Friday, December 26, 2008

Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Apples and Raisins

Sometimes you just need something a bit fancy. This is not as complicated as it looks and a lot will depend on the kind of sausage you use. I used a spicy, apple cinnamon sausage that did just the trick! The next time I make this, I may just double the stuffing mix to serve as accompaniment.

1 3/4 lb. pork tenderloin, ends removed to make it a uniform thickness
1/2 apple
1/2 celery stalk
1/4 small onion
1 savory sausage, cooked or uncooked 1/4 - 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons raisins, preferably baking raisins
Dried marjoram
Cayenne or red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper
Chicken stock

Put the apple, celery and onion in a mini-processor and, if using pre-cooked sausage, the sausage. Pulse on chop. Heat about 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan. When melted and the apple mixture. If using raw sausage, add that along with it. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables just begin to brown.

Add enough chicken stock to just cover the vegetables by about half. Add a few pinches of dried marjoaram and, if using pepper flakes, a pinch or two. Add the raisins and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool (you don't want to place hot stuffing in a raw meat). Be sure to taste for seasonings. If you want a bit more of a kick, put in a dash of cayenne pepper.

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife and beginning about 3/4" from the end, begin slicing into it lengthwise stopping about 3/4" from the other end. Be careful not to slice all the way down. You are creating a "pocket" for the stuffing mixture.

Spoon in stuffing and don't worry if you don't use it all. Insert four toothpicks or cut bamboo skewers through the sides of the tenderloin (see photo). Using butcher's twine, lace it up.

Preheat oven to 350-375. Place the pork in a shallow roasting pan (I used a glass bread pan). Sprinkle the remaining stuffing around it. Bake for 25 minutes. Add chicken stock, about 1/4-1/2 cup and return to oven for another 20-25 minutes. Pork should be done around 150-160 degrees. Cover with tin foil and allow to rest. Remove to a carving board and remove string. Slice and pour juices from pan over it.

If you want more juice, add a bit of warmed chicken stock to the pan.