Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My usual way of cooking pork tenderloin is on the grill.

Truth be told, it's the only way I've every cooked it. We have a gas grill hooked up to a gas line, so I never have to worry that the tank is empty. I can grill all year round, even in the winter. But I decided to try something new; and, since I couldn't find a recipe that turned me on, I thought I'd wing it.

I'll admit my photo doesn't look great; but the pork was. Here's what surprised me: it tasted more like beef done this way. This was a very tasty meal, and we both enjoyed it. But it was considerably more work than just throwing the tenderloin in a bag with a marinade and grilling it for 20 minutes. And I love, love, love the fresh taste of grilled tenderloin. But for those of you who might want to try this, at least once, here are the instructions:

Baked Stuffed Pork Tenderloin over Sauteed Spinach
Source: Judy's Kitchen
Rating: 8 out of 10

INGREDIENTS: 6 Tbsp. Smart Balance or olive oil, divided use
1/4 cup chopped fennel
1/2 cup quartered, then sliced, onion
1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
1 pork tenderloin
2 big pinches fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided use
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
4 cups spinach
2 tsp. lemon juice

In medium sized heavy skillet, saute the fennel and onion in 1 Tbsp. SB for about 3 minutes, using medium heat. Cover skillet, turn heat to low setting and let veggies continue to saute for about 20 minutes, or till they begin to caramelize, stirring if needed. Remove cover and cook for a few more minutes if needed, then transfer veggies to a small dish or bowl to cool. Heat another Tbsp. SB in the skillet; when it's sizzling, add the 1/3 cup chopped mushrooms and quickly saute them over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes, or till mushrooms begin to brown. Transfer to the bowl with the other veggies.

Prepare the pork tenderloin. You will need to make two slits to open up the tenderloin. You want to kind of butterfly it. With a sharp knife, cut down one third and open it up.

Now cut down the other third and open it up. It's a good idea to pound it with a meat mallet now to even it out and make it a little thinner.

Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper -- not too much though -- and a few pinches of fresh chopped thyme leaves. Then spread the filling over the meat. Now roll the meat up and tie it with kitchen string to keep it together. Sprinkle the outside of the meat very lightly with salt and pepper and some thyme.

Put 1 Tbsp. of SB in the skillet, heat it to sizzling over medium-high heat, and add the meat. Brown it on all sides, about 10 minutes. Pour 1/4 cup chicken broth over the meat, then transfer to a hot (400F) oven in another pan, or use the same skillet. Cook tenderloin till the center reaches an internal temperature of 160F. Then transfer it to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. It should take 15-20 minutes in the oven to reach the correct temp.

While the roast is in the oven, heat 1 Tbsp. of SB in the same skillet or (if you put that skillet in the oven), in a new skillet. When it is sizzling, add the mushrooms. Saute for several minutes, till the mushrooms begin to brown, then add any of the veggies that wouldn't fit in the meat, 1 tsp. of Balsamic vinegar, about 1/4 tsp. of salt and a big pinch of pepper, and the remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Stir up any bits as the mixture bubbles. You can add some white wine now if you want. And if you like your sauces thicker, add a little cornstarch. I left out cornstarch and wine this time. Lower the heat, cover and keep warm.

Right before serving, in another skillet, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. SB over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute quickly, about 30 seconds, then add the spinach and stir quickly till it starts to go limp. Sprinkle it lightly with salt, pepper and lemon juice and put it onto the serving plates. Slice the tenderloin and lay it over the spinach. Pour the mushroom sauce over the tenderloin slices. Yield: 4 servings

One other thing: I was able to pull this meal off using 1 skillet and 1 baking dish. I just kept using the same skillet to cook everything. I transferred the roast to a baking dish for the oven; and I transferred the mushroom sauce to a bowl and kept it warm in the microwave.


Donna-FFW said...

This looks fabulous, Judy and I LOVE all your blow by blow plays! I love pork tenderloin, both on the grill, and other ways. I have never had it stuffed. Sounds-and looks- perfect!

Debbie said...

Judy, that looks wonderful. It looks very well worth the effort. I think my husband would love this dish. Meant to tell you that I took your advice and checked the html to see if that was why my hyperlinks did not link back to what I entered in blogger. And sure enough Blogger left out part of the address in the html..Thank you for telling me about this. I would have NEVER though of that!

Marge said...

This sounds and looks wonderful. I love pork tenderloin, so I'll have to try this the next time I make it.

Lynda said...

This looks delicious, Judy! Pork smothered in mushrooms sounds like a winner to me! And the fact that you used only 2 pans is a huge plus.

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious Judy! Love that your grill is always ready to go too!

I can never tell when our tank is almost empty, but we have two - the second is the back up!

Elyse said...

Considering that I don't have a grill, I'm totally for trying this recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious. Plus, I'm intrigued that this is a pork recipe that tastes like meat!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I could really go for your stuffed pork. So many recipes uses dried fruit as stuffing, which I don't think I would like. Yours sounds delicious. Thanks for the recipe - I'll have to give this one a try.

We also hooked up our gas grill to the gas line. Like you we never have to worry about running out of gas. I love the "one less thing to worry about" aspect in life.