"Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin takes a few simple ingredients that turn tasteless pork tenderloin from ordinary to extraordinary."
The making of Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Pork tenderloin and boneless skinless chicken breasts are two of BB's and my favorite proteins these days. Mostly because they are so lean. But being lean sometimes equals being tasteless. You know mediocre. So my goal, as always, is to take mediocre and make it fabulous.
Without adding unnecessary fat or calories.
That is what I did with this recipe for Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.
I hope you agree.
Prepare the Pork Tenderloin
What is silver skin? Silverskin is that odd rather unappetizing looking silvery-white connective tissue that must be removed from pork, beef, and lamb prior to cooking.
Why remove it? Silverskin does not break down when cooked and will add nothing to your dish but a bit of chewy awfulness. To remove it, take the tip of a sharp knife and insert it just under the beginning of where the silver skin starts, holding the blade at an upward angle, follow the length of the silver skin until you come to the end; remove and dispose of the silver skin. Continue working around the meat, sometimes, it is on both sides, until you have removed it all.
Now to butterfly: Once the silver skin is removed, butterfly the tenderloin by laying it flat; using a sharp knife cut almost through the meat, stopping about ½ inch from cutting all the way through. Open the tenderloin up like a book, place between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it evenly to be about ⅓ inch thick. Don't pound too hard as you don't want to break through the meat; just get it all even.
The Herb Filling
For the filling, I thought of my recipe for My Mother's Rouladen and how much flavor a little bit of mustard adds - that would be a great start. Herbs also add great flavor without adding any calories; but I wanted the filling to be a little more substantial, so breadcrumbs were in order. I know, calories, but nonetheless, good texture and flavor. Food is, after all, the sum of all its parts.
After sautéing some chopped fennel and onions together in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and butter, I added fresh parsley, thyme, and breadcrumbs. I used panko, as that's what I had, but you could use fresh as well. Since I used panko, which is dry, I added a little chicken stock to "wet it up". If you use fresh bread crumbs, I think the chicken stock could be eliminated. You don't want the stuffing too wet.
Step by Step
So the first step was to trim, butterfly, and pound. The second step, salt, pepper, and a thin layer of Dijon mustard. The third step, some freshly snipped rosemary (this added so much flavor, but since rosemary can be very strong, I just snipped some over the top of the mustard so I had control over how much, and where, it was going). Then I spread the "stuffing" on top of that.
Roll this up tightly and tie with cooking string. I just tied pieces of string around at about a 2-inch interval. Heat a bit of extra virgin olive oil and butter together in a pan (I used the same pan as I did my fennel onion sauté that I simply wiped out) and brown the tenderloin well on all sides.
Stick in a 350º oven for 20 - 30 minutes while you whip up the quick mustard sauce (recipe is included) and VOILA
Serve Herb Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with...
Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 1 about 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Fresh snipped rosemary to taste, about 1 teaspoon is what I used
- For the Filling
- ½ cup finely diced fennel
- ½ cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves about 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon each extra virgin olive oil and unsalted butter divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
- ½ cup panko or fresh breadcrumbs if desired
- Chicken stock as needed to moisten the stuffing
- For the Mustard Sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup low-fat milk or half and half (if you're not counting)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (well duh)
- Heat the oven to 350°FPrepare the TenderloinTrim all the silver skin from the tenderloin and butterfly it. Place between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a flat meat pounder, or the bottom of a small skillet, gently pound the meat, working from the middle to the outside, until it is uniformly even about ⅓ inch thick. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper; thinly spread the mustard over the surface then snip the rosemary finely over the top.
- Prepare the Stuffing: Heat half the oil and butter in a skillet, when the butter has melted add the fennel, and onion, sauté stirring until the onion begins to turn translucent, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the fresh herbs, cook for 1 minute, then add the bread crumbs, stir well; add enough chicken stock to just moisten the bread crumbs (omit this step if using fresh). Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Spread evenly over the tenderloin. (if not cooking immediately, make sure the stuffing is completely cool before spreading so no bacteria begins to form). Roll tightly jelly-roll fashion, and tie at 2-inch intervals with cooking string. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Heat the remaining oil and butter together in an oven-proof skillet, when hot add the tenderloin and brown well on all sides. Place in the oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the Dijon Mustard Sauce: While the roast is cooking in the oven, stir the chicken stock and cornstarch together until the cornstarch is dissolved; stir in the mustard and milk. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, cook until it has thickened. If you like a thicker sauce, add a bit more cornstarch that has been mixed with a bit of water. Taste and adjust for salt.
- To Serve: Slice the tenderloin and spoon on the sauce.