The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
APRICOT CRANBERRY STUFFED PORK LOIN
Date:January 19, 2013 Viewing: Click on THUMBNAIL to bring up larger image with captions. There will also be controls for manual or self running slide show. Learn More:ClickHERE to jump to additional Info about this recipe.
This was the first time I had to make a trip to my workshop to build something to cook in. Here is the cedar boat, which is a cedar plank with other cedar planks ripped in half to make sides.
The first thing off one of the Eggs this day was some Buttermilk Biscuits, which are a new & improved version using some tweaks to the recipe suggested by several people who like to bake.
Time to wash & cut up the veggies. There were red & white new potatoes as well as carrots & onions/
The veggies are all together in a bowl waiting to be added to the cedar plank. I wanted to stay out by the Egg while plank grilling so I needed to get all of my prep work done beofre putting the planked food on the grill.
The stuffing was next and used chopped dried apricots & cranberries, plus honey & ground ginger.
The crumb topping used plain bread crumbs, dried parsley, flour, grated parmesan cheese, sugar, salt & pepper, dried oregano, garlic salt & onion salt.
The crumb topping is mixed & will get applied to the roast after the roast is coated with olive oil.
The cedar boat is being sterilized on the Egg which has been stabilized at 375 degrees. The boat gets heated until you here it begin to start popping.
I mixed together the chopped ingredients for the fruit stuffing just before putting it on the roast.
The pound pork loin roast has been butterflied so it is 3/4" - 1" thick when rolled open.
The fruit stuffing and 1/2 cup of the crumb topping have been applied to the inside of the pork roast. I left 1" clear on 3 sides & 2" clear on the trailing edge to allow the toppings to spread a bit when the roast is rolled back up.
The roast is rolled up & tied. It will get rubbed with olive oil & then coated with the crumb topping.
The sterilized cedar boat was allowed to cool while I was stuffing the roast. It is coated with vegetable shortening to keep the roast from sticking & also serves as a "caulking compound" to help seal the seams in the cedar boat.
The pork loin roast has recieved the crumb topping, is in the cedar boat & is on the 375 degree Egg. The pork will cook to a temperature of 95 degrees, at which point the veggies will be added to the cedar boat.
Plank cooking is a bit of living on the edge. You are heating wood to try to get it to smoke without it catching on fire. I always stay out at the grill and I picked up a small easy to use fire extinguisher that was also seen on the podcast.
After 45 minutes the roast has hit 95 degrees as measured by my Maverick ET-732 remote read thermometer. This was tracking very similar to the podcast version.
The cedar plank & pork loin roast are back in the kitchen where the veggies were added.
The Cedar plank, roast & veggies are back on the Egg.
Instead of an hour the veggies are finally done after 1:45 of cooking. This was unexpected and I think the cedar boat unintentionally served to insulate some of the veggies & slow down the coking process.
The roast was moist with a nice pink smoke ring as it was cut.
Time to eat! From left to right we have the Grilled Green Beans, the Apricot Cranberry Stuffed Pork Loin Roast & the Veggies. I had to give some of the veggies a quick trip to the microwave as they weren't quite cooked through.
This roast was absolutely amazing & the people that shared it with me are still talking about it days later.
The Buttermilk Biscuits which I started this cooking session with turned out great! The suggested tweaks turned out the best version of these I've made to date.
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This unusual recipe made an amazing pork roast. I subscribe to Gary House's Cooking Everything Outdoors video podcast. I like both the recipes he makes and the different approaches he takes to making them. When I can, I will adapt them to my cooking gear. As soon as I saw this recipe it intrigued me & I knew I'd have to make it. I love cedar plank cooking and want to do more of it. Gary House took a recipe that two ladies used to win a Dutch oven cooking contest, and he adapted it for use in a cedar "boat". I think this is the first thing I've ever cooked, where I've had to go to my workshop and make something to cook the food in. The cedar boat was a cedar plank with sides added to contain the pork loin roast and the veggies that were also cooked with it. The pork loin was butterflied to 1" thickness and rolled out to receive both a fruit stuffing and a bit of crumb topping. The crumb topping was used on the outside of the roast as well, after the roast was rolled up and tied.
The pork loin roast went into the cedar boat and cooked to about 95 degrees internal temperature. At this point the boat was filled with potatoes, carrots & onions. This is where the recipe went a little off the rails for me. It was only in the low 20's, but I had no trouble getting the Egg up to the relatively low 375 degrees this recipe called for. It took about 45 minutes for the roast to hit 95 degrees, which is when I needed to add the veggies. I took the roast off the Egg and into the Kitchen to add the veggies. When I put it back on the Egg the temps rose normally for a while and then stalled out at 120 degrees. At the time I had no idea what was happening, but my post mortem is this: I think adding the vegetables eventually stalled out the temps. The room temperature veggies needed to come up to the same temperature as the roast before the sides of the roast began cooking again. I think the initial rise may have been some carryover heat from cooking the roast without the veggies. I also think opening the lid for mopping didn't help. While I did keep the mop sauce indoors, I lost 100-150 degress each time I mopped it. It took the Egg 5-7 minutes to recover after every mop. I started mopping every 20 minutes instead of every 10 to help out with the temperature loss issue. I figured the Egg looses less moisture than most grills, so less mopping wouldn't hurt.
Cutting to the chase: After the veggies were added, this roast took the hour it was supposed to take PLUS another 45 minutes to reach it's target temperature of 145 degrees internal. To my great surprise, some of the veggies STILL weren't cooked through. I was able to quickly microwave them, but it was quite a surprise. Only some of the veggies weren't completely cooked and my theory is they were the veggies at the bottom of the cedar boat.
The stuffed pork loin roast was amazing and was cooked perfectly. It had great flavor and everyone could taste the cedar smoke and liked the flavor it added to the pork. Days later people are still talking about this pork roast. I think I want to try the original version of this roast recipe & cook it in the Dutch oven. I may try the cedar boat version again to make sure the veggies wasn't a one time fluke, but I will wait for warmer weather to do that. I also plan to try cooking the roast on a simple cedar plank and parboil the veggies and direct grill them in a grilling basket. I think doing it this way will help both the roast and the veggies cook better and faster. Bottom Line: The roast is definitely worth making again, it was about the best pork roast I can recall making.