Yield: approximately 8 servings

3 tablespoons rendered bacon fat or canola oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 (1-pound) bag washed and chopped collard greens (about 12 cups)
1 cup apple cider
2 cups cored and diced Pink Lady apple (about 2 apples)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
¼ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin, trimmed
1 pound bacon
6 shallots, peeled
5 small Gala apples, halved
Garnish: fresh sage

 

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place a wire rack in a large roasting pan. Set aside. 


2. In a large Dutch oven, heat rendered bacon fat or canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, approximately 6 minutes. Stir in greens, a few handfuls at a time, and cook until wilted. Add cider; cover, and cook until greens are tender, approximately 30 minutes.


3. Stir in apple, 1½ teaspoons salt, sage, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and lemon zest. Cook, uncovered, until liquid has evaporated and apples are just tender but not mushy, approximately 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. 


4. Butterfly and flatten pork loin (see right). Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top with greens mixture, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Starting with end closest to you, tightly roll pork loin. 


5. Wrap bacon slices around pork, slightly overlapping slices. Using kitchen twine, tie pork in 1-inch intervals. Place pork in prepared pan. 


6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Add shallot and apple, and continue baking until pork reaches an internal temperature of 130° to 135°, approximately 20 minutes more. Let stand at least 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with sage, if desired.