For some reason, I tend to make more meals with pork in the fall and winter. I think it’s because many of the recipes I use call for items more prevalent at that time. For example, I love to fix pork stuffed with fruit, either thick chops or a butterflied tenderloin. The nice selection of apples in the fall gives me the impetus to try that again.
Pork roasting in the oven gives the whole house an aroma that can’t be beat. A few sweet potatoes, an apple pie – that’s all I need.
The following recipe uses dried fruit in the stuffing instead of fresh. Any combination of fruit works well.
PORK TENDERLOIN WITH DRIED FRUIT STUFFING*
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. finely chopped celery
1/2 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1-2 t. oil
salt and pepper
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. golden raisins (or regular raisins, or dried currants)
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 large pork tenderloin, butterflied and pounded to a rectangle, about 12 X 6 inches.
1 T. butter
1 – 2 t. oil
1/2 c. red wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. onion soup mix (optional)
salt and pepper
1/4 – 1/2 c. applesauce, unsweetened, preferably
* Really, any dried fruit will work here. I have used dried apples, raisins, apricots, any combination works well, even prunes.
** If you don’t have time to mix this, just add a pinch of cloves, nutmeg, paprika, thyme and allspice or cinnamon with a little extra pepper.
1. Saute the vegetables in the oil in a small skillet until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook and stir for 1 minute. Put the vegetables in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Mix the dried fruit and bread crumbs with the vegetables and spread over the prepared pork tenderloin leaving a 1/2 inch margin of meat uncovered with the stuffing. Roll up the pork lengthwise, firmly, but not tightly (the stuffing will be squeezed out if you roll it up too tightly).
3. Tie with butcher’s string every 1 1/2 inch. Preheat oven to 375.
4. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet large enough to accomodate the rolled up roast. Brown the tenderloin on all sides and put the skillet with pork in the oven to continue cooking.
5. Roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove pork from the skillet and cover with foil to keep warm. Remember !! The skillet is hot and so is the handle. 375 degrees will give you serious burn – I know this from experience. Keep a pot holder on the skillet handle. Put the skillet on a burner with medium high heat and deglaze the pan with 1/2 c. red wine. Reduce to a syrupy consistency, about 10 minutes. Add the 1/2 c. chicken stock and the onion soup mix, if using. Cook to reduce halfway, again about 10 minutes. Add the pork spice mix, salt and pepper and the applesauce. Cook to heat through over low heat.
6. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce.