Our local grocer is killing me with buy-one-get-one-free specials. You see, it’s very quiet here on St. Simons Island these days due to the tourism lull associated with the kids all being back in school. The Snow Birds from Canada and New York and other seasonal residents have all settled in to play golf in our back yard and enjoy the weather, but the island is still running at about 50% capacity. We love it…
This low occupancy level apparently makes the grocery stores start giving things away to encourage shopping. I go almost every day and just cruise the isles looking for sales. Recently they’ve had whole beef tenderloins, pork tenderloins, and London Broils on sale for half price or buy-one-get-one free. Needless to say that I bought some, and at this rate we are going to need to buy that deep freezer we’ve been coveting.
The other night I concocted my own stuffed pork tenderloin recipe and served it with smashed red potatoes and canned asparagus with Knorr’s Hollandaise sauce. I won’t bore you with the details on the vegetables, but the tenderloin came out quite nicely and here is how I cooked it to make dinner for two:
2” to 3” diameter piece of pork tenderloin about 6” long (about 2/3 to 3/4 of a pound)
1 apple, cored and chopped
¼ onion, chopped fine
1 stick celery, chopped fine
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
½ tbsp dried sage
½ tbsp dried thyme
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Rinse your tenderloin and pat dry with paper towels. Working on your cutting board with your sharp chef’s knife, cut the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, stopping about 3/8” short of going all the way through. Fold the meat open like a book. Now, working from the center (near the end of the last cut), slice outward on each side through the middle of each half again, stopping about 3/8” short of severing the meat in two. Now fold the two sides of the pork open again like a book.
Redneck Tip: If I can write and you can understood my blithering, you should now have a piece of meat about 9” wide x 6” high x about 3/8” to ½” thick. If not, do a Google search for pork stir fry and come back to see me next weekend.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium skillet over medium low heat, melt your butter, then add the onion and celery and cook until clear. Next add your sage, thyme, and the apple and cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally. Now add the bread crumbs and stir some more. Turn off the heat and let things cool a bit
Redneck Tip: If the mixture looks too dry and crumbly, you can add some more butter or a bit of olive oil to moisten things up so that it will stick together.
Now let’s get our hands dirty. Scoop out the stuffing and pile it on top of your sheet of pork tenderloin. Press it out evenly with your hands so that it covers the entire piece of pork. Now starting from the edge of the short side, simply roll the pork up on itself like a cinnamon roll. You can secure it with butchers twine or toothpicks so that it doesn’t unroll while cooking.
Place the whole thing in a greased baking dish and pop it in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the interior temperature is 160 degrees F.
Pull it out and lift it onto a cutting board to rest for five or ten minutes while you fuss with your vegetables. Now carve off slices or cut the whole thing in half and dive in to EAT.
The Redneck Gourmet