Rotisserie Stuffed Pork Loin with Pepperoni, Provolone and Capicola


I complain a lot about bland pork loin. By breeding out the fat in pork, the Other White Meat has become a slab of protein without any real flavor, and one that turns dry if it is slightly overcooked. Here is my solution to those problems - use pork loin as a carrier for other ingredients that have a big hit of flavor.

The problems I listed above are an advantage when pork loin is used as a delivery system for stuffing. The solid slab of protein makes it easy to cut into a wide, thin, flat surface. The bland meat takes on whatever flavors it is stuffed with. I still have to watch out for overcooking, but I brine the pork loin to give an extra cushion, and to pump the loin up with flavor.

The next step was to pick out the type of stuffing I wanted to use. I chose an Italian cured meat theme. Sandwich pepperoni and capicola were on sale at my local grocery store, and I added provolone for a layer of melted cheese. Finally, I picked up a package of mixed poultry herbs to add the flavors of thyme, sage and rosemary. The result is layers of flavor. It starts with the brined pork loin, with that incredible browned crust from rotisserie. That gives way to a layer of herbs, followed by the spicy pepperoni and the smoky capicola, and a finishing hit of oozing provolone. Pork loin is not boring if it is filled with this much good stuff.

Recipe: Rotisserie Pork Loin Stuffed with Pepperoni, Provolone and Capicola

Inspired by: Steven Raichlen How To Grill

Equipment:
  • Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I used a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here is the current version of my grill. )
  • Aluminum foil drip pan (9"x12", or whatever fits your grill)
  • Butcher's twine


Ingredients:
Roast and brine
  • 6 lbs Pork Loin (cut in half to yield two 3lbs roasts)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup table salt (or 1 cup kosher salt)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (or regular sugar)
Stuffing
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and sage)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 oz pepperoni, sliced thin (I used sandwich pepperoni)
  • 1/2 lb provolone, sliced thin
  • 6 oz capicola, sliced thin (I used sweet capicola)


Directions:
1. Butterfly and brine pork loins: Mix the brine ingredients together in a container large enough to hold the pork loins. Let the salt and sugar in the brine dissolve while preparing the pork loin. Slash the fat on the top of the pork loin by making parallel, shallow cuts about 1/2" apart. Butterfly the pork loins, opening them up for the stuffing. (See pictures below for a visual explanation.) Turn the loin on its side, and a lengthwise cut, 1/3 of the way into the loin, cutting to within 1/2" of the far side - the cut should go almost all of the way through, but not quite. Fold this cut open, then turn your knife and continue the cut into the loin, mid-way through the remaining, larger side of the loin, cutting again to 1/2" from the far side. When you fold this final cut open, the loin should be an even thickness all the way across. Repeat with the second loin. Stir the brine until the salt and sugar are dissolved, then add the butterflied pork loins. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to let the brine penetrate the meat.




2. Prepare the grill: Set the grill up for rotisserie cooking at high heat. For my Weber Summit, this means removing the grates, turning the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to high, and turning the infrared burner to high. Then I put my drip pan in the middle, over the unlit burners, and let the grill preheat for ten to fifteen minutes. (See here for more rotisserie setup details.)

3. Stuff and tie the pork loins: While the grill is preheating, stuff and tie the pork loins. Remove the loins from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Spread the loin out, fat side down. Sprinkle with half the herbs and a light coating of black pepper. Top the loin with a layer of pepperoni, a layer of provolone, and a layer of capicola. Roll the loin back up the way you sliced it; the fat should wind up on top, with a spiral of stuffing inside the loin. Truss the loin in a couple of places with butchers twine. Repeat with the second loin, stuffing and tying. Now, take the two loins and put them together with the fat caps facing outward, and trust the two loins together, using butchers twine about every inch and a half. Finally, run the rotisserie spit between the two trussed loins, driving the forks into the middle of the loins to hold them steady.




4. Cook the stuffed pork loins: Put the spit on the grill, start the rotisserie motor, and cook with the lid closed. Check the loins after 45 minutes, and every 15 minutes after that; if they are getting too browned, turn the heat on the grill down to medium (I do this in my Summit by turning off the rotisserie burner; in a charcoal grill it happens naturally as the coals burn down.) The total cooking time will be an hour to an hour and a half; the loin is done when it measures 140*F internal temperature at its thickest point when measured with an instant read thermometer. When checking the temperature, watch out for the spit and the forks, because they will throw the reading off; aim for the center mass of one of the loins.


5. Serve: Remove the loins from the spit, and cut the twine from the loins. Let them rest for at least ten minutes before carving. Cut the loins crosswise into 1/2" thick slices and serve.

Variations:
*Different deli meat in the stuffing: Any Italian deli meat will do in the stuffing - I picked pepperoni and capicola because they were on sale, but I have to admit that I went in planning on prosciutto. I just couldn't get over the price difference, especially since it wasn't the real thing from Italy. In the end, I would get about a pound of whatever looks good, with one half being a salami or pepperoni style meat, and the other half being a ham, capicola, or prosciutto style meat. (But if I did buy prosciutto, I would cut the amount of meat in half, to showcase it).

*Different cheese in the stuffing: I picked provolone because it was easy, and I think it has more flavor than mozzarella. But, mozzarella would work, and asiago would also be a good choice.

Notes:
*The cheese will ooze out of the sides of the loin, so make sure to cook some rotisserie pan potatoes in the drip pan. The potatoes will be covered in cheesy, pork fatty goodness.

*Leftovers make great sandwiches. Thin-slice any pork you want to use in sandwiches, because the pork loin can be tough to bite through if it is cut too thick.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:
Rotisserie Pork Loin
Rotisserie Pan Potatoes
Click here for my other rotisserie recipes.

Inspired by:
Steven Raichlen How To Grill



Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.

Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.

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17 comments:

Ann said...

If you don't have a rotisserie, how would you cook this? Sounds great - but no rotisserie to be had around this house (Santa may be called in to help..!)

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Ann:

Use the same directions, but grill the pork loin using indirect medium heat. Set the grill up as directed, but put your grill grate back on after you put the drip pan in. Once the grill is preheated, put the pork loin roast over the drip pan, and cook with the lid closed. Flip the roast halfway through the cooking time. It will probably take a few extra minutes to cook this way; go by the internal temperature.

Hope this helps!

Ann said...

THanks Mike!!!!!!

Rob Freundlich said...

I did this yesterday with a couple of alterations

The first change was time-related. I had about 2 hours from the time I got home with my pork roast (a 3.75 pounder) until we had to be out the door for a kids' sporting event. So I skipped the brining step.

The second change was allergy-related. I can't do garlic and other spicy things these days, and my entire family is allergic to dairy. So I made a paste by putting apples, onions, dates, and sage into my food processor and using that for the stuffing.

Skipping the brining step didn't affect it much, perhaps because of the juiciness of the stuffing. The apple flavor infused through the meat, making the end result pretty darn amazing. The spirals don't hold together quite as well as they would with cheese in the stuffing, but that's a small price to pay for actually being able to eat this.

Thanks, Mike, for a great idea!

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Rob:

I'm glad to see you took my idea and ran with it - your version sounds mouth-watering.

Rich said...

I am always looking for another excuse to use the rotisserie Mike and tried this for a change!You are right about the cheese melting out as there was none left(I believe I cooked it too long even though I pulled it at 140)
The roast was fine but I found that by overcooking it (forgot to allow for carryover temp [bangs head against wall while asking screensaver of Alton Brown for forgiveness]it only tastes good with (and what doesnt)gravy!
Next time.....dont buy whole pork loin......use same italian herbs and cured meats.....use same cheese....pull meat off spit at 135......as caryover will gain 5+ degrees

MikeV @ DadCooksDinner said...

@Rich:

Thanks for your experience; you've got good suggestions in there.

Betty said...

New Comment on an older recipe.....Made this last summer with salami and pepperoni and provolone and as you probably guessed even though it was delicious the combo of meat made it a little greasy so will switch it up this year. My questions is how big of a porkloin do you think I should use for approx 13-15 people? BTW didn't cut my loin in half last year as you do in recipe and it made the rotisserie turn un evenly so I will definately be cutting in half this year or I might try it on my smoker for more flavor. Thanks for all the great recipes!!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

I'd guess at 1/2 a pound of meat per person, and I think a whole pork loin weighs about 8 to 10 pounds - so a whole loin should serve 16 people.

Good luck!

Teresa Kane-Basgall said...

Made this tonight - it was a huge hit with the family - thank you for sharing! I used a Ronco rotisserie and a 4 lb pork loin. Kept to your recipe, but added some fresh garlic cloves, sundried tomatoes and fresh spinach. No leftovers tonight!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

Jono said...

Thank you for a great recipe. What about a bacon wrap around the pork?

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Bacon is always an improvement, but it's tricky on the rotisserie. It always wants to work its way loose; you have to truss very thoroughly, and assume even then that some of the ends will work loose and burn.

jjaywill said...

I use toothpicks to help secure the bacon. Just gotta remember to remove them.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Good idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Merle Walker said...

I just got a rotisserie for my Kenmore five burner with rotisserie burner and was looking for some inspiration and used this recipe as a jumping in point. I used your brine but then wilted some Swiss Chard from the garden in rendered bacon fat, sauteed onions and deglazed with aged white wine vinegar as the stuffing (along with rosemary and thyme, also from the garden). I then wrapped in bacon parallel to the loin and trussed every inch or so. It was incredible.


I made your smashed red skins and if any part of the ends of the bacon were loose, I just snipped them off with kitchen shears and let them fall into the potatoes. No one could believe the potatoes were only S&P and the rendered fat from the porchetta (at least my version of porchetta on the grill).


You are right about the rotisserie, I can see it being my go-to cooking method in the future. I have a basket for the spit and I think I am going to tackle wings next with some smoke. Thanks for an awesome site. I will be visiting often and will purchase a cookbook as a thank you.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

That sounds fantastic - thanks for sharing!

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