Pork tenderloin is lean and relatively inexpensive. It can also be dry and a little bland. This recipe takes care of all those possible glitches. The pork gets a huge boost of flavour from dried fruit, herbs and mustard. The tenderloin also gets wrapped in proscuitto (in a procedure called "barding"). This not only also adds flavour, but keeps the meat extremely moist (not overcooking it helps as well, of course). In fact, the meat gets so juicy that I had an issue with a slightly soggy bottom crust.
I will admit that I tried to use filo pastry here. This is one of those occasions when you just need to suck it up and splurge on the puff pastry; the buttery layers will help to "waterproof" the roll.
Staying with the "meat n' potatoes" route, I made some roast potatoes to go with the pork. Classic, simple, delicious.
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1-ounce dried apple rings (I didn't use these, but I'm sure it'd be delicious)
- 1 whole pork tenderloin, approximately 1 pound
- 4 1/2 ounces thinly slice prosciutto ham
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed completely
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F.
Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the apple rings into the bowl of a mini food processor and process for 30 to 45 seconds or until they are the size of a medium dice. Set aside.
Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silver skin. Slice the tenderloin down the middle lengthwise, creating 2 separate pieces. Lay the tenderloin pieces next to each other head to tail, so when laid back together they are the same size at the ends.
Lay out a 12 by 16-inch piece of parchment paper on the counter and arrange the pieces of prosciutto in the center, overlapping them enough to create solid layer that is as long as the tenderloin. Top with a second piece of parchment, and using a rolling pin, roll over the prosciutto to help adhere the pieces to each other. Remove the parchment paper and sprinkle the prosciutto with the pepper, and thyme. Set the tenderloin down the middle of the prosciutto. Spread the dried apples in between the 2 pieces of tenderloin and push back together so the apples are held between them. Using the parchment paper to assist, wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin to completely enclose in a package.
Sprinkle the counter with flour and roll out the pastry to 12 by 14 inches. Spread the mustard thinly in the center of pastry and lay the prosciutto wrapped tenderloin in the center of the pastry on the mustard. Fold the puff pastry up and over the top of the tenderloin, then roll to completely enclose, brushing the edges of the pastry with the egg wash in order to seal. Turn the tenderloin over so the side of the tenderloin with the double thickness of pastry is underneath. Pinch the ends of the pastry to seal.
Brush the entire pastry with the egg wash. Place the tenderloin on a parchment lined half sheet pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of at least 140 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Golden Garlic and Herb Roast Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 sprigs rosemary, bruised with a knife
2 sprigs thyme
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
I prefer to parboil the potatoes first so they cook as quickly as the pork (above). To do this, halve the potatoes and drop in boiling water. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until barely tender.
Meanwhile, combine garlic, rosemary, and oil in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until fragrant and small bubbles appear. Turn off heat and allow flavours to infuse (preferably at least 1/2 hour)
Drain potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss with flavoured olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread potatoes, garlic, and herbs on a foil lined baking sheet.
Roast at 400F for 25-30 minutes (1 hour if the potatoes were not previously cooked). Stir potatoes once halfway through cooking to brown evenly.
Pork Wellington recipe courtesy of Alton Brown and Food Network
Potatoes recipe and images property of beets and bites