Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
By Dennis Linden
Here’s a delicious, special occasion dish, submitted by Sam Martinez of Melissa’s Mail Order Department, that any home chef, who likes recipes with lots of moving parts, will have great fun constructing. Each of these parts are made separately, set aside, and then combined in the last few minutes of the prep. So sharpen your favorite knife, turn on some good music and approach this dish one step by tasty step.
Actually, while there is a lot of seeding, soaking, slicing, dicing, and pounding involved, the overview of Sam’s prep instructions is pretty straight forward. There are four components: the meaty stuffing, the mix of additional flavorings for that meat mixture, the prepping of the tenderloin itself and, lastly, a luscious red sauce used in the final simmer.
While I guess one could take the better part of one whole day to construct this entire recipe, break it up over a two-day period for optimum enjoyment and flavor. First, the chef should be rested enough to savor this wonderful dish and, besides, a red sauce needs resting too – twenty-four hours for the flavors to mature. Toil away all day, if you must, but if your schedule allows for a more leisurely cooking experience, enjoy:
Day 1 Prep: Stuffing Meat Base, Stuffing Seasoning Mix, Red Sauce.
Day 2 Prep: Cut, pound and trim the tenderloin; combine seasoning mix into stuffing and apply to tenderloin, roll-tie-cook. Easy-peasy!
One note about the measurements called for in Sam’s recipe. Pork Tenderloin usually comes packaged with two “loafs” (for lack of a better description) of relatively equal size. When I had completed this recipe, using the one loaf shown in the pictures of this feature, there was more than enough of Sam’s stuffing left to cook up the second. I thought about cutting the recipe in half for publication; but instead, decided on reflecting this in the number of servings at the top of the recipe. So have an intimate dinner for 4 or make a party of it!
Sam Martinez has been a member of Melissa's staff for 16 years. “I currently work in the mail order department responding to consumer inquiries as well as handling orders for shipment. I also sell the company’s products to many of our local retail grocery accounts throughout the Southern California region. Outside of the office I am into hiking, going to the movies and, of course, spending lots of time with my beautiful wife, Yessenia and our joyful young son!” Sam did not mention his passion for cooking, but I guess this delicious recipe makes that obvious...
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Serves 4-6 servings per tenderloin. (This recipe will stuff 2 tenderloin loafs)
1¼ pound Pork Tenderloin, trimmed
1 cup Water
3 Bay Leaves
2 Tablespoons Canola oil
Romaine Heart Leaves, separated (for serving)
1 pound Lean Ground Beef
1 pound Lean Ground Pork
1 medium Yukon Gold Potato, small dice
1 Fresh Carrot, small dice
2 Pickled Yellow Peppers, fine dice
1 cup Water
Place all ingredients in skillet pan. Cook on low heat until meat is browned and potatoes almost fully cooked. Set aside.
Stuffing Seasoning Mix:
1 Garlic Clove, minced
½ teaspoon Black Pepper
1 sprig of Fresh Oregano
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon, powdered
2 ounces Mexican Chocolate, chopped into small pieces (set aside)
In a small blender, thoroughly combine all ingredients, except chocolate, set aside.
8 ounces Dry New Mexico Chile Pods
2 Garlic Cloves
1 pinch of Dry Oregano
2 cups Water
Reconstitute chile pods in the water, then using the same liquid add garlic and oregano. Blend well in a food processor. Double strain and set aside.
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
1 medium Tomato, diced
½ cup of Raw Almonds (blanched, peeled, chopped)
½ cup Raisins
In a skillet sauté the onion and tomato for 2 minutes or until onion begins to turn translucent. Add Seasoning Mix and chocolate pieces, stir constantly over low flame, until mix begins to thicken, then add in almonds and raisins.
Combine this mixture with the ground meat mixture, blend thoroughly and set aside until ready to stuff the tenderloin.
Stuffing and Cooking the Tenderloin:
The tenderloin must first be butterflied and then pounded flat.
Place the tenderloin on a large sheet of waxed paper or, best, a thin plastic cutting board.
Butterfly the tenderloin – slice lengthwise two-thirds through the cut of meat, then fold open.
Cover butterflied cut with a second sheet of wax paper or cutting board, then gently pound it out very thin.
Trim tenderloin for an even fold, then spread stuffing mix evenly over the entire pork.
Roll up carefully, then secure roll with kitchen twine, inserting bay leaves under string.
Place in a large skillet on the stovetop with the water. Braise on medium flame, rotating all sides, until the pork turns white and water has evaporated.
Add 2 Tablespoons of canola oil, cook until tenderloin is golden, then drizzle Red Sauce over meat.
Continue to simmer tenderloin on a low flame for another 10 minutes, turning to coat all sides.
Remove from flame and let sit for 10 minutes, then slice portions and serve over romaine leaves.