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!
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
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.
Remove the filling from the heat and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir and set aside.
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.
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.
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.
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.