Double Pesto Pork Roulade with Spanish Rice

Description

Last night I had an old friend joining us for dinner and when I asked the boyfriend what I should make, he of couse replied, “meat!”- no surprise there- and so meat it was. The lamb roulade had been a hit and I had been wanting to experiment with roulades a bit further, so I decided to simply go on my memories from last time and see what I came up with. A recent grocery trip had yielded some new pestos, so I decided that meant stuffing was in order.

Here’s a quick description of how to replicate this dish and make your meat-eating friends or significant other happy:

  • Take meat (pork loin, chicken breast, lamb, what have you) and either a) get a piece that is thick enough to be stuffed, or b) flatten it (as I did). To flatten, place the meat on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. then beat vigorously (I hit it with a rolling pin- a meat tenderizer should work just as well!)
  • Place stuffing ingredients in middle of meat pieces, leaving room on the sides and bottom/top so as to (mostly) avoid spilling. You can stuff with a large number of ingredients. I went with traditional basil pesto, red bell pepper pesto, salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese this time around. You can experiment, however, with a wide range of sliced meats (meat in meat! the boyfriend loves the idea), cheeses, spreads, vegetables, and more.
  • Roll up the meat and tie with kitchen twine (or some similar string (you can purchase this at your local culinary wares store if you want to be fancy- or just get some twine from the craft/home store for much less, it’s really the same)) in as many places as necessary to ensure no spillage. This can be 3-5 times per roll, depending on how poorly you stuffed them (I once had to tie 6… that was not a fine stuffing job, I can tell you!)
  • You can now rub the rolls in some spice to add extra flavour if you so desire. I used cumin and pepper- I bet red pepper flakes would have gone well, too.
  • Take 3 cloves of garlic and 1 tablepsoon of butter (or vegan soy butter! I will continue to plug this substitution because there’s no reason not to do it) and bring to a simmer. Add in the meat rolls and begin searing. Add in 1/3 cup of dry sherry or a dessert wine (something that will caramelize) to give a nicely-coloured searing.
  • Once the meat is well-coloured on all sides, transfer to a baking dish and bake in a 380 degree oven for 8-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat.
  • Remove from oven and cut the strings, then slice as per your desired thickness.
  • For the rice, I made a traditional spanish rice but 1) cooked it in a home-made lamb stock I had been meaning to find use for, and b) added in freshly-sliced cherry tomatoes for a bit of a crunch

As per usual, I perhaps had a bit too much fun with the plating, but the boys enjoyed it :). I should have cut the strings down so that there wouldn’t be such an excess, but I have an odd fear of them coming apart during roasting… but it’s probably a better idea for you to do so!

You can make this dish in so many different ways- what meat and stuffings would you use?

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