Friday, December 9, 2011

Reconstructing Fruit Cake 101: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
As we continue on our "fruity" journey this week, I will confess today that I REALLY don't like fruit cake.  I'm talking about the traditional kind with the cherries, citron, figs, dates, raisins, nuts, etc.  That's too many ingredients for ANY recipe, let alone a loaf of bread or a small cake.

Salad with fruit cake stuffing bits
This recipe was a stretch for me.  I LOVE pork tenderloin, I LOVE stuffing, and I LOVE pairing pork with apples and other sweet fruits.  The fruit cake worked, but the 1/4 lb. of bacon that I added to the stuffing recipe really helped tone down and distract from the fruit cake flavor.  I also had some leftover stuffing that I threw into our side salad, and I actually really liked the flavors that it gave.  The panko bread crumbs gave it just a little bit of pop and crunch and it was kind of like having little dried fruit clusters in the salad.  If you decide to make this one, remember two things: 1) remove ALL the green and red things; and 2) use ALL the bacon you can.  Bacon makes everything taste better, right?  Right........

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes / Cook Time: 30  minutes / Servings: 4

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 lb. fruitcake, large pieces of fruit removed
  • 1 cup bread crumbs ( I used panko)
  • 4 strips thick, center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a large knife, split the tenderloin down the middle and butterfly the meat.  Cover the meat in plastic wrap and using a mallet, pound the meat out to 1/4" thickness evenly.
  2. Marinade: In small mixing bowl, combine 3 tbsp. spicy brown mustard and 3 tbsp. yellow mustard.  Add 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Whisk together until ingredients are combined. 
  3. Pour the marinade into a large, plastic, sealable bag and add the meat.  Seal the bag and eliminate any air.  Work the meat around in the bag with your hands until completely coated.  Place in the refrigerator for one hour.
  4. Stuffing: Remove the large fruit pieces from the fruitcake by breaking it apart into bits.  Place the remaining pieces in a food processor.  Pulse in the food processor until the bits are broken apart into small crumb like pieces.
  5. In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon on high heat for 7-10 minutes until browned.  Remove from the heat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve drippings.
  6. In a large mixing bowl combine bread crumbs, bacon, 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp. bacon drippings, 1 tsp. garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well with your hands to create the stuffing.
  7. Remove the pork tenderloin from the refrigerator.  Lay flat on a baking sheet and place the stuffing in the center of the pork loin about 1" wide and 1" thick.  Roll the edges of the pork loin over the stuffing and secure with toothpicks if necessary.  Place on the baking sheet open side down and place in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until pork loin is cooked through.  Remove from the oven and slice thinly to serve.
Note: you can also sear the pork loin first in the skillet with the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes on one side for additional color and flavor.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

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