Berbere Pork Loin

Discussion in 'Pork' started by disco, May 23, 2016.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have always wanted to try the North African seasoning mix, Berbere spice. I finally decided to give it a try. I was unable to find a premix in our local supermarkets so I made my own. I got the following ingredients together:
    • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) fenugreek seeds
    • 125 ml (1/2 cup) ground chipotle (can substitute ground chili peppers)
    • 125 ml (1/2 cup) paprika
    • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) kosher salt
    • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) ground ginger
    • 10 ml (2 teaspoons) onion powder
    • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground nutmeg
    • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground cardamom
    • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) ground coriander
    • 3 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garlic powder
    • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) cloves
    • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) cinnamon
    • 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) ground allspice
    The chipotle isn't traditional, they normally used ground dried chilies but I went with chipotle because I love the smokiness it adds.

    I ground the fenugreek seeds in a coffee grinder and mixed it with the rest of the ingredients. This makes about a cup of Berbere spice.

    I took a 800 gram ( 1 3/4 pound) pork loin roast and cut off the thickest fat portions. It was still half frozen which makes the cutting for this dish easier.

    Then I cut a 1/4 to 3/8 inch slice along one edge but stopping just before going all the way through.

    Then I went in the opposite direction just below that cut, again, not going all the way through.

    I continued cutting in the opposite direction just below the last cut until only a 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness was left.

    This let me open the loin up into a long thin strip.

    I put 25 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter in a large pot and melted it over medium heat. I put 175 ml (3/4 cup) small diced onion and 125 ml (1/2 cup) small dice celery in it. I sauteed until they were soft and translucent. I put 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) of Berbere spice in and sauteed for 30 seconds. I added 1/2 apple that had been cored, peeled and small diced and 50 ml (1/4 cup) dried currants (you could use chopped raisins). I sauteed for two more minutes.

    I removed it from the heat and added 125 ml) 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs, 15 ml (1 tablespoon) water and 125 grams (1/3 pound) bulk sausage. I mixed them together well.

    I spread the stuffing on the opened pork loin strip, rolled it like a jelly role and tied it to hold its shape.

    I put 1/2 onion cut into chunks, 1 stalk of celery cut into chunks and two cloves of garlic, cut in half in a roasting pan. I put a rack over the pan. I dusted the roast with Berbere spice and put it on the rack.

    I put the roast in my pellet smoker that was preheated to 350 F.

    I let it cook for 30 minutes and then I added 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) of chicken stock to the pan.

    I continued smoking for 1 hour and 20 minutes to get the internal temperature to 155 F.

    I brought the roast in and let it rest while I made the sauce.

    To make the sauce, I added 250 ml (1 cup) of water, 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry red wine, 25 ml (2 tablespoons) soy sauce and 1 ml (1/4 teaspoon) of Berbere spice to the vegetables in the roasting pan. I brought it to a boil for a couple of minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan.

    I strained and defatted the sauce and thickened it with 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of cornstarch mixed with 15 ml (1 tablespoon) being added and then heated until it was thickened and shiny.

    It was time to carve the pork.

    We served it with a couple of great salads made by She Who Must Obeyed and some focaccia I made on the grill (my next post).

    The Verdict

    This was absolutely marvelous! I had the challenge of making a dish with a very spicy seasoning but not getting over the line She Who Must Be Obeyed would eat This had a touch of heat but a great flavour profile! The Berbere spice has some complexity with its heat and the fruit in the stuffing gave a great counterpoint. However, the star of the show was the sauce. I could easily sit down with a spoon and just eat the sauce! Richly flavoured, a little spicy and a sweet background. So good!

    bearcarver, dannylang, lancep and 5 others like this.
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great,nice smoke! The sides look great as well!
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, b-one! It didn't last long! As for the sides, we got our first crop of lettuce and spinach from the garden and SWMBO makes great salads. I love when the fresh vegetables start coming.
  4. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    D, Nice job sir ,I'll be over for dinner ! 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Very nice Disco!

    Looks delicious!


  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll chill the beer, CM.
    Thanks for the point, Al!
  7. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    That pork loin looks gorgeous! I can almost taste it. The hard part is wiping the drool off my phone. Points!
  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the point and kind words, Lance! I am blushing.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Very nice. With very few exceptions, pre-mixes are just asking for disappointment. Making your own fresh blend was a good choice...JJ
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can't argue with you, Chef! However, I do use premixes from time to time for convenience (he hangs his head in shame).
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    No shame! There are some good premixes. Boutique Spice shops with high turnover have some good ones and in your case, there are probably some directly from N.Africa that would be authentic and good. The ones that disappoint is like from McCormick, Tones, and other general commercial producers...JJ
  12. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That really looks and sounds delish, Disco.  Nice job!!

    I have some premix berbere seasoning.  After I bought it, I was very curious to see what it tasted like, so I dipped a finger in the jar and licked the spice off.  Well, I never did find out what it tasted like--I was way too busy trying to save what was left of my tongue.    [​IMG][​IMG]     It was kinda like dipping your tongue in battery acid.  The "burn" was instantaneous and beyond description.  Since I have never had even an inkling of desire to try that again, to this day I have absolutely no idea what the stuff tastes like.

    So............I'm glad you tried making your own (successfully) and posted the recipe.  I'll be trying it out soon.


  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It was really good, Gary. However, you need to know that the homemade version is pretty hot too. You'll notice how little I had to use to avoid going over She Who Must Be Obeyed's spicy limit.

    Thanks for the point!
  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Disco that cutting job is a work of art,I have done my share and yours is perfect Points for that and the meal looks great.I have to stay with Gary maybe to hot for me.


    Excuse my lateness Lap Top was being cranky wouldn't let me type.
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That looks Fantastic, Disco!![​IMG]-------------------[​IMG]

    You're really getting Great at this stuff !![​IMG]

    Another one way over my Head !!![​IMG]

    Nice Job!![​IMG]

  16. jp61

    jp61 Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Gonna have to start calling you Chef Disco if you keep this up!

    [​IMG]  Very nice!
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Richie. I am not that  great with a knife. I've known a couple of butchers in my life and they were real artists.

    The Berbere spice is fiery hot but this dish uses it sparingly and it wasn't overly spicy.
    Har. I don't think there is much that goes over your head, Bear.

    Thanks for the point.
    Har! Thanks JP. The wife has a term for me but it isn't chef!
  18. My list of trying new recipes is growing, WoW  that really looks great   Mmmmm     [​IMG]

  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Gary. I suspect a spicy dish like this would tickle Texas taste buds.

  20. Disco nice job as always, good looking pork there.


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