Roast pork tenderloin with apple and pistachio stuffing
I had been thinking about this for a while, when I was talking to my mom about what she wanted to do for Christmas Eve dinner. She mentioned that she wanted to cook a pork loin and stuff it with something. My idea was to use some apples and pistachios to stuff a pork loin. Amy doesn’t eat pork(except bacon), so I was thinking I would stuff a turkey breast tenderloin instead, but then this opportunity presented itself!
This was a chance for me to do a few things that I don’t get to do very often. While I understand and know HOW to make an “S” cut in something to make a round food into a flat sheet, I had never done it. I had also never made stuffing like this. I made some cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving, so I had a general idea of how it would work. I was pretty much going to wing it! The final thing that I had never done, but more or less understood was how to tie a roast!
Equipment you’re going to need:
Sharp knife, boning, non-flexible slicer or utility
Some kind of roaster or sheet tray
An accurate thermometer
I figured the first thing I would do is make my stuffing.
1/2 loaf Scharr baguette cubed (I didn’t end up using all of this, but I was winging it, so just used what I needed.)
1 Jazz apple diced
1/2 cup pistachios after being shelled. Crushed
salt and pepper
6 fresh sage leaves fine chiffonade
1 Tablespoon approximately fresh rosemary chopped
1 pork tenderloin
Follow the directions of the Scharr bread. Or use whatever you have handy. This would be a good place to use up leftover gluten-free bread. I didn’t have any, so I did what I had to. Allow it to cool, and then cut it into small cubes. Combine all of the other dry ingredients of the stuffing, pour in a little bit of the chicken broth at a time to get all of the bread moist. It doesn’t need to be soaking wet.
Next we need to make an “S” cut in the pork. Using a knife you’re comfortable with, slice about 1/3 of the way from the top almost all of the way through. Then turn it around and cut the lower part the same way. This will give you a flat-ish sheet to stuff, and roll up.
Spread the stuffing on the pork loin. You’ll want to leave a little space at the edge so that you can roll it. Then to keep everything in place you’re going to need to tie it with the butcher’s twine. There are a number of ways this can be done. The easiest is to cut several lengths of string that you can slide under every couple of inches and tie securely. The best knot for this is a fisherman’s knot, (That is what we always called it, but a butcher might call it something else) which is a basic overhand knot with an extra tuck through the open loop . The other way is a little trickier, and involves making loops and tightening them up and making another loop, and only actually making knots at the end. Which is what I did. The one in the foreground is stuffed, and the one in the background is not. I cut it wrong, and tied it back up so that it would cook more evenly!
Season the outside with salt and pepper and roast it at 350 degrees until your thermometer reads 150F if you want medium and 160 if you want it well. Remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 more minutes. During that time the temperature will continue to rise. Also, the juices in the meat will redistribute during this time. Just let it sit covered with a piece of foil.
This turned out to be pretty tasty, and we all enjoyed it. I even stuffed a chicken breast for Amy with the same stuff. (She didn’t care for it, but she doesn’t really like stuffing, and doesn’t think fruit and meats go together, so…) All told, it was a very nice evening with my family, and that is never a bad thing.