This dish was inspired by a long-ago failed attempt at Matambre — a flank steak typically stuffed with yummy vegetables, rolled up and roasted. The thought of it was so appealing, but in reality the flank steak was tough and needed far more attention than I was willing to give it on a weeknight. Fast forward a couple years later and that Matambre was still on my mind. I like to refer to this matter as the recipe cricket. Just about anytime a recipe doesn’t end the way I had hoped, it’ll eventually start chirping at me to try again…and again…until I get it right. After putting some more thought into the whole matter, I thought it might be best to replace the beef altogether with a more tender cut of meat. The end-result was a much happier ending than the first-go-round. Now, I know I can’t call this Matambre anymore seeing as how I changed up the main ingredient, but at least that nagging little cricket is quieted…for now. Please, enjoy.
- 3 pound whole pork loin butterflied
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepped diced
- 1 red onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil separated
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup of freshly grated mild soft cheese, such as Muenster, Havarti or Monterrey Jack
- 2 teaspoons of TAK seasoning
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto
- meat pounder or heavy rolling pin
- butchers twine
- roasting pan with a rack
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Lay butterflied pork loin (see video for demonstration) on a large work surface and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a meat pounder or a heavy rolling pin, pound out the pork loin so that it is of even thickness and no thicker than 1”. Set aside until ready to use.
Add carrots, bell pepper, onion and garlic to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is minced and very fine, but not quite pureed. Alternatively, mince them by hand.
Add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil to a large sauté over medium heat. Transfer the vegetables to the pan, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 10 minutes, or until softened. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
Place the pork loin fat-side down on a work surface with the short end facing you. Evenly spread the cheese across the pork, stopping about 1” short from the opposite end. Spread the vegetable mixture across the cheese. Begin rolling the pork loin, starting with the end closest to you, as tightly as possible without losing the filling.
However, if filling does spill out, simply wipe it away and keep rolling. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with TAK seasoning, and rub gently into the pork loin. Lay prosciutto across the top and using four pieces of butchers twine, tightly secure the pork loin and snip the excess twine. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and rub over the prosciutto.
Transfer to the roasting rack and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a thermometer placed in the center of the loin registers 140°. Allow meat to rest 10 minutes before carving.
Would pair well with: