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Heat the oven to 350°F
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.
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 it 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.
Because life is too short to eat mediocre food
I start with a pork tenderloin that I remove all the silver skin from and then butterfly. Silver skin is that odd rather unappetizing looking silvery white connective tissue that must be removed from pork, beef, and lamb prior to cooking. Silver skin 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. Once removed, butterfly the tenderloin by laying it flat; using a sharp knife cut almost through the meat, stopping about 1/2 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 1/3 inch thick. Don’t pound too hard as you don’t want to break through the meat; just get it all even.
For the filling (and flavor) 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 none the less, 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.
So first step was to trim, butterfly and pound. Second step, salt, pepper and a thin layer of Dijon mustard. 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 quick mustard sauce (recipe is included) and VOILA
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