This roast is simple enough for a Sunday supper with the family or elegant enough for entertaining. In either instance it is a snap to prepare. Dried fruit (pick seasonal favorites) create a colorful and immensely flavorful channel down the center of the roast. The mustard coating seals in the moisture creating a delicious crust. Arrange overlapping slices of the roast on a platter and serve with steamed new potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes and a seasonal vegetable.
1 boneless top loin pork roast, about 2 1/2 pounds
3 ounces dried apricots, (about 14)
5 ounces dried plums, about 16, pitted (prunes)
1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup dry white wine
Arrange an oven rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stand the roast on its end and insert a thin-bladed knife down the center of the roast lengthwise, creating a tube-like opening. Stuff the length of the roast with the dried fruit, stacking a piece of apricot on top of a prune as you stuff it. (If necessary, cut a slit at the other end of the roast and stuff half the fruit from one side of the roast and half the fruit from the other side.)
In a small bowl combine the mustard with the garlic powder and pepper. Rub the roast all over with the mustard mixture.
Arrange the carrots, celery, and onion in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Place the roast on top of the vegetables. Pour the wine over top and add up to 1/2 cup water to the pan. (The liquid should cover the bottom of the pan but be below the bottom of the roast.)
Roast the pork, uncovered, for 45 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F. (Insert the thermometer into the meat portion of the roast, keeping the tip away from the fruit.)
Remove from the oven, transfer the roast to a carving board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest until temperature reaches 160 degrees F, about 10 minutes. (Discard the vegetables and liquid in the pan.)