Sunday, September 5, 2010

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

FOUND IT: I saw Claire Robinson make it on Food Network.
MODIFIED IT: To simplify and adjust a bit.

This recipe looked great when I saw it the first time, but it took me a couple of attempts to really get it right. This version of the recipe includes modifications I made to simplify and improve.

  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped*
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces italian sausage
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of whiskey
  • 1/2 cup cornbread, dried and crumbled**
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
* - Roughly chopping something that's going to go into a food processor is one of my recipe pet peeves. However, it is important here that the chunks of onion, garlic and mushrooms going into your food processor are roughly the same size.

** - I didn't have cornbread on hand for either attempt. I used a couple of stale biscuits for the first attempt, and cubed sourdough bread the second time. Both worked out well.
In a large pan, crumble and brown your Italian sausage over medium-high heat. While it's cooking, pulse the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped (Do not make them into a paste, like I did the first time). Once the sausage is cooked through, add the onion, garlic and mushroom mixture, salt and pepper and saute until the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.

Once all the liquid has evaporated, remove the mixture to a medium bowl. Reduce the heat and add your whiskey to the pan, scraping with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cornbread and parsley. Once the cornbread has soaked up all the whiskey, add it to the sausage mixture.

Slice your pork tenderloin the long way, but not all the way through. Open it up and pound it into a thin, flat surface, roughly 1/2 inch or less thick and 6-8 inches wide. Salt and pepper the tenderloin, then paint the upward-facing side with Dijon mustard. Add the stuffing mixture on top of the mustard (you may have some extra). Then, roll the tenderloin and secure the roll, using either kitchen string or toothpicks (three toothpicks is usually enough). Drizzle some olive oil on the roll and sear it on the grill, roughly 5 minutes on each of four sides. After that, remove it to indirect heat, close the grill lid and let it cook 10 more minutes.

Use a meat thermometer to check when it's done (you're looking for 145-150), but be careful when doing so: The stuffing inside will be warmer than the meat, so if your thermometer is in the stuffing it'll read as done too early.

Once it reaches the desired temperature, remove from the grill and allow it to cool for at least five minutes before serving. Serve by slicing into medallions.

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