Somehow I always manage to crave this recipe when a snow storm is headed our way. I was out shopping last Friday and was mentally trying to create a menu for a few days and I picked up the ingredients to make this stuffed pork for the Saturday night. The recipe is one I have cooked for years out of the Delia Smith Complete Illustrated Cookery Course. I arrived home, listened to the 6:00 news and voila, a snowstorm headed our way for Saturday. And it was an icy, messy doozy of a storm as well.
I had a fire lit in the afternoon in the living room and popped Babette's Feast in the DVD player, cranked up the surround sound and in to the kitchen I went to prep dinner while watching the film. What else does a foodie geek do during a storm? This is a great recipe for a dinner party as well. It presents beautifully, is simple to make and needs only a side dish of haricot vert in garlic butter or perhaps Brussels sprouts roasted with a bit of pancetta and tossed with balsamic and lemon zest.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
1 Pork tenderloin weighing about 1 pound **
3 - 4 slices of good bacon
2 Tbs butter softened
salt and fresh pepper
For the stuffing:
1 oz butter
1 medium onion finely chopped
The leaves from two or 3 sprigs of thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried)
3 - 4 fresh sage leaves minced (or 1/4 tsp dried
3 oz. mushrooms finely chopped
4 oz fresh breadcrumbs (use a good loaf of bread, cut off crusts, pulse a few times in a food processor)
4 TBS chopped fresh parsley
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg beaten with 2 TBS cream (if you do not like eggs, you could omit the egg and just use a 3 TBS heavy cream. Your stuffing will just be a bit crumblier)
For the Gravy
1 Tbs flour
10 ounces white wine. (I used a Gavi for this)
Preheat oven to 350 F
Slit the tenderloin(s) in half lengthwise and then using a rolling pin or a flat (not toothed) meat mallet to pound the two halves flatter and to make them a bit wider. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
Make the Stuffing:
Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the onions gently until soft. Add the herbs and stir once or twice. Add the mushrooms and raise the heat just a bit. Add a pinch of salt and stir. The mushroom should exude some juice. When the juice have almost evaporated, empty the contents of the pan into a bowl. Allow it to cool slightly and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir the mixture together and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the stuffing on to one half of the tenderloin. Pat it down lightly to keep it a bit firm. Place the other half on top. Smear with 1 TBS of the softened butter. Lay the slices of bacon lengthwise down the top of the tenderloin. Using kitchen twine tie everything together at about inch and a half to two inch intervals to make a nice bundle.
Using the other TBS softened butter, grease the bottom of a roasting pan. Carefully transfer the tenderloin to the pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. When the roast is cooked, remove it from the pan to a cutting board. Tent with foil.
Place the roasting pan on the stove top. Turn the burners on to low or medium-low heat. Add the flour to the pan drippings and using a wooden spoon stir until the flour is damp from the juices, add the wine and scrape up and bits stuck to the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes until it thickens. Turn off the heat. Taste for seasonings.
Remove the strings from the roast and carve across into tenderloins. Serve the gravy on the side.
**If the tenderloin tapers quite a bit at one end and is rather thin, I buy two. I slice each one open as a book, leaving the edge connected and pound it a bit flatter. When I roll them together I stack the thin ends on opposite sides. When you roll and tie it, it will look like one large roast.