Monday, November 1, 2010

Sage & Pecorino Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

More experimentation, inspired by what's on hand and what might only have another day or two of a shelf life.
And it worked!!

I feel as though all I ever cook (and so all I really write about on here) are dishes consisting of chicken breasts or pork tenderloins. Again, because they are both affordable and healthy lean proteins, and also because they ensure that I can make dinner in under half an hour most nights.
The only problem is redundancy of meals!

So this time 'round I had fresh rosemary, some sage that was on its last legs, and as always I had pecorino cheese. So, I decided to stuff my tenderloin instead!

I made a slice straight through the center, but refuse to hammer out the meat. Yes, if you do so, you could get more of a roll going, but that isn't the point. I like my meat PLUMP and juicy, and when you beat chicken or pork into a cutlet or schnitzel-ready, you just destroy the meat.
At least that's my opinion.

Since this was only a .85lb tenderloin, I only used 1/4 of a sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped, and about 6 sage leaves, also finely chopped. However much fresh herbage that creates, add an equal amount of grated cheese. Sprinkle that down the center of your tenderloin pocket and roll shut.

Use a little butcher's or kitchen twine to make sure your tenderloin stays closed and your filling stays inside.
Season all over with salt, and add it to a hot pan to brown.

Brown all sides and throw into a 425 degree oven for 7-10 minutes (for a tenderloin as small as this one I only needed 7 minutes.)
Remove to a plate to rest and start the gravy.

To the oil and drippings in the pan I added 1 small shallot, diced, 1 clove of minced garlic, and a bit of salt. Once that has softened I add a little flour and stir to incorporate it well, and then throw in more diced sage. Maybe another 5 leaves worth.
(Remember, this was just to feed 2 people.)
Add equal parts chicken stock and white wine and reduce.

That pork looks a bit pinker than it did in real life, but it was tender and delicious. The sage was aromatic, the cheese had a bit of bite that worked surprisingly well with the pork, and the small bit of rosemary made the whole dish feel earthy and pulled together.
(You could go with just one or the other herb. I happened to have both, so used both.)

The hubs approved and it will definitely be a new addition to the dinner rotation!


Joe Ambrosino said...

Very nice! Did you know 7 minutes was right by intuition? I rely on my instant read thermometer when I use the "brown on stove top, finish in the oven" method.I've had too many undercooked meat rolls!

Chuck said...

Ya know I damn near bought a pork loin last week and now I regret not getting it. I am up for a change from my mostly chicken-varied diet.