Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Mushroom, Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

My supermarket sells mostly “enhanced” pork tenderloin, which is injected at the factory with a brine-like solution. Yuck. Not only does it make the pork mushy, but it’s filled with artificial flavors and colors. I prefer to add my own flavorings, and today was one of those lucky days when my supermarket had all-natural pork tenderloin. I butterflied and stuffed it. While the stuffing was very flavorful, the meat was a little dry (but still pretty tender). The recipe did not brine the pork, but the problem was mine because I accidentally followed the FDA’s old advice to cook pork to 160-degrees. Unfortunately, I missed the news a few months ago that the FDA reduced the minimum cooking temperature for lean pork to 145-degrees. Overcooked or not; it was still spectacular for a weeknight meal. 4-stars.

Pretty nice for a mid-week meal

Issues:

  1. The original recipe makes two tenderloins, so I cut everything in half because I only wanted one tenderloin. One tenderloin is enough for 3 people if served with a side-dish. If you are trying to feed 4 adults, you will need to cook two tenderloins.
  2. The recipe called for Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil. With a poor selection at my supermarket, I ended up with “fresh” sun-dried tomatoes from the produce section. The only problem was that I had to buy 3/4-lb when I only needed about 1-oz.
  3. I searched and searched for frozen artichoke hearts, but ended up using marinated. I rinsed them to remove as much of the brine as possible.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $10.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 5:00 PM. Finish time 6:30 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. and the stuffing recipe is here.  The descriptions of how I prepared this today are given below:

Stuffing:
1/4-oz dried porcini mushrooms
1-1/2 frozen artichoke hearts,  (1/3 cup)
1/2-oz grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
1/4-cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 garlic cloves , minced
1/2-teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

  1. Thaw your artichoke hearts. Rinsed oil from sun-dried tomatoes and chop the parsley coarsely. Also, toast the pine nuts in a small pan until lightly golden.
  2. Rinse your dried porcini mushrooms and place in a small microwave proof bowl. Add 1/2-cup of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1 minute until steaming. Allow mushrooms to sit for 5 minutes until soft. Use a fork to remove porcini from bowl and throw away liquid. Pat the mushrooms dry using paper towels.
  3. Add mushrooms and all ingredients (except salt and pepper) to food processor. Use between 5 and 10 pulses to chop coarsely. Add salt and pepper according to taste.

Roast:
1-1/4 to 1-1/2-pound whole pork tenderloin
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1-1/8 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4-teaspoons pepper
1/2-cup baby spinach
1 tablespoons olive oil

  1. Butterfly your tenderloin. Cut into the tenderloin horizontally stopping your cut 1/2″ before you cut to the other edge. That remaining 1/2″ will act as a hinge holding the two halves together.
  2. Open up tenderloin and lay it flat on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap, and pound it until it is 1/4″-thick. Use a chef’s knife to trim away the ragged edges. You should be left with a 6″x10″rectangle. Sprinkle interior of the tenderloin with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the stuffing mixture over the tenderloin, and cover with 1/2-cup baby spinach. Roll up into tight, 10″ long cylinder, being careful that the stuffing doesn’t squeeze out. Put tenderloin seam side down and tie with 5 evenly spaced pieces of kitchen twine.
  4. Adjust oven rack to middle position and pre-heat to 350-degrees.
  5. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, 1-teaspoons salt, and 1/2-teaspoon pepper.
  6. Coat pork bundle with olive oil, and rub brown sugar mixture over entire surface. Place pork on wire rack placed over a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20 minutes until center of stuffing registers 120 degrees; rotating pork to ensure even cooking. Remove roast from oven and tent with aluminum foil while pre-heating the broiler to high. Broil, rotating after a few minutes to ensure an even crust.
  7. Remove the roast when center of stuffing registers 145-degrees; transfer to carving board, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove kitchen twine, and slice into 1/2″-thick slices. Serve immediately.
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