Monday, February 7, 2011

Cornbread & Apple Stuffed Pork Loin

This is for all my snowed in friends and family on the east coast!  I love this recipe because pork tenderloin is relatively cheap and when cooked correctly has great flavor and moisture.  I typically buy the tenderloin in the vacuum sealed bag that can be found in the meat area.  Normally there are two full tenderloins in the pack, so you can freeze one and use it another time.  Don't be afraid to freeze things.  I do it all the time; just make sure you have the right ziplocs to prevent freezer burn.  In the picture to the left, I actually made both tenderloins so this recipe is for 6 servings.  But the two of us can eat this for lunch the next day, or another dinner.  You can just cut this recipe in half if using one tenderloin.  I know the below looks complicated but think about it simply.  All of the ingredients are reasonably priced and you should have some of this in your kitchen.  There's only a few key things you really need.  WARNING: This is a Sunday dinner!  Don't attempt to make this during the week otherwise you'll be eating at 11pm at night, which has happened to me before so don't make my same mistake!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour & 45 minutes

(2) 2 lb pork tenderloins
Kitchen twine
3 granny smith apples (2.5 peeled and sliced, 1/2 peeled and diced)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 peeled and diced granny smith apple
1 1/2 cups dried corn bread stuffing mix (any brand is fine)
1/3 cup apple juice
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 egg, beaten

Rub: (mix all these together)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
(1) 14oz. can of chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and coat with a thin layer of cooking spray or olive oil.  Saute the celery, onion and pepper until tender stirring occasionally.  About 5 minutes.  Add the diced apple and saute for another minute.  Place the mixture in a large bowl and let cool for a couple of minutes.  Then add cornbread stuffing mix, apple juice, sage, and egg.  Toss and set aside.

Take the pork tenderloin and slice lengthwise, cutting to the other side but not through.  Open up the butterflied portions like a book and flip over.  There should be a thicker side, so repeat by cutting the larger side and cutting to but not through the other side.  This is kind of hard so you can also cover the original butterflied piece with saran wrap and hit the meat with a tenderizer or a hammer until about 3/4 inch thick.  Lightly salt both sides.

Spread the stuffing mixture over the entire tenderloin leaving about 1/2 inch margin on the outside.  Roll up like a jelly roll starting from the long side and secure with kitchen twine every 2 inches or as needed.  Then spread the rub over the entire tenderloin.

Spray a pan (can be a broiler pan or a 9x13 glass pan) with cooking spray and then layer the sliced apples on the bottom.  Place the pork over the bed of apples.

Bake for 20 minutes at the preheated 450 degrees.  Then reduce the oven to 325 degrees (DON'T remove the pork or open door) and bake for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Depending on your oven it may cook faster so also when your thermometer reads 155 degrees. (But let's be honest, after almost an hour and a half of cooking it should be done!)  Remove the pork from the pan, cover with foil and let sit for 10  minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the juice, corn starch, and broth in a small pan for the sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir frequently with a whisk.

Slice the pork tenderloin and pour sauce over the meat and serve.  Enjoy your hearty dish for the winter and stay warm out there!  It's 70 here in California so I think I'll go and sit outside, visitors welcome! :-)    

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