Butterflied Pork Loin with Fennel Sausage

Look for a large boneless pork loin — in one piece — (not a tenderloin) with generous marbling and a nice cap of fat on the top for the moistest meat.

There’s a long set of instructions below explaining how to butterfly the roast — we cheated. Just ask the butcher to butterfly it for you — it’s MUCH easier!

The roast was delicious. We made a pan sauce with the drippings, deglazing the pan with a white wine, and adding a little chicken broth and then some beurre manie’ (I don’t know how to make the correct accent for the e) to thicken the sauce.

Christmas dinner!


  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 1 whole clove
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (scant), plus additional for seasoning
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound center-cut pork loin roast (4 to 5 inches in diameter)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds small fingerling potatoes, cut in half if large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled


In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, peppercorns, clove, sage, fennel seeds, parsley and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pound and grind with the pestle until you have a fairly smooth paste. Combine the seasoning paste with the ground pork and cheese and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pork loin on a cutting board with the fatty side up and the short end facing you. Place a sharp boning knife parallel to the cutting board at the top right-hand corner of the roast, a third of the way down from the top, and make an incision toward the left side of the roast. Continue to cut along the length of roast to create a flap about 1 inch thick, stopping 1/2 to 1 inch short of the left edge of the roast. Flip the top flap of meat open as if turning the page of a book.

Just to the right of the seam where the “page” opens, make a 1/2-inch cut straight down into the meat (be sure not to cut all the way through to the bottom of the roast). Turn the knife blade to face toward the right side of the remaining roast and cut it horizontally in half to make another flap of meat, stopping 1/2 to 1 inch before you reach the right edge of the roast. Open the flap of meat to the right, thus creating a rectangle of meat that is roughly 9 by 5 inches.

Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. Spread the sausage stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Rotate the cutting board clockwise so that the short side of the roast is facing you; roll the meat into a tight cylinder, tucking the first edge of meat under slightly with your fingers, as you would with a sleeping bag.

Place the rolled roast on a cutting board with the short end toward you, with the fat cap on top. Tie the meat with butcher’s string at 2-inch intervals. Season with salt and pepper. Place the meat in a roasting pan, fatty side up, and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with the oil, rosemary and salt and pepper. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees, add the potatoes to the pan and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 145 degrees, about 1 hour.

Transfer the roast to a cutting board and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Transfer the roasted potatoes to a warm bowl, cover with foil and set aside. With a sharp carving knife, carefully cut the roast crosswise into 1 1/4-inch slices, discarding string as you carve. Drizzle with drippings from the pan and serve with the potatoes.

From the Oregonian, Food Day, Dec  10, 2010

One Response to “Butterflied Pork Loin with Fennel Sausage”
  1. Gail Barber says:

    I tried this recipe last week, and it was delicious! I had to make a few substitutes and added a few more things:
    8 cloves of garlic
    Fresh rosemary from the garden-a good three sprigs as I recall
    6 Spicy Italian Sausages Links-squeezed out the pork, then mixed the spices in for the stuffing

    I also did not have much drippings after 1//2 hour of cooking, I poured an entire can of chicken broth over that, and continued to baste the Pork Tenderloin every 15 minutes until it was done. I followed Mark’s idea of beurre manie’ for the gravy (melting the butter in a glass measuring cup and rapidly stirring in the flour before pouring it into the pan), added more broth, and fresh-ground black pepper, a bit of garlic salt, and Savignon Blanc to taste. It was delicious! We served it with homemade applesauce, rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh green beans (seasoned to taste with lemon pepper, 1 tbsp. butter, and thyme). Yum!!!

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