Tuscan-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
This Tuscan-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin isn’t just a delicious dish, its a masterpiece…a beautiful piece of art that you might want to frame and hang on your wall. Okay, that was a little dramatic - i’ll admit it.
But don’t let this recipe intimidate you. It’s a lot easier than it looks, and as along as you don’t over stuff the pork, it will come together perfectly. You may think that this dish could only be made on the weekends, but it's easy enough to be made during the week. You can make the stuffing a few days in advance, and then stuff the pork right before you cook it.
Tuscan-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1lb)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 cups of kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 strips of bacon, chopped
- 6oz mushrooms, finely chopped
- Zest and juice from 1 small orange, or half of a large orange
- 1/4 cup pistachio, toasted and chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- Fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive oil as needed
Make the Stuffing
- In a large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot and the butter just starts to foam add the shallots. When the shallots begin to take on color, add the garlic and the red pepper flakes. Once fragrant, add the kale, season with salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, just until tender. Remove the kale and set aside in a bowl.
- Wipe the pan clean, add a drizzle of olive oil and then add the bacon. Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Once crisp, remove the bacon from the pan and add it to the kale mixture.
- Heat the same pan you used for the bacon over medium heat, leaving the bacon drippings. Once hot, add the mushrooms and cook in the bacon drippings until tender (about 2 to 5 minutes). Once cooked, remove the mushrooms and add them to the kale and bacon mixture.
- Next, add the orange zest, orange juice, and nuts to the stuffing. Mix until everything is combined. Taste and season with salt as needed. Place the stuffing in the fridge and allow it to cool completely.
Stuffing the Pork
- While the stuffing is cooling, butterfly your pork loin. Once butterflied, place a piece of plastic wrap over it, and tenderize the meat until its about 1/4 inch thick. Once tenderized to appropriate thickness, evenly spread the dijon mustard, and then season with salt, pepper, and fennel seeds - See pictures above.
- When the stuffing is cooled, evenly spread the stuffing across the pork loin, about the same thickness as the pork itself. Leave 1/2 inch of space between the stuffing and the end of the pork (this prevents the stuffing from leaking out) - See pictures above
- Gently, but tightly roll the pork loin. If a little stuff leaks out of the sides, that is fine - See pictures above
- Leaving the loin rolled-side down, slide enough pieces of butchers twine under the pork so they’re evenly spread about an inch apart. And then tightly tie each piece of twine to ensure the pork keeps its shape.
Cooking the Pork
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Heat a skillet large enough to fit the pork over medium head, and drizzle with olive oil.
- Once hot, and the oil is shimmering, sear the pork rolled-side down, until nice and brown (about 2 minutes). Every 2 minutes rotate the pork and ensure all sides are seared and brown.
- If you’re using an oven safe pan, place the pan with the pork in the oven and roast until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. If you’re not using an oven safe plan, place the pork on a sheet tray lined with foil or a wire rack.
- Once down, allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes. Cut the pork between each piece of tied butcher twine. This ensure that each individual piece is still tied and won’t come apart.
- (Do not vigorously pound the meat. You want to tenderize it just enough so the loin flattens to the desired thickness. You do not want puncture the meat and create holes. It’s best to watch a few YouTube videos on how to butterfly a pork tenderloin.)