Months ago I came up with any idea to create a virtual dinner party with other bloggers that I at the time did not know. It took me a while to think through how it could work and how to find the other bloggers to work with. I wanted this menu to be for Canadian Thanksgiving but this did not allow everyone enough time in their busy schedules to put everything together. We changed it to A Virtual Autumn Harvest Dinner and away we went. I found a group of likeminded bloggers who joined me in coming up a menu. Everyone was left to come up with their own blog post and their own idea for their idea of Autumn Harvest. This has resulted in an amazing array of beautiful dishes for you to enjoy.
This quote explains exactly how I feel about Autumn dinners You can check out this post at
Eat, Drink and Be Thankful.
When a hostess who has no dinner restrictions finds out she has a guest who is gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, or other food challenge it presents a real challenge. How do you keep the quality and adapt your menu to the guest with challenges. No one who has restrictions expects you to prepare the entire meal for their needs, but it is important for the hostess to point out which dishes are suitable for their guest. With Celiac Disease the guest can become quite ill from the smallest bit of gluten. Which means that the host will need to be aware of cross contamination in order to safely feed the gluten free guest.
We invite you to enjoy our gluten and dairy free Autumn Feast. There is no lack of taste in this menu. My contribution as hostess of this virtual dinner is the main course and a side of crispy roast potatoes. My choice of main course is a Gluten free stuffed pork roast filled with a savoury and sweet stuffing. My kitchen smells divine with the roast in the oven. This is one of those meals that you can prepare ahead of time and simply pop it in the oven when it is time.
Butchers twine; cut in 5 arm lengths
Parchment paper to line a shallow baking pan
1 pork roast, either butt or loin (loin is more lean)
4 small slices of gluten free bread, processed into crumbs
1 red onion, chopped
2 firm apples peel on, chopped
½ cup of chopped dates
6 slices of bacon, chopped
Three cups of fresh spinach
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, three whole and one minced (stem removed)
Salt and pepper
The first step is to select your roast. I chose a pork butt roast (it is what my husband picked up for me), but a pork loin roast would work well too. If you ask your butcher they will probably not mind butterflying your roast for you. Basically you are cutting your roast open so that it is long and so that all parts of the roast are equal in thickness. I cut my roast into one long strip and then I used a meat tenderizer to equalize the roast into one thickness. This will also tenderize your meat. You will need some butchers twine to retie your roast after it is stuffed. Season your roast with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside while you prepare your stuffing.
The next step is to prepare your stuffing. I used bacon, red onion, apple, figs, fresh rosemary, spinach and gluten free bread crumbs. I made the crumbs myself from a loaf of gluten free bread and a food processor. The pieces are rather small for the loaf I had so I used four slices. If your bread is a little bigger than mine you can use two slices. I popped the bread in the toaster to crisp it up quickly and then chopped it into cubes and added it to the bowl of the food processor.
Brown your chopped bacon in a frying pan. You want it crispy. When your bacon is almost done add the red onions and mix it up. Keep on stirring often to keep the bacon and onion mixture cooking evenly. Add the apple, figs and chopped fresh rosemary. Add the spinach and cook just until it is wilted. Cool the stuffing mixture. When it is cooled add a beaten egg and a half cup of broth. I used turkey as that is what I had, but you can use any broth you have on hand. Add the broth slowly as you want to keep your stuffing sort of sticky dry. It will stay in the roast better if it is dryer. Blot your flattened pork roast with paper towel and then spread the surface with your cooled stuffing. Prepare your butchers twine before you begin to roll your roast. I placed the twine under the roast before I rolled it, just to make it a two hand job instead of three handed. This will be the hardest part of the whole entrée, but it is very worth the effort. I placed some extra sprigs of fresh rosemary under the string on top of the roast to add extra flavour and so it would look nice. I have a rosemary plant outside my front door, but this step is optional if you do not have one.
|Pork roast with stuffing ready to roll|
Cook your roast in a 350 degree oven for about one and a half hours or until your meat thermometer reads 145 degrees internally.
|You can prep to this point the day before and refridgerate until you are ready to roast.|
You will want to watch this closely as you do not want to overcook your meat. Let your roast rest for at least ten minutes before you carve it.
You want the meat to firm up a bit so that the stuffing does not all spill out when you carve it.
|My roast is now ready to serve|
I made a side dish of crispy roast potatoes to go with my meat. My husband is very much a meat and potatoes eater. As far as he is concerned no meal is complete without potatoes. My Mom rest her soul taught me how to roast the potatoes before she passed. It one of the last recipes she ever showed me. Peel and chop your potatoes into cubes. Approximately 1 inch to 1 ½ inch squares. Coat the potatoes with a little olive oil and salt and pepper in a Ziploc bag. Give them a good shake. The secret to making potatoes that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is to roast them in a shallow pan with a layer of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. I have no idea why this works but it is worth doing. The potatoes take about an hour to roast perfectly.I really hope you enjoy my contribution to this Autumn Feast and I invite you to explore the posts of my fellow bloggers.
Thank you for joining me for this wonderful dinner.
Here are links to my blogging dinner guests for our autumn harvest dinner
Gluten Free Giant Pumpkin Skillet Cookie with Icing & Caramel Drizzle