Chef Sean Sullivan's cooking chops are evident in this artful dish. He went to culinary school in Italy, where spring's the season for salumimaking. He learned to use leftover sausage as stuffing for the loin of pork, which is a cut that is not used in the sausage process.
Here, he has paired his own felino sausage, available at Glen's Garden Market, with young kale. To make the sausage, he uses chunks of well-marbled pork butt, dry red wine, pureed garlic, sea salt, ground Tellicherry peppercorns and a touch of sugar. The chef marinates the mixture for an hour and chills it until almost frozen before grinding it.
Sweet or hot Italian sausage can be substituted in this recipe.
Serve warm, or cold for sandwiches.
Servings: 6 - 8
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups stemmed chopped baby kale leaves (from about 3 1/4 ounces kale)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One 1.1-pound piece pork loin, excess fat trimmed
- 12 ounces fresh sausage, casings removed, preferably felino (see headnote; may use sweet or hot Italian sausage)
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic, stirring to coat. Cook, stirring until softened but not browned, then add the kale in batches and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook just until wilted, then let cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Have a meat thermometer and kitchen twine at hand, plus a sharp filleting knife.
Lay the pork loin on a cutting board so the meat is perpendicular to you. Use the fillet knife to make shallow strokes into the center of the loin, being careful not to cut all the way through and slowly rolling the loin away from you as you work. Continue until the loin looks almost butterflied, laid like a flat piece of meat, 3/4-inch thick. Season the exposed surface lightly with salt and pepper.
Make a thin roll of the sausage (about 1 1/2-inches wide) that runs the length of the pork loin. Spread the cooled kale mixture along the sausage roll. Starting with the side closest to you, roll the loin meat tightly so the kale-sausage filling remains at the center. Secure the loin with kitchen twine, tying it a three equidistant places. Season the outside of the meat lightly with salt and pepper, then place in a small roasting pan; roast for about 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees (probe all the way to the center).
Transfer to a cutting board; let it rest for 15 minutes before serving, or cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
From Sean Sullivan, of Glen's Garden Market in Dupont Circle.
Tested by Dean Felten.
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