Monday, April 16, 2012

Balsamic Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Spring 2012 145

We've still got a couple of weeks until the glorious return of the farmers' markets to the fair city of Chicago, which means there's still time for a couple more wintry recipes! This juicy pork tenderloin is stuffed with a vitamin- and flavor-packed sauteed spinach mixture, seared, and finished in the oven. It's a perfect dinner for a rainy April weeknight. Soon it will be time for spring peas, asparagus, and rhubarb. But for now, let's use up the root vegetables and apples and enjoy where we are!

Spring 2012 131

stuffed pork tenderloin

Balsamic Spinach Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin, thin end trimmed
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the stuffing:
3 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
5 ounces fresh spinach
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (*Roast some sweet potatoes and apples while you prepare the pork.)

Saute bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Reduce heat to low and add shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Add spinach along with a splash of water and saute until wilted. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook a couple of minutes to mellow. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Butterfly the pork tenderloin by using a sharp knife to cut into the long side. Stop before you have completely separated the top and bottom halves. Open it up so that it lays flat, cover with plastic wrap, and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound it to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Remove the plastic wrap and season the inside with salt and pepper. Cut three 10-inch pieces of butcher's twine and evenly space them under the flattened tenderloin. Arrange the spinach filling along the middle of the tenderloin, and carefully roll it up. Arrange it seam-side down, and secure with the butcher's twine.

Preheat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat, and add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the rolled-up tenderloin seam-side down, and sear all sides for 3-5 minutes, until well browned. Make sure to leave it for at least 3 minutes without moving when you begin the sear, to prevent it from falling apart. Once the tenderloin is browned on all sides, transfer to the oven for 10 minutes to finish cooking through.

Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, that looks delicious. And here I was feeling smug about my pork and white bean casserole prepped this morning before work... I want your supper instead now!