Pork Roast with Walnut-Pomegranate Filling

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Pork Roast with Walnut-Pomegranate Filling

Pork Roast with Walnut-Pomegranate Filling

Pomegranates become available in late fall just in time to grace holiday tables—all too often as decorations. For this festive roast the fruit is used in three forms: as a thick, sweet molasses for the filling plus whole seeds and juice for the sauce. Slicing through the roast reveals a colorful pinwheel of crushed walnuts mixed with the pomegranate molasses.

Serves 8

Prep Time 50 min

Total Time 130 min.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 4 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, (see Note), divided
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 2-pound boneless center-cut pork loin roast, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds, (1 large fruit; see Tip) for garnish

Cooking Directions

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Coat a rack with cooking spray.

Step 2

To prepare pork & filling: Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Place the walnuts in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Transfer to a medium bowl and mix in 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Step 3

Using a sharp knife, make a vertical cut two-thirds of the way to the bottom of the pork. From there, slice outward horizontally to about 3/4 inch from the sides. Unfold the pork.

Step 4

Place the pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet or heavy skillet, pound the pork to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Remove the plastic wrap. Using a spatula, spread the filling over the surface, leaving a 1-inch border. Starting at the short edge, roll the roast up fairly tightly, completely enclosing the filling. Tie the roast at 1 1/2-inch intervals with kitchen string.

Step 5

Season the roast with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper and coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses. Set the roast seam-side down on the prepared rack. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155°F (it will increase to 160°F as it rests), about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a clean cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Step 6

Meanwhile, prepare sauce: Combine pomegranate juice, broth, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the sauce has reduced to 1 cup, 15 to 25 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl; add to the sauce and cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Step 7

Remove the string and carve the roast into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Serve with the sauce and garnish each serving with pomegranate seeds.


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