Apple Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast

Tender pork roast recipe, stuffed in a pinwheel fashion with apple cranberry chutney filling.

  • Yield: Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apples (packed)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pork Roast

  • 2 1/2 pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast (short and wide - about 7-8 inches long and 4-5 inches wide)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Before starting on the pork, put the pork roast in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to cut. While the pork is chilling, you can make the filling.

2 Bring all the filling ingredients to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Use a rubber spatula to press against the apple mixture in the sieve to extract as much liquid out as possible. Return liquid to saucepan and simmer over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside and reserve this liquid for use as a glaze. Pulse apple mixture in food processor, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.

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2 Preheat oven to 350°F or prepare your grill for indirect heat. You will be "double-butterflying" the pork roast. Lay the roast down, fat side up. Insert the knife into the roast 1/2-inch horizontally from the bottom of the roast, along the long side of the roast. Make a long cut along the bottom of the roast, stopping 1/2 inch before the edge of the roast. You might find it easier to handle by starting at a corner of the roast.

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Open up the roast and continue to cut through the thicker half of the roast, again keeping 1/2 inch from the bottom. Repeat until the roast is an even 1/2-inch thickness all over when laid out.

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If necessary, pound the roast to an even thickness with a meat pounder.

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3 Season the inside of the roast well with salt and pepper. Spread out the filling on the roast, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the edges. Starting with the short side of the roast, roll it up very tightly. Secure with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Season the outside of the roast generously with salt and pepper.

4 Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan, place in oven, on the middle rack.

You can also grill the roast, using indirect heat either gas or charcoal. If you are using charcoal, use about 5 pounds of coals, bank them to one side. Preheat the grill, covered. Wipe the grates with olive oil. Place roast, fat side up, on the side of the grill that has no coals underneath. Place the lid on the grill, with the vent directly over the roast. If you are grilling with gas, place all the burners on high for 15 minutes to heat the grates, brush grates with olive oil, turn off the middle burner, place roast fat-side up on middle burner. If you are grilling, turn roast half way through the cooking.

Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, until the internal temperature of the roast is 130 to 135 degrees. Brush with half of the glaze and cook for 5 minutes longer. Remove the roast from the oven or grill. Place it on a cutting board. Tent it with foil to rest and keep warm for 15 minutes before slicing.

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5 Slice into 1/2-inch wide pieces, removing the cooking twine as you cut the roast. Serve with remaining glaze.

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Comments

  1. lydia

    The thing I don’t like about Cooks Illustrated is that they test and write recipes under ideal conditions — i.e., a well-equipped kitchen with lots of help on prep. Most of us don’t have those luxuries, so we learn to adapt recipes to real-world (and often less-than-ideal) kitchens. I find Cooks Illustrated recipes to be too fussy, but there are always some good tips to take away from the articles.

  2. Anonymous

    I agree with your descriptions of Cook’s Illustrated too.

    Your roast looks delicious and I have all the ingredients– will be making tonight!

    Made the sauerkraut last night and my eyes practically rolled back in my head. It was divine. All the readers suggestions and feedback were excellent too. Thanks everyone.

    More apple ideas: apple/cheese spread, salads and slaws featuring apples, sandwiches, casseroles like sweet potatoe/apple/onions roasted together, dips or spreads to serve with apple slices (sweet or savory) and the ultimate indulgence–”fancified” caramel apples. I must stop now.

  3. Rachelle

    Dried apples are abundant at Trader Joes. If you’re in the Bay Area, they can also be found at Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl, and probably others (but, of course, we’re spoiled here!)
    The recipe looks awesome. I agree about Cook’s Illustrated… they tend to over-fine-tune the recipes. Nevertheless, its a great magazine. I made their Basic Chili and Cornbread recipes last weekend. Both were fantastic! The cornbread was the best I’ve ever had, although I did tweak it a bit. One of these days when I get my blog up and running, I’ll post my version of the cornbread recipe.

  4. Abby

    I agree about Cook’s Illustrated being over-complicated, but at the same time they’ve never steered me wrong!

    Your pork looks awesome – just absolutely beautiful plated!

  5. riona

    I absolutely agree! ATC is the best cooking show ever, and Cook’s Illustrated the best food magazine. Almost every recipe they include makes it to my table. I love the nerdy details about recipe development – my favorite part – and think that this focus teaches you to cook, not just to make a recipe.

    Mmmmmm this pork looks delicious – one for the weekend! (Thanks for the blog btw – I check it daily.)

  6. Caroline

    I love the presentation of this roast– it’s very festive and it would be the perfect centerpiece to a Fall Harvest meal.

    Recipes like this make me wish my girlfriend wasn’t such a picky eater (she doesn’t like fruits in savory dishes). I might force this upon her anyway.

  7. Chef TOm

    I haven’t made a stuffed pork in quite some time now. This recipe sounds and looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try this out next time I have family over.

  8. Alex

    After seeing this online yesterday I just had to make it! We used just over a cup of diced fresh apples instead of dried apples. It worked great. We made a risoto to go with it. Make sure to save plenty of glaze to serve with the meal. Yum!

    -Alex

  9. Kristal

    I made this yesterday, and it got enthusiastic yummy reviews from the others in the household. Thanks for posting it :)

  10. beth

    Hi Elise, this is on the menu for Sunday. what would you suggest as sides for this? I’m having trouble coming up with anything.Thank you.
    PS. I am seriously addicted to the corn fritters, I’ve made them 5 times, they are outstanding.

  11. Mattie

    Everyone – even my pickiest of eaters (age 13) – loved it! I used fresh granny smith apples instead of the dried, as I was unable to get at our grocery, and they worked perfectly!

  12. BETH

    Elise, I did make this Sunday, WOW! Fantastic. I’ve never butterflied or stuffed pork, but thanks to your great instructions and pictures, I had no problems at all. My husband threw the glaze out, bummer. So I’m going to make some without the fruit for the leftovers tonight. Do you think you could freeze leftover slices of this? Oh yeah, served your sour cream apple pie for dessert. Really thanks for all your efforts on your blog I enjoy it everyday.

  13. Ann

    I could not find dried apples and substituted dried figs. The result was so good that I will probably never make it with apples.

    Easy, elegant, and the leftovers were a huge hit.

  14. Karin

    I, too, have nothing but raves for this recipe. The double-butterflying was a little tricky but I’m making this again for Thanksgiving dinner for my family, so I hope to do better this time. I tweaked as follows: used Applejack instead of vinegar, and fresh Granny smiths instead of dried apples. It worked great. I love recipes that can be altered without messing up the end result.

    Question: do you think it would be OK to stuff the pork the night before, then keep it in the refrigerator and pop it in the oven when guests arrive?

    I would let the roast sit out (wrapped) at room temp for at least an hour before roasting, it will be easier to cook more evenly. ~Elise

  15. Avi

    I made this today for Christmas. Oh it was so fantastic. Thank you for the great recipe. I found that adding a lot of glaze while the roast was cooking resulted in a delicious crust, but didn’t really care for adding extra glaze at the table. I didn’t have dried apples, so I used about 1 1/4 cup of finely chopped, diced, unpeeled apples.

  16. Kristal

    Just a different idea, the first time I made this (I also made mine with fresh apple), I missed the step about putting the apple mix into the food processor, and put the apple chunks and cranberries on the pork and rolled it that way. The second time I made it, I put the mixture into the food processor, but after tasting, my family was asking why I hadn’t made it the other way, it was still really good, but they felt the apple chunks tasted better. :)

  17. emily

    I was wondering, do you think this could be made with a pork tenderloin? I get tenderloins from Costo, which are always delicious, would they be too lean?

    Not only are pork tenderloins lean, they are small, way too small to use for this recipe as directed. Though you may be able to improvise with some of the ideas presented here. ~Elise

  18. Brittany

    I really want to make this, but its a little too late to find apple cider in stores. Is there anything I can use to substitute?

    Try apple juice. ~Elise

  19. Bergen

    This is the 5th or so recipe I’ve tried from your website- and they have all been wonderful! Thank you for posting so many great recipes!

    Based on other suggestions, I used peeled, diced fresh apples, and skipped the food processor step (Though I did chop the mixture by hand after draining the liquid). It was delicious and so pretty!

  20. Parker

    I made this right after it was posted, I served it cold with a brunch buffet, and it was amazing. I just pulled the recipe up again, as I am being requested to put it on the menu again :)

  21. Kamil Sawalha

    Thanks a lot for the great recipe.
    Tried it twice so far and it tastes wonderful.
    for the second trial I added some prunes to the stuffing as well as some walnuts… gave it some great texture and taste, didn’t put it through the processor, but kinda mashed it…
    again, thanks for the great recipe and blog.

  22. chan

    I absolutely love this! My husband and I decided we are making this our Christmas Dinner meat course. I used fresh pink lady apples, by the way, and it worked great. Also, thanks for the detailed instructions on the double-butterfly technique.

  23. Catherine

    I have no clue what happened but I tried to make this the other night and it was horrible. I’m not used to cooking with pork maybe I’ll improvise something with chicken instead next time and less vinegar. I assume its my cooking abilities and not the recipe at fault. I usually love everything from your site but my husband and I both agreed we’re not trying that again.

  24. Julie

    I tried this recipe today with a couple of modifications: I brined the roast after I’d double-butterflied it, and I used an apple-cranberry chutney I’d made earlier. It was awesome! Thanks for posting this, and for the clear instructions and pictures – super helpful!

  25. Cathy

    Do you think the allspice is critical to the recipe? I don’t care for it and would like to leave it out. Should I substitute something else?

    Thanks for the advice!

    I would just leave it out if you don’t like it. ~Elise

  26. Erinn

    I made this for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit! Not only did everyone eat it up, but my husband who claims to hate allspice enjoyed it too. The pork was delicious and moist! Thanks for the great recipe.

  27. Elise H.

    Absolutely delicious! I didn’t add the cayenne, but it still had a bite to it. It was sweet with a hint of heat at the end. It was so good!

    What would be a good gluten-free side dish for this?

  28. Elena

    Hi Elise-

    I think I’m going to try and cook this for my in-laws for Mother’s Day. My question is how would using a bigger pork loin affect the recipe? I have to cook for 10 people (including three big men) and am thinking a 3 pounder will not cut it. Do you think I can double the recipe or should I just try another recipe?

    Hi Elena, I think you should be fine with a larger roast, you’ll just need to cook it longer. You might drop the heat to 300 after the first hour so that the outer areas don’t overcook before the inner areas are done. A good rule of thumb with roasts is 15 to 20 minutes per pound total cooking time. But do make sure you use a meat thermometer to test. ~Elise

  29. Schwind

    WOW!! I’ve made this about 3~4 times now. ABSOLUTLY DELICIOUS! I’m not a chef (just a single guy) but I do cook pretty well and try to impress/please the GF. The first time I made this recipe I improvised a bit (still good). The second time I stayed more true to the recipe (even better). The third time it was best! I recommend switching the amounts for cranberries and apples(I liked 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (packed)
    1/2 cup dried apples) and a bit more cayenne pepper. Do not put the apples and cranberries in the processor; they are much better if they are left diced. For those considering skipping the cayenne, DONT SKIP THE CAYENNE. This was a surprising item in the recipe for me but it adds a great delicate little dimension that was not at all expected from cayenne and compliments hints of vinegar and mustard seeds perfectly. This is a great recipe any time but especially great during the holiday season. Saturday morning and Sunday morning left-overs from the fridge were as good or better than the original dish and could actually be included (cold) in a formal brunch.

  30. Paul

    This recipe was amazing. I used fresh granny smith apple and dried cranberries but I wouldn’t substitute anything else. Not all that hard to do either. Everyone who tried it, loved it.

  31. Linda Schmidt Bradenton Florida

    The recipe looked so delicious that I wanted to try it right away. I didn’t have a pork loin, but I did have pork chops. I cut out the bones, and trimmed off all fat, then I pounded the meat to 1/2 inch thick. I made the chutney with cut up fresh apples and rolled each pork chop individually with the filling inside and secured with toothpics. I had made broccoli salad to go with the meal and had fried bacon to put into it, so I poured off the bacon grease and added a little olive oil to the pan to brown the rolled pork in before I baked it. I followed the directions, but reduced the bake time. This recipe was awesome! The rolled stuffed pork chops were tender and juicy. It is definately a keeper. I love the challenges and detail of your web site. Many other sites use lots of shortcuts, but I love the details of yours. Keep going! Best Pork Chops ever!

  32. Greg

    Hi,

    I’m going to make this for Christmas. I usually sear a roast in a pan before finishing it in the oven. Adds a little more flavor and nice crust. Wasn’t sure this is a good idea with a stuffed version. Any thoughts?

    Sounds to me like it’s worth a try. We like searing roasts first too, though haven’t done it with this stuffed roast. ~Elise

  33. Maria

    Hi, I just bought all the ingredients for this, but I couldn’t find whole mustard seeds. I only have ground mustard seed, can I use this and in what amount?

    Thanks!

    If you use ground mustard, only use a teaspoon. ~Elise

  34. Todrick

    I thought this roast looked incredible, so I decided to give it a shot. First of all, I tweaked the stuffing by adding rosemary and garlic, and omitting the allspice and mustard seed. I also cooked it on the grill using a cedar plank. It was very tender and moist, but most importantly, the flavor was absolutely delicious. My family loved it!

    Thanks Elise

  35. MH

    I made this last night for a dinner party and everyone gobbled it up. Like others, I didn’t bother to puree the apple and cranberry mixture; it gave a nice texture. I couldn’t find apple cider, so used cloudy apple juice which did the trick. I definitely recommend this recipe.

  36. Jess

    Totally making this in a few days! It looks totally wicked.

    My question is though, I love crackling and was wondering if the crackling would work if I just left the skin on the roast? I know I need to score, salt and oil the skin but the moisture of the stuffing or cooking time won’t ruin it? Also, would you recommend that I cut the skin off to make it easier to butterfly and possibly pound?

    Thanks!

    I’ve never attempted a rolled pork roast like this with the skin on. If you do, please let us know what you do and how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  37. Jennifer L

    I made this for New Year’s Day dinner and it was a hit.

    I did follow some of the suggestions in the comments including using fresh apples instead of dried and not processing the filling, just leaving it diced.

    I also brined the pork for about 30 minutes after double butterflying it, stuffed and rolled it and then seared the outside before cooking. I used a lot less glaze during roasting because of the sear, but it turned out marvelously and I didn’t have any twine on hand so the sear helped keep it together for roasting.

    When I make this again, I will probably line the inside of the roll with the glaze and only sear the outside.

    I put the glaze out when I served dinner and they did use it, but only sparingly. I didn’t use any on mine and I loved it just the way it was.

    My MIL wants this recipe for her own collection now.

    Thank you again, Elise!