Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: about 2 hours
• 2kg pork loin, skin on, at room temperature
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 250ml stock
• 8 slices (about 100 g) Black Forest ham
• 2 rolls soft goat’s cheese rolled in paprika and pepper
• about 8 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked overnight in 60 ml sherry
• 16 glacé cherries
1. Using a sharp utility knife, score the entire rind at 1 cm intervals, without cutting through the fat of the meat (or ask your butcher to do it for you). Rub generously with salt and pepper and place the meat, skin side down, on a clean work surface.
2. Butterfly the meat carefully with a sharp knife. Start by making a notch on one side and then opening up the meat in stages until it is completely open; ‘unroll’ the meat as you go along (almost like a new roll of paper towels). The idea is to maintain the same thickness all over so that the filling stays in the middle when the meat is rolled up.
3. Once the meat is in a flat rectangle in front of you, arrange the ham slices in a row across the width in the centre of the meat. Next, distribute two rolls of cheese (crumbled or sliced) in a strip across the ham. Drain the dates. Push two glacé cherries inside each date and arrange on top of the cheese. Now fold the meat carefully over the filling and re-form the roll with the skin side up and the dates in the middle. Tie the meat in a neat roll with lengths of kitchen string about 2 cm apart.
4. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the rolled meat on a wire rack in a roasting pan, pour the stock in the bottom of the pan and bake for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. Turn on the oven grill and grill the meat carefully on all sides until the rind has puffed up and turned crispy. Turn off the oven and let the meat rest in a warm place (in the warming drawer or under a foil tent) for about 10 minutes before carving.
Tip: Remember, you can always roast some root vegetables in the pan with the meat. Add a large handful of baby carrots and pickled onions to the pan for the last 20 minutes of the cooking time.