Here’s a classic – pork roulade. While not that too simple to prepare, this dish tastes so rich it’s all worth the effort.
Basically, a roulade is a dish of whatever meat, seasoned to your choice, stuffed with some moist ingredient mix, rolled-up and trussed, seared, then braised in a flavored stock, and finished off with a sauce out of the braising liquid.
Go get creative. Use any meat, seasoning blend, stuffing, braising liquid, sauce refining combination you could imagine.
For this recipe of pork roulade, we’re going for a basic French stuffing of duxelles – mushrooms, shallots, and herbs caramelized in butter. The flavor of pork and mushrooms are a time-tested pair. In addition to its earthy flavor, those mushrooms should provide moisture to the pork loins, which is relatively lean and dry.
Sweat them in a hot pan to allow some of the moisture content to evaporate. Adding a pinch of salt would really help draw out this moisture. Doing so will not only make stuffing the roulades easier, but would also get those flavors to concentrate.
As you let your stuffing cool a bit, it’s time to work on the pork. Slice your pork loin into one-inch steaks, butterfly them, then flatten them out with a meat mallet. Get them as thin as you possibly can without creating gaps or holes in the meat.
Season the flattened pork on both sides. I went for a classic dijon mustard, sage, salt, and black pepper combo. These on pork. . . you really can’t go wrong.
Spoon in some of your stuffing near one of the pork’s short edges. If you’re doing this for the first time, you may have to work on one or two roulades to get a proper estimate of how much filling you’ll be needing for each.
Roll the pork along with the stuffing all the way to the other edge the secure your roulades. I’ve seen some cooks successfully achieve this task with some wooden skewers. For me, I’ll stick to my trusted method of trussing them up individually with some butcher’s twine.
Time to get those roulades searing. Doing so will not only give them a beautifully brown crust, but those pan drippings, as a result will serve as a flavor base for the sauce.
Set the seared roulades aside and in the same pan, sweat those aromatics. Again, I’m going for the traditional French mirepoix of onions, carrots, and celery. Give them about 2-3 minutes to intensify their flavors. Then add the tomato paste and roast for another minute.
Deglaze those pan drippings with about a cup of red wine. Allow the wine to reduce to less than half its volume to deepen the colors and flavors, and to cut down its acidity. Scrape the drippings loose with a spatula as the wine reduces.
Tip all of the pan’s contents into the slow cooker, then get the roulades in before adding the stock. You’ll want to get just enough stock to get the pork submerged to not more than two-thirds of the way. Submerging them fully would ruin the color of the crust.
These roulades should be perfectly tender after six hours on a low heat setting in your favorite crock pot. Take them out of the pot, get the twine off, then cut them on a slight diagonal.
Also time to finish your sauce. Strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and allow it to reduce over the stove. Once reduced to a slightly thick consistency, refine your sauce by whisking in a few cold butter nuggets.