Sunday afternoons are a day I love to unwind and take my time coming up with a new recipe, and this past Sunday was no different. I wanted to come up with something that would not only look nice on the table, but I was also hoping that my kids would try something new. I realized I was up for a challenge on this one, as having something stuffed inside of pork, and having gravy drizzled over it was not that appealing to my three kids, but it was something that was extremely appealing to both my wife and I.
I love making duxelles, and I think I had the same vision I was going for when making craisin stuffed chicken. Upon reflection, many of the flavors were similar, but the menu was different. My first item that I planned on making was the wild rice with craisins and almonds, and I knew it needed something to go with it, and hence a great stuffed pork tenderloin with duxelles and a red wine gravy.
- 3-4 lb pork tenderloin, non marinated, fat trimmed
- 1/2 lb of cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, and finely chopped or placed in a food processor (stems and all)
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- generous pinch of salt
- generous pinch of pepper
- 1/4 cup of Brandy, optional
- pinch of dried thyme
- 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 3 slices of uncooked bacon, 2 slices chopped, 1 reserved
- Olive oil
- cooking twine
For the Red Wine Gravy
- 1 cup of Merlot wine
- generous pinch of salt
- generous pinch of black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup of beef stock
- 3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
Begin by making the duxelle. Get a large saute pan out and bring it to a medium, to medium high heat. Add in the butter, and let it melt. Add in the chopped mushrooms, shallot, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring on occasion. About 15 minutes in remove the pan from the heat, add in the brandy, go outside and carefully ignite the brandy. Cook until the flame resides, then return back onto the heat and cook until all of the moisture is removed. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
During this time, take a fillet knife, and run it through the middle of the tenderloin, lengthwise. The goal is to butterfly the tenderloin, working the knife, being careful not to go through. Season with salt and pepper, add 2 slices of the chopped bacon, basil, and smear the cooled duxelles inside of the tenderloin. Roll over, and seal, roughly into four sections, with the cooking twine.
Drizzle with olive oil, and season the outside with salt and pepper, and top with one slice of bacon. Pork tenderloin is lean, it just needs a bit of fat during the cooking process.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place in the oven, uncovered for 25 minutes, then remove the pan, reduce the heat to 300 degrees, cover with foil, and cook for roughly 60 minutes.
During this time, make the gravy. Add your sauce pot to the stove, and bring to a medium-high heat. Add the wine and bring it to a boil. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and flour, and stock. Continue cooking on medium-high heat for nearly 20 minutes, or until the sauce thickens into a nice gravy. Taste and season with any additional salt and pepper.
Once the tenderloin is cooked, and if you are using a meat thermometer, the center of the tenderloin should read about 150 degrees. Remove, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Slice into about 1-2 inch thick medallions.
Plate with the wild rice and generously drizzle with the red wine gravy.
The compiled flavors of this dish is elegant, earthy, and down right delicious. Enjoy.