I’ve been experimenting with stuffed pork tenderloin for the last couple of months. I’ve made it with pork loin instead of tenderloin, chicory instead of spinach, apples instead of mushrooms, herbed cream cheese and yogurt instead of herbed goat cheese, with and without Dijon mustard, and with and without herbs. I finally settled on my favorite version and measured my ingredients as I made it so I could write a recipe. Substitutions or omissions based on your tastes and seasonal availability is highly recommended.
Make sure the stuffing is completely cooled before adding it to the pork. This prevents bacteria from growing and greatly reduces chances of food borne illnesses, i.e. food poisoning.
I double butterfly the tenderloin to increase surface area for stuffing, though single butterflying with more pounding out is perfectly acceptable with less room for error. Here’s a quick video guide on how to butterfly a pork tenderloin. Seasoning the inside of the pork tenderloin with salt and pepper is an important step you don’t want to forget. It greatly improves the flavor of the dish.
Butcher string can be used to hold the tenderlion together instead of toothpicks, but I found the toothpicks to be easier and less messy to remove after cooking.
My favorite way to serve this stuffed tenderloin is either on top of roasted asparagus with blender Hollandaise sauce or under an egg poached in the microwave. When poaching an egg I usually add a bit of cider vinegar to the water for better set egg whites, but it’s optional. Egg yolk makes a nutrient dense and tasty sauce for the stuffed pork, better than gravy any day.
2 lb pork tenderloin
8 oz baby spinach
4 oz cremini mushrooms, diced small
3 oz herbed chevre goat cheese, crumbled
3 slices thick cut bacon, diced small
1 onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp fresh oregano, minced, or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
In a medium sauté pan, cook diced bacon until the fat is rendered and meat is crispy. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook until the onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and half the thyme and oregano. Cook until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add the baby spinach and cook until the spinach is cooked down, but still bright green. Remove mixture from the heat, spoon into a shallow pan or bowl, cover, and chill in the refrigerator.
While the filling is cooling, soak 10-12 wooden toothpicks in water until needed and prepare a baking pan with olive oil to reduce sticking. Butterfly and pound out the pork tenderloin to approximately a 1/4 inch thick. Use half the measured salt and pepper to season the inside of the pork. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine mustard, olive oil, the rest of the thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper and stir until well combined. Sprinkle the crumbled herbed goat cheese across the seasoned pork in a fairly even layer. Evenly spread the cooled spinach and mushroom filling across the top of the goat cheese on the butterflied pork. Carefully roll the pork lengthways, keeping all the filling inside the roll. Use the water soaked toothpicks to hold the seam closed. Brush part of the mustard and olive oil mixture over the bottom of the tenderloin (the side with the seam). Place tenderlion with the seam side down in the prepared baking pan. Brush the rest of mustard and olive oil over the top and sides of the tenderloin. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 155°F. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before removing all the toothpicks and moving the tenderlion to a platter or cutting board for slicing. Slice and serve.