Stuffed Pork Tenderloin topped with Pancetta

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, Pancetta

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin is one of the ultimate comfort foods. As a pork lover, this is tops in my book. The pork is delicious, the pancetta topping cooks up crisp, which adds a crunchy layer of texture, and it presents well too. It looks as though you worked so hard to make this roast, but in reality it is very easy.

As some of you know, this is the first post I have written in quite some time. My family and I were busy moving. We downsized from our home of almost 30 years to an apartment. We moved in just in time to celebrate our first Christmas in our new home, and it was truly wonderful. We spent the day together as a family, and my son and I prepared the entire meal together. This pork tenderloin was the highlight of the meal. We also made from scratch, taglietelle, and an apple tart to finish off the meal. Working with Andrew is always a pleasure. Well enough about us, let’s get to the recipe.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 lbs – pork tenderloin (butterflied)
Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
4 oz. Baby Spinach
Olive Oil
Bread Stuffing (see below)

Ingredients for Stuffing:
1 1/2 cups italian seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
2 tbls. Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley
3 tbls. water

Directions:
In a medium sized bowl, combine all the ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well.  Add more water a little at a time until the mixture is moist, but not wet, and holds together when you squeeze it in your hand.

It should hold together in your hand

Set aside until you prepare the pork tenderloin. 

Let’s prepare the pork . . .

When you buy the tenderloin, ask the butcher to butterfly it for you.  Before you stuff it, use a mallet or small heavy bottomed pot to pound it out a little just to make an even thickness throughout.  

Pork Tenderloin

Sprinkle both sides of the pork with salt, black pepper, and the Herbes de Provence.  Spread the bread crumb stuffing over the pork, leaving a small border around the edges.  Drizzle a little olive oil if you think it needs it. 

pork tenderloin, bread crumb stuffing

Top off with spinach and sprinkle with a little salt (optional). Now it is time to roll it up into a log.

Start at one end with both hands and roll tight. Continue to roll being careful to keep all the stuffing inside by tucking it in on the sides as you go. 

Top off the tenderloin with thin slices of Pancetta, overlapping the slices as you go down the length of the roll.

Use butcher’s twine to tie the rolled tenderloin before roasting it.  There are several ways to tie the twine, but I find it difficult to explain in writing how to do it, so I have supplied this link to various Youtube videos that do just that.

Drizzle a little oil on the bottom of a roasting pan and place the roast in the pan.  Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°.  All ovens are different, so I suggest you start checking the internal temperature at the 35 minute mark. If it needs more time don’t worry. As long as the internal temperature comes up to 145° it will be moist and delicious.

Let the roast rest about 4-5 minutes before slicing it, then serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.




Rice and Vegetable Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant, Rice, Vegetables, Vegan

This vegan stuffed eggplant recipe is delicious and nutritious. My mother’s stuffed eggplant is the model for this vegan version.  Her eggplant was stuffed with ground beef, rice, and  tomatoes, similar to a stuffed cabbage filling. She made it only once or twice a year, so it was a welcome treat. Today, however, I wanted to make a healthier and lighter version based on my mother’s original recipe. I used fresh ingredients that I had available, and I am very pleased with the result.  You’ll find that the stuffing is moist, hearty, delicious, and most importantly satisfying.

Ingredients:

1/2 – cup jasmine rice
1 – carrots
1 – stalks celery
1/2 – medium onion
2 – cloves garlic
Pinch of pepper flake
3 – cups vegetable stock
3/4 – tsp. salt
1/2 – tsp. pepper
1 – cup grape tomatoes halved
4 – basil leaves
2 – tbls. parsley
1/2 – cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

First, put the rice on to cook.  Add one cup vegetable broth to a pot and bring to a boil.  Add the rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bring back to a boil, then reduce the flame to a simmer.  Cook with the lid on for about 15 minutes.  Stir often and check that the broth does not dry up to quickly.  Cook until the broth is absorbed.  Test the rice to see if it is cooked, but do not overcook.

Next, wash the eggplant and cut it in half, then remove some of the meat of the eggplant to make a well to hold the stuffing.

Set the portion you remove aside, as it will be added to the stuffing.

Make the soffritto using a food processor. Add carrot, onion, and celery and pulse until finely chopped. 

In a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 finely diced cloves of garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flake. Sauté about 3 minutes until the garlic starts to soften.  While the garlic is sautéing, chop the pieces of eggplant that you removed and add to the skillet. 

Stir and cook about 2 minutes, then add the soffritto.

Add more olive oil if needed. Sprinkle about 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper to the soffritto, mix, and cook about 2 minutes.  Now add 1/2 cup vegetable stock. Continue cooking until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir often so it does not stick to the pan.

Drain the cannellini beans and add them to the soffritto along with the grape tomatoes.

Stir to incorporate them and cook another 3 minutes.  

Next add the herbs and chopped walnuts, stir to incorporate them.

Now add the cooked rice and a about 1/2 cup vegetable broth.  Stir and taste to see if it needs more salt.  

Assemble and Bake

Place the eggplant in a baking dish, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Drizzle olive oil on the eggplant, then fill each half with the stuffing.  Drizzle a little more olive oil over the stuffing and some on the bottom of the baking pan.

Place in a preheated 350° and cook about 15 minutes.  Add about 1 cup of hot vegetable broth to the bottom of the pan and return to the oven.

Cook about one hour until the eggplant is tender and the top of the stuffing starts to brown.  Use the broth in the bottom of the pan to baste the eggplant before serving.

Makes 4 servings

Buon appetito!