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Pork Loin Stuffed with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Photo: Victor Protasio
Active time 40 mins
Total time 8 hrs, 10 mins
Yield

Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice of pork and about 4 tsp. sauce)

A sophisticated stuffing of creamy goat cheese, silky spinach, and lemony herbs give this lean and mighty pork loin 5-star flavor. Topped with apricot-infused sweet and sour sauce, we tip our hats to the slow cooker for coaxing out this degree of decadence. To achieve the coveted crisp-tender texture of the pork, we recommend browning it on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker. Once cooked, use a serrated knife to slice the pork with ease. Pair this divine main with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans or garlicky Brussels for a well-rounded meal that is sure to impress.   

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 (5-oz.) pkg. fresh baby spinach
  • 3 ounces goat cheese (about 2/3 cup), at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 (3-lb.) boneless pork loin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Nutrition Information

  • calories 206
  • fat 10.7 g
  • satfat 4 g
  • monofat 4.3 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 20 g
  • carbohydrate 7 g
  • fiber 1 g
  • cholesterol 66 mg
  • iron 1 mg
  • sodium 354 mg
  • calcium 45 mg
  • sugars 5 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 3 g

How to Make It

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add shallots, garlic, and thyme; cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until shallots are caramelized. Add spinach; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until wilted. Remove from heat.

  2. Combine goat cheese, chives, parsley, and lemon rind in a small bowl.

  3. Holding knife flat and parallel to cutting board, cut horizontally through center of pork loin, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open flat, as you would a book. Starting at the center seam, cut horizontally through each half, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open flat on either side. Place pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small, heavy skillet. Remove plastic wrap.

  4. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread goat cheese mixture evenly over pork; top with shallot mixture. Roll up pork jelly-roll fashion. Tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

  5. Wipe pan clean. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add pork; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned. Place stuffed pork in a 5-quart slow cooker.

  6. Add apricot preserves, butter, and mustard to pan; reduce heat to medium. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Pour over pork loin in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours, or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of pork registers 145°F.

  7. Place pork on a cutting board; let stand 15 minutes. Skim and discard fat from sauce in slow cooker. Pour sauce into a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook 5 minutes, until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in vinegar.

  8. Remove and discard twine. Slice pork into 12 slices; serve with sauce.