Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to make this recipe.
  4. These pro tips will make this recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about this recipe.
  6. You'll love these other Easter recipes.
  7. Watch how to make this recipe.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. Kale, Fennel & Apple Pork Roulade Recipe

If you’re looking for a show-stopping meal to serve on any special occasion, this pork roulade with a fennel, kale, and apple filling is the one to make. When spring is on the horizon, bright, fresh, healthy flavors are what everyone craves, and this main dish delivers on that. And with a beautifully seared exterior crust and swirled interior, this roulade is both beautiful and delicious!

Why this recipe works.

Main dishes were important in my childhood, where most meals centered around the traditional meal of a main dish and two side dishes. I grew up with the idea that meals needed to consist of meat as a main dish, with other foods playing an accompanying role. Now I relegate these main dish meats to special occasions and celebrations when I take more time to prepare a traditional meal. This roulade is a perfect special occasion main dish. A pork loin is lean and can be easily butterflied to hold a filling. The filling is bright and compliments more fresh flavors for a spring meal. After the filling is cooked and added to the meat, it is rolled up like a jelly roll and roasted. The presentation is beautiful, but, more importantly, the flavor will leave everyone wanting more.

White marble surface with white platter with pork roulade sitting on a bed of fresh herbs with two slices on the side of the plate with glass of white wine and sliced lemon to the side.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Pork loin roast is a lean meat cut from the pork ribs. For an even roast, make sure to ask for a center-cut portion.
  • Apples are a classic flavor with pork and will add a balance of sweet-tart flavor. Choose an apple that holds texture once baked like a Honeycrisp.
  • Fennel is a bulb that has a sweet, slightly anise-like flavor. Fennel is often used with apples for the complimentary flavors that marry perfectly.
  • Frozen kale is an easy way to use kale that cooks quickly. Before freezing, kale is blanched, which par-cooks the green. The frozen kale will quickly cook into the filling and have a complimentary texture.
  • White wine acts as an acid in the filling and adds a brightness that improves all the flavors. For non-alcoholic, add chicken stock with a squeeze of lemon juice.
White marble surface filled with all ingredients needed to make pork roulade including raw pork loin, kale, apple, fennel, onion, fresh herbs, salt, and more.

Here’s how to make this recipe.

  1. Prepare the filling. Dice the onion and fennel, removing the core of the fennel before chopping. Melt butter in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Then add the diced onion, diced fennel, salt, and black pepper, and let this soften on the heat for about 6 to 8 minutes. Separately, peel and chop the apple, mince the garlic, and chop the fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. When the onion and fennel in the skillet have gotten a bit of golden color, add the apple, garlic, and herbs. Cook the mixture for 4 to 6 minutes, then add the white wine and frozen kale. Let the mixture cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and add the lemon zest and lemon juice, stirring to mix into the filling. Let the mixture cool while preparing the pork.
  1. Prepare the pork. Butterfly the pork loin roast using a sharp knife to slice the roast in half. Open the roast like a book and slice each half in half again. Place a piece of plastic wrap (or any desired covering) over the pork and hammer it with a meat pounder to flatten the roast.
  1. Fill and roll the pork roulade. Once the pork roast is flat, add the salt and black pepper, sprinkling it all over the surface of the pork. Then add the entire amount of cooked filling on top and spread it out to an even layer. Starting at one end of the pork, roll it up lengthwise, pressing the filling in as you roll. Once fully rolled, use butcher’s twine to secure the pork to prevent the filling from spilling. Slice off any of the excess butcher’s twine. Finish by sprinkling salt on the exterior of the rolled pork roulade.
  1. Sear and cook the pork. Before using the same oven-safe skillet that was used to cook the filling, use a paper towel to remove any of the browned bits. Add neutral oil to the skillet and let it heat up over medium heat. Then add the prepared pork roulade, searing on each side for about 4 minutes. Once the pork is seared on all sides, place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once the internal temperature of the meat registers 140°F, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook the meat to the desired internal temperature of 150°F. Cut the butcher’s twine to release the meat. Then slice and serve immediately.

These pro tips will make this recipe a success.

  • Once the filling has cooked on the stovetop, make sure to taste it for seasoning, adjusting for any additional salt or black pepper that may be needed. Since the mixture is fully cooked at this point, it can be tasted without fear of contamination. Adding salt and black pepper at each level of cooking ensures that less salt is used overall.
  • Rolling up the pork roulade with the filling inside can tend to be a bit messy. To decrease the chance of the filling escaping, leave a gap about an inch thick on each end of the pork. As the pork is rolled, the filling will expand, pressing out to fill up this space and minimize the amount of filling that falls out.
  • To tie up the pork roulade, make sure to use butcher’s twine rather than something synthetic. Butcher’s twine will not melt in the skillet and oven and can easily be cut off after the pork is cooked.
White platter filled with pork roulade with herbs on both sides including two slices off the end showing the interior swirl of the roast including the onion, fennel, and kale filling.

Frequently asked questions about this recipe.

Can something besides white wine be used in the filling?

Yes, use chicken stock instead of white wine, and add a squeeze of lemon juice for the acid.

Does a center cut of pork loin roast have to be used, or will a different cut also work?

The best option for this recipe is a pork loin, especially the center cut. If an end cut of pork loin is used, it could be very small and hard to butterfly.

Is there a different vegetable besides kale that can be used? Does the fennel have to be used as well?

Yes, spinach or Swiss chard can be used instead of kale and offer the same flavor once cooked. Fennel is a large part of the recipe and will marry the flavors of the filling well. I would not omit the fennel.

How long will this pork last as leftovers once cooked?

As leftovers, the pork loin can be sliced and stored in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.

Watch how to make this recipe.

More Easter recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

White marble surface filled with white platter with a cooked pork roulade sitting on a bed of herbs with two slices showing the interior swirl filled with kale, onion, and fennel mixture.

Kale, Fennel & Apple Pork Roulade

5 from 2 votes
If you’re looking for a show-stopping meal to serve on any special occasion, this pork roulade with a fennel, kale, and apple filling is the one to make. When spring is on the horizon, bright, fresh, healthy flavors are what everyone craves, and this main dish delivers on that. And with a beautifully seared exterior crust and swirled interior, this roulade is both beautiful and delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 42 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 12 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • butcher's twine

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bulb fennel diced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 apple peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 8 oz frozen kale
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For the pork

  • 3-4 lb center cut pork roast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil

Instructions
 

For the filling

  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
    2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Once melted, add the onion, fennel, salt, and black pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic, apple, rosemary, and thyme. Sauté until the apple begins to soften, 4-6 minutes. Pour in the white wine. Bring the wine to a simmer and cook until most of the wine is evaporated, 4-6 minutes. Add the frozen kale and cook until the kale is soft and any liquid has cooked off, 4-6 minutes.
    1 medium onion, 1 bulb fennel, ½ tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp fresh minced rosemary, 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, ¼ cup white wine, 8 oz frozen kale, 1 apple
  • Remove the filling from the heat and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
    2 tsp lemon zest, 1 tsp lemon juice

For the pork

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Butterfly the pork loin. With the loin placed vertically on the counter with the flat side down, use a sharp knife to make a center cut in the middle of the loin, making sure not to cut through the loin. Leave a ½-inch uncut portion so the loin halves hold together. Open the loin like a book. On each side, place the knife at the center and cut each half in half again, opening each like a book. Place plastic wrap over the meat and use a meat pounder to pound the meat to an even layer, removing any thick spots.
    3-4 lb center cut pork roast
  • Sprinkle the salt and black pepper over the butterflied meat. Then spread the prepared filling on top. Starting with the short side, roll the meat up like a spiral. Place pieces of butcher's twine under the meat and tie each piece to create an even roulade that will hold together.
    1 tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp black pepper
  • Wipe the skillet out and heat the neutral oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the roulade and sear until well-browned on all sides, 4 minutes per side. Once browned, roast the roulade in the preheated oven until the center registers 140℉. Once the meat registers 140℉, remove the roulade from the oven and allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking. At this point, the interior temperature of the meat should register 150℉. Slice and serve.
    2 tbsp neutral oil

Notes

  • Once the filling has cooked on the stovetop, make sure to taste it for seasoning, adjusting for any additional salt or black pepper that may be needed. Since the mixture is fully cooked at this point, it can be tasted without fear of contamination. Adding salt and black pepper at each level of cooking ensures that less salt is used overall.
  • Rolling up the pork roulade with the filling inside can tend to be a bit messy. To decrease the chance of the filling escaping, leave a gap about an inch thick on each end of the pork. As the pork is rolled, the filling will expand, pressing out to fill up this space and minimize the amount of filling that falls out.
  • To tie up the pork roulade, make sure to use butcher’s twine rather than something synthetic. Butcher’s twine will not melt in the skillet and oven and can easily be cut off after the pork is cooked.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 292kcal
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Cooking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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1 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this up tonight. It was wonderful and delicious. I had left over roulade but I made wild rice just added it to that. It was all delicious. Thank you for the recipe. I will be making it again.