a month.
Then, back on October 22nd, while I was off gallivanting around New Orleans, my good blogger buddy CRAZY ASIAN GAL did a wonderful guest post: CRAZY ASIAN GAL Cooks My Spiral Cut Bacon Latticed Stuffed Pork Loin with Raspberry Chipotle Sausage Stuffing. My buddy Palidor proved that my outdoor live fire recipes can be adapted to an indoor oven. She served this to her family for Canadian Thanksgiving, and except for the day my children were born, I can not remember being more proud!
And finally, last month on November 16th, I Cooked for Mom - AND WINNERS WINNERS in the O OLIVE OIL Contest. I made this recipe for my sainted mother. I didn't have the tools of my trade, and it came out a little ragged looking, but the end result was wonderfully tasty... I LOVE THIS RECIPE!
Which brings me to today's post, and an early Christmas gift (for me)... Just a mere half dozen blocks from my house, A CUT ABOVE natural meats store (OK, it's a butcher shop... but more...) opened up! They had a small glitch getting their freezers and coolers set properly, so instead of an October opening, it got delayed to last week. I had been pressing my nose to the door in anticipation a couple times a week looking to see what was coming. Last Sunday morning, I again drove by just to see the progress... For the first time, there were people inside! they were not yet open, but they saw my interest and waved me in! When I did, I peed my pants a little...
They were in the process of fresh grinding, spicing and casing their fresh sausage. More than a dozen types were going to be offered
- Sausages in all Species
- Hot and Mild Italian
- Sundried Tomato with Garlic & Basil
- Habanero & Green Chili
- Black Bean Lime & Tequila
- Jalapeno Cheddar
- Ground Exotic Meats
- Ground Beef, Pork, Lamb & Veal
- Ground Chicken & Turkey
And the reason I am giving the free ad to these good folks is that I believe I was their first customer. Despite plans for an official opening the next day, they sold me two pounds of Mexican Chorizo sausage a day early! I am sure that this sausage is available somewhere in Kansas, but this was the first time I had seen it since returning from visiting Mom in Arizona.
So, armed with my fresh spicy sausage, I made my Christmas dish early!
Before I start, This was the coldest grill/smoke session of the year for me. 15 degrees (real degrees, not that Celsius nonsense) and just a not pleasant day. And despite not having the advantage of having neck high snow drifts to block the wind, I was still out live fire smoking my loin. That's how rough tough Kansasans roll, but I can understand why some Canadian Accountants would want to hunker down when weather gets just a little bit chilly. I just assume that's how Canadians roll (well, not really roll, more like stopping and dropping).
And since I don't have a tongue in cheek font, I will stop digressing and move on to the recipe and what I did...
Oh wait, one more set up before we cook... A couple of days ago, I posted that I found a former mail order treasure available in my local underpriced grocery store. I bought a new bottle of Fischer and Wieser, handcrafted one jar at a time, THE ORIGINAL ROASTED RASPBERRY CHIPOTLE SAUCE (that's what the bottle looks like, next to the autographed picture of me with Bernadette Peters). And the idea of using this was burning a whole in my mind! If you go back to either my post of August 30th, or the guest post CRAZY ASIAN GAL did on October 22nd (links above), you will see a recipe for making your own Raspberry Chipotle sauce. As good as my recipe was (and it was good), this stuff is better. So, I used my favorite sauce, and my new found favorite spiced sausage from my new found favorite candy store to make my favorite pork dish...
Here's what I did...
Assemble the ingredients... And hey look how easy... 4 ingredients...
Big hunk of pork loin (about 4-5 pounds)
pound of bacon
pound and a half of Chorizo
a bottle of Raspberry Chipotle sauce
To make the lattice work well, you will need either some butcher twine (see CRAZY ASIAN GAL's post for how to truss your loin with butcher's twine), or those incredibly convenient cooking bands I have talked about before. They work up to 600 degrees, are dishwasher safe and can be reused... And I do reuse them!
OK, not to brag, but I am getting pretty good at spiral cutting a pork loin. Use a VERY sharp knife. Make small cuts, and just keep rolling out as you cut. try to make the cuts as uniform as possible. Put the knife hilt (the wooden part on the photo) flat on the cutting board, leaving that 1/2 inch gap between the knife blade and the board. Start slicing into the loin ... Much like pealing an apple, rolling that 1/2 inch of loin out as you go. Again, it might take a bit of effort, and your first time, go slow, but as with all things, it gets easier.
Then spread the sausage onto the open loin.
Then add the sauce. The Chipotle mingles with the flavors of the Chorizo perfect. the contrast between the sweet raspberry and the Chipotle/Chorizo really is a treat for the taste buds!
And roll. Do not push, roll gently, trying not to push the goo out the sides as you roll. At this point, you need to tie the loin. Again, Crazy Asian Gal's post shows how easy that is. Me, I use the clever little cooking rubber bands.
And now the panache... The Bacon Lattice! It looks spectacular, and takes a very short time to make... Start on the edge of the loin, and tuck an end of a bacon strip under the loin. Add bacon down the loin, leaving a small space between slices. Then, as the picture below shows, wrap every other slice over the loin, and lay a piece of bacon across the side of the loin. Use a couple of toothpicks to secure to the ends.
Easy Peasy... really!
Then, unwrap the bacon that was put over the loin, wrap the other pieces over the loin and secure another piece of bacon. At this point, you can see the lattice starting to form...
And just continue wrapping, laying, securing, unwrapping, rewrapping, etc. around the loin
I smoked it at 225 degrees, low and slow for about 6 hours, with hickory wood burning during the first two hours... reached internal temperature of 165 degrees. I removed from the smoker, wrapped in foil and let it rest for about an hour. It also can be cooked in a roaster or in the oven. Same time and temperature but you lose the smoke flavor (and the challenge and fun of outdoor cooking when it's 15 degrees). Also by using a smoker or grill, you free up the oven for side dishes.
Everybody... OHHHHH AHHHHH
I plated this with some AMAZING pecan crusted augratin potatoes (will post that recipe tomorrow) and I made my wife's new favorite vegetable dish, MARGUERITE from CAJUN DELIGHT's Cajun Corn Casserole (click HERE).
It's no Christmas turkey, but maybe you are not in the mood for Christmas turkey... Maybe you want something whimsical (the spiral cut makes it whimsical) for New year's Eve... Or maybe you want to celebrate MONDAY and the possibility of moving to the Virgin Island's (see post right below this one) with the love of your life...
This dish would be GOOD EATS for any of those occasions
And be sure and click HERE to go to an earlier post I did today that updates a 6 month sabbatical in the US Virgin Islands... Ladies, I have a question for you...