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How to Butterfly a Pork Loin

how to butterfly and stuff a pork loin

Not only are stuffed pork loins one of the tastier ways to impress guests, they are certainly one of the more impressive. While this dish can seem like an intimidating task, don’t worry, there are some simple steps that will make it your new favorite go-to to impress your friends. In order to stuff this roast with cheese, veggies or meats in a way that still looks presentable, there are a few helpful steps to follow. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

How to Butterfly a Pork Loin

Choose a pork loin based on the amount of people you need to feed. When determining how large it should be, imagine slicing it like a loaf of bread, factoring in two to three slices per person. (And be aware that a pork loin is very different from a pork tenderloin, which is much smaller, even leaner, and far less commonly butterflied and stuffed, although it is possible.)

Place the pork loin on a cutting board so the longer sides are on your left and right (the shorter sides will be at the top and bottom), and use a large, sharp knife (like a boning knife, or carving knife) to cut almost all of the way through the center of the meat—leaving only a hinge so that the meat will stay closed when stuffed.

From there, pull open the pork loin and slice down the length of each side, maintaining an even 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness. If needed, you can trim the fat cap in order to make the pork thinner, however make sure some of the fat remains in order to add flavor. Another way to achieve even thickness is to place the pork between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it with a mallet. Season the butterflied pork with salt and freshly ground pepper to prep for the stuffing.

how to butterfly pork loin

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How to Stuff a Pork Loin (and What to Stuff It With)

While the ingredients that you stuff the pork loin with are up to you, some amazing options are spinach and provolone, or fennel and prosciutto—or make it porchetta-style and use fennel, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest. Many pork loin stuffings use bread crumbs or even ground meat mixtures like Italian sausage, but you can play around with pretty much anything you like. Here are a few methods that will help you stuff your pork roast with the perfect amount of filling.

Blend the stuffing into a uniform consistency, either in a mixing bowl or in a food processor, then evenly spread it along the inside of the butterflied pork loin. If you’re using bacon or prosciutto, make sure to arrange the slices horizontally and space them evenly so there’s not too much overlap. The more stuffing you use, the harder it will be to tightly roll the pork loin, so don’t overdo it.

How to Tie and Stuff the Pork Loin

Depending on the length of the pork loin, you’ll probably need between four and six strings of butcher’s twine, also known as kitchen string, cut in pieces that are about three to four times the length of the roast. Once you’ve stuffed the pork loin, tightly roll the meat into a cylinder  and tie the twine around the top and bottom ends of the piece first, then two evenly spaced in the middle. Cut off the extra twine. You can prepare the pork up to this point in advance and store, covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

how to tie a stuffed pork loin

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How to Cook Stuffed Pork Loin

Rub olive oil, along with any spices you want, all over the tied pork loin, and place in a shallow baking dish, roasting pan, or on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil for easy clean-up if you like (but make sure it’s not too shallow in case the juices overflow).

Preheat the oven to 450°F and let the roast rest at room temperature while waiting for the oven to heat up. Roast until the pork is a light golden brown, which will take about 30 minutes, and then reduce the oven to 375°F. Keeping the pan or baking sheet in the middle of the oven rack, rotate the roast for the next 30 minute interval. You’ll know it’s done when you insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the roast and it hits an internal temperature of 145°F.

Take the meat out of the oven and lightly cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Let it rest for 30 minutes or more—this is important because it will keep the roast perfectly juicy for serving.

How to Serve Stuffed Pork Loin

Once you’ve let the roast rest for at least 30 minutes, with the twine still tied around the roast, cut it in slices with a serrated knife. Remove the twine as you cut close enough to pull it off with ease. Serve it up with simply roasted vegetables, perhaps some mashed potatoes, and get ready to WOW your guests!

Pork Loin Recipes

Check out some amazing recipes that are sure to become your new household favorites.

Fennel-and-Prosciutto-Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

how to tie a stuffed pork loin

Chowhound

This delicious recipe includes whole-wheat bread crumbs, fennel, and apples. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory, and will leave you going back for seconds and thirds! Get our Fennel-and-Prosciutto-Stuffed Pork Loin Roast recipe.

Slow Cooker Stuffing-Filled Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin

Southern Mom Loves

If you find yourself craving the flavors of Thanksgiving, but happily missing the work of cooking a feast, this recipe is for you. The cranberries and herbed stuffing will give you that perfect fall fix, and once the butterflying and filling is done, it’s easy to prepare—just set it in the slow cooker and forget it. Get the Slow Cooker Stuffing-Filled Cranberry Glazed Pork Loin recipe.

Pine Nut and Raisin Stuffed Pork Loin

CBC

Sweet Italian sausage, pine nuts, raisins, garlic, cheese, and bread crumbs make for an especially rich stuffing for this pork loin. Get the Pine Nut and Raisin Stuffed Pork Loin recipe.

Mushroom-Bacon-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Spend with Pennies

Does it get better than bacon? It turns out, the answer is yes—but only when it’s stuffed into a pork tenderloin with mushrooms and garlic. This recipe is deliciously juicy and one of our favorites. If you want something that serves a bigger crowd, scale up the stuffing for a pork loin and follow the cooking instructions for one of the other loin recipes (cooking times and temperatures for pork loin are different from those for pork tenderloin). Get the Mushroom-Bacon-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin recipe.

Crock-Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin

Chowhound

Our easy slow cooker pork tenderloin is rubbed with a mix of brown sugar, cumin, garlic, and chili powder; chicken broth, balsamic, and a little soy cook down to a delicious, dark sauce. If you want to butterfly and stuff the meat first, you definitely can. A filling with some fat will help keep it moist. Get our Crock-Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin recipe.

Shopping List

The tools that will help you butterfly, tie, and roast a pork loin like a pro.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife, $44.95 on Amazon

This is great all-purpose chef’s knife for cutting meat, chopping vegetables, and more, and if you take care of it, it’ll last you a lifetime.

Buy Now

Regency Natural Cooking Twine, $4.99 on Amazon

Five hundred feet of 100-percent cotton ktichen twine for all your trussing needs.

Buy Now

Calphalon Classic Hard Anodized 16-Inch Roasting Pan with Nonstick Rack , $68.67 on Amazon

Perfect for everything from pork loin to prime rib, the durable hard-anodized surface of this roasting pan sears, browns, caramelizes and deglazes beautifully.

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Habor Digital Probe Meat Thermometer, $10.99 on Amazon

This highly-rated meat thermometer has an instant read sensor and can be used for making candy, yogurt, and deep frying too.

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Related Video: How to Make an Easy Roasted Pork Tenderloin

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