Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Hurricane Sandy knocked me off my routine for quite a few days.  Despite early dire predictions, fortunately, our area was spared any major damage (I live in a suburb of Washington DC)! Miraculously, we did not even lose power!  The storm took a northward turn and though that spared us, it hit further north in horrific ways.  I have been glued to the news coverage of the devastation in New York and New Jersey.  I have several friends who have been badly affected by the storm – with flooded houses and no power! Sandy left the area a few days ago but its impact is still very palpable.  It was such a huge storm that even days after its eye blew over the East coast, we still had windy, grey and cold days. Every year, at the beginning of fall, I feel a malaise settle over me when days start to get cold and shorter but this year the storm made it even worse.  Over the past week, I have been feeling so blue that I didn’t feel like cooking anything and as a result my blog went through a period of complete lull.  My husband and I lived off of sandwiches and frozen meals for quite a few days but finally today the sun is out and things started to look a little less dreary – so I shook off my lethargy and decided to make a hot meal for us.
Appropriate to the time of the year (when the leaves have fallen and the cold has started to settle in) I decided to make a very fall-inspired recipe for roast pork tenderloin.  A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine had invited us for dinner and she had served pork tenderloin glazed with a red wine reduction and caramelized apples on the side.  It tasted magnificent but I didn’t have her exact recipe, do I had to wing mine.  I stuffed my tenderloin with an apple and dried apricots. I added the remnants of fresh rosemary and sage that were left in my herb garden and I basted it with some red wine and Dijon mustard.  I also added baby potatoes on the side. Probably this was a bit too fancy a lunch for just my husband and I, to be eating by ourselves on a chilly Sunday afternoon but hey, after the depressing week, we needed some major dose of comfort food and it sure worked to cheer me up a tad bit.


1.    1 lb pork tenderloin
2.    One medium onion
3.    One large crisp apple
4.    20-25 dried apricots
5.    3 cloves of garlic
6.    A few sprigs of fresh sage
7.    A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
8.    20-22 baby potatoes
9.    ¾ cup of red wine
10.    2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
11.    1 teaspoon of freshly grated black pepper
12.    1 teaspoon of salt
13.    2 feet of kitchen twine


1.    Preheat the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit

2.    Peel and dice the onion (in small pieces).
3.    Also chop the apple into small pieces
4.    Chop the dried apricots in to small pieces.
5.    Chop the sage and rosemary leaves finely.

6.    In a small skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil and then add the onions and apples to it.

7.    When the onions and apples are a little cooked (after 3-4 minutes of cooking and stirring), add the chopped apricots and stir.  Also add half of the chopped rosemary and sage leaves and stir again.  Cook these for 3-4 minutes and set them aside to cool down.

8.    Place the pork tenderloin on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, butterfly the meat – so that it is about an inch thick flat slab.
9.    Place a sheet of plastic wrap over it and using a meat mallet, gently pound the meat to get it to be of even thickness.
10.    Season the meat with salt, red pepper flakes and some ground black pepper.

11.    Place half of the onion, apple and apricot mixture in the middle of the meat slab. I apologize for the quality of this picture – my camera lens got a smear of oil on it and before I could detect it the picture was spoiled and blurry!
12.    Roll the meat over so that the onion, apricot and apple mixture gets stuffed inside it.

13.    Secure the sides of the stuffed pork with two toothpicks so that the stuffing cannot escape from the sides during the roasting process.

14.    Using the kitchen twine, tie the tenderloin in such a way that the stuffing stays secure inside. Sprinkle some salt over the meat.
15.    Place the pork in an oven safe dish (Pyrex works well).
16.    Grate the cloves of garlic and mix them which the Dijon mustard to make a wet paste.

17.    Rub the paste over the outside of the tenderloin.

18.    Sprinkle the remaining chopped herbs on top of the tenderloin.
19.    Sprinkle the ¾ cup wine over the tenderloin. And also the remaining quantity of extra virgin olive oil on the pork.

20.    Add the baby potatoes to the dish and also the remaining amount of onion, apple and apricot mixture.  Mix these ingredients with the wine and olive oil mixture at the bottom of the dish.
21.    Place the dish in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

22.    After 30 minutes take the dish out and place a tin foil tent over the meat and turn the potatoes over and place the dish back in the oven for another 15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

23.    Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes.
24.    Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut the kitchen twine off the meat and then slice the meat into one inch thick slices.  Serve the meat while it is still hot with a side of the roasted potatoes.
25.    I made a sauce to go with the tenderloin by caramelizing two shallots in a little bit of olive oil. To this I added one tablespoon of all purpose flour and cooked it with the onions fo 5 minutes on medium heat. Then I added 1/3 cup of wine, salt to taste, some rosemary leaves, pepper, one tablespoon of honey and ½ cup of chicken stock and let these cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes.

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  1. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Sun, 04/11/2012 - 22:53

    Looks really good and I have a pork tenderloin sitting in my frig! I’ll try this recipe. Never made a stuffed tenderloin before, and I’m not sure I know how to butterfly cut the tenderloin.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 05/11/2012 - 00:09

      Hi Surbhi, it is not difficult to butterfly it – just use a sharp knife and slice it in the middle (not all the way through, but till about an inch of the meat is left). Then there are two thick sides left on each side of the cut and you do the same with each of those sides. Then open the meat out (the cut will make flaps of it on each side). Try to keep the thickness of the entire piece consistently the same. Then you can use a meat mallet to even it out a bit more. There are also youtube videos that show this whole process step by step – I’ll try to look for one for you and send you the link. Let me know how it turns out when you make it!

  2. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Sun, 04/11/2012 - 23:08

    I love the idea of stuffing the tenderloin! I will try it this way next time. Here’s how I made that sauce the other day: it involved softening some shallots in butter, then adding apple cider and apple cider vinegar and reducing to half original volume, then adding chicken stock and again reducing to half original volume, then adding cream and – you guessed it – reducing to about 2/3 volume. I wanted to add Calvados given the Normandy theme but we did not have any so I substituted some cognac (heresy, but hey). And salt and pepper of course. The apples I caramelized in bacon fat. It was not a light meal, alas, but a small amount of bacon fat went a very long way, I found.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Mon, 05/11/2012 - 00:12

      Hi Shilpa – thanks for your recipe – it was absolutely delicious when I tried it at your place. Mine came out quite different but it was good all the same – the taste of apricots, rosemary and red wine was quite pronounced in mine. I make a cream sauce similar to yours that I use with filet mignon (although I use Bourbon instead of Cognac). I will definitely try your way of cooking it the next time I make this tenderloin!

  3. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Mon, 05/11/2012 - 23:07

    Thanks Shabnam. Will try and let you know how it turns out. Will look for a Youtube video on filleting the tenderloin.

  4. Permalink Submitted by Shilpa Patel on Tue, 13/11/2012 - 03:54

    so I made it this evening your way, with an apple and chestnut stuffing, and served it with my sauce. It tasted great, but I must say the execution of the roll was less than stellar – I found that the tenderloins were too narrow to yield a very large surface for rolling, despite my pounding it out. Perhaps I needed to pound them thinner – or use less stuffing – but it’s worth experimenting to get it just right, because it is a very tasty and spectacular dish!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 13/11/2012 - 14:40

      So how was it Shilpa? Did it get any reviews from your panel of gourmets?

  5. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Sat, 24/11/2012 - 19:48

    So I’m making this tonight. I’ve got it assembled and sitting in the frig right now ready to bake for dinner. When I opened the tenderloin vaccum pack it turned out to be 2 pieces cut along the length eek! Somehow butterflied both and sort of put them together and rolled. I’ve added chicken broth instead of the red wine as my kids dont like me cooking with wine. Will tell you dinner turns out.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sat, 24/11/2012 - 20:31

      Yes, it usually comes the tenderloin in twos (I had used up only one for this recipe and the with the other one I made pulled pork after a couple of days) …I guess they are the two muscles that come together…I’d love to know how it turned out. If your kids don’t like wine, I would suggest putting in some kind of acid (maybe some lemon juice or red wine vinegar – because it the acid helps to tenderize the meat. Let me know how it turns out Surbhi 🙂

  6. Permalink Submitted by Surbhi on Fri, 30/11/2012 - 01:07

    Turned out great. I kind of joined the 2 pieces and rolled it into one. I thinned one edge of both pieces and overlapped them before spreading the filling and rolling it up. After cooking it was fine.

    I like the idea of trying it with lime juice. Also I think I’s season the inside a bit more. The potatoes were the huge hit. They came out perfect and were very good.

    I liked the apricot flavor too. Overall “Like” d it. 🙂

    Thanks Shabnam.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Fri, 30/11/2012 - 22:07

      That is great – thanks for the feedback! I REALLY appreciate it 🙂 xoxo

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