I have never managed to make a satisfactory roast photograph and this one was particularly difficult, so if I dare showing it here, there are important gustatory reasons. The crazy idea of stuffing pork with fresh chilli peppers came from my husband, who sincerely hates my beloved prune stuffed version and I must admit he had a good intuition! It might look clumsy and messy, it might not be photogenic, but this delicious fiery roast is a revolutionary discovery for the big chilli addicts we both are.
Apart from the unusual stuffing, another novelty in this roast was the presence of green chilli powder, which I happily own for the first time in my life thanks to MJ, my dear New Mexico blogging friend. I have been reading about green chilli powder on MJ’s Kitchen for years, so when she kindly sent me this wonderful gift (together with some other treasures I won’t mention here yet because you will all get extremely jealous!), I jumped on the first occasion I had to use it. If you don’t know it yet, green chilli powder (or rather “chile” as it’s called in MJ’s region) it of course made from green (unripe) chillies and has obviously a green colour. It’s surprising not only visually, but from the aromatic point of view. It smells incredibly fresh, it has a delicate tingling effect on nostrils (sneezing guaranteed if you inhale too much) and the smell is so complex, it’s hard to believe it comes from one ingredient only. Thank you so much, MJ, for this wonderful discovery!
Replacing my usual red chilli powder with green one in my pork rub resulted in a much cleaner, more elegant and fresh result and I simply loved it! Even though slightly drier than a prune roast, this one was amazingly good warm on an open sandwich with… pickled chilli pepper, making it a triple chilli treat!
TIPS: If you use lean meat (like I do), do not expect a moist result, like in the case of prune stuffing (though chilli does moisten the meat slightly, of course). The drier result is the reason why I preferred it sliced in a sandwich (not necessarily cold!) rather than as a part fo a warm “standard” meal.
It is usually advised to roast pork for one hour per 1 kg of meat. For our everyday meals I usually buy a small piece of loin (about 600 g), brown it first in a pan and this process reduces also the further time of roasting. Feel free to apply your own roasting method here.
Stuffing pork with anything is not difficult, though if you want to make it neatly, it might be a bit tricky with fresh chilli (it was easier to achieve a more or less aesthetic effect with prunes for example).
You can use any fresh chilli you prefer, its hotness level depending on your habit and resistance.
It has nothing to do with chilli, but I strongly discourage you from stuffing pork with garlic, unless it’s a fatty meat cut and you bake it for hours. Garlic will not soften quickly (I think it needs at least two hours inside of meat or maybe more) and you will end up with harsh-tasting, tough bits of garlic in your roast (I did it once).
If you want to learn more about green chile powder and its use, visit MJ’s Kitchen and discover her fantastic New Mexico cuisine.
Preparation: about 1 hour (+ marinating time, but it’s not necessary)
Ingredients (serves two – three or makes about ten big sandwiches):
600 g/about 21 oz pork loin (or any other pork cut you prefer; the fattier, the juicier it will be)
dried garlic powder (see the super easy home recipe here)
a very generous amount (I have used two tablespoons because the chillie was not extremely hot) of green chillie powder (of course use red one if you don’t have it, but you should probably reduce the amounts)
4- 5 long green or red (or a mixture of both) fresh chilli peppers; use medium hot chillies of you don’t support very hot food
Start with the stuffing.
First of all wear gloves to protect your skin from chillies.
Remove the seeds and cut the chillies into long thin strips (not thicker than the blade of the knife with which you will make the “tunnel” cuts)
Make about 8-10 long cuts (tunnels) with a rather narrow-bladed knife inside of your roast (lengthwise).
Using your fingers stuff them with the chilli strips (do this after each cut, so that you remember well where you did them).
Leave some space at the end of the tunnels: the chilli strips will swell slightly and stick out of the roast otherwise.
Rub the meat on all sides starting with salt, then rubbing with garlic and then with the dried chilli powder.
Put the roast into the fridge (covered or wrapped) for several hours or overnight (or even more if you wish). (You can skip this step if you are in a hurry, though the taste will not be as good).
Heat the oven to 180°C.
Take the meat out of the fridge about 30 minutes before browning it.
Heat some oil in a pan and brown the roast on each side (about 1 minute per side).
Place the roast into a greased baking tin, pour some water at the bottom (several tablespoons).
Bake for about 30 minutes, pouring (use a spoon), once or twice, some of the juices on top of the roast (make a test after 20 minutes: if you insert a skewer the juices should be clear, without any reddish traces).
Take out of the oven and make it rest for about ten minutes before serving.
I thought it was best on an open sandwich (warm or cold).