When I went shopping last weekend, pork tenderloin was on sale so I decided to pick up a couple. I had no idea what I was going to do with them at the time, but after some serious brainstorming, I decided butterflying and stuffing them would be fun and allow me to use up some ingredients from my fridge. Plus, it makes great blog content because it’s so technical!
Before I get into the meat of things (no pun intended), I want to take a moment and talk about the filling. As stated in the recipe below, I used spinach, roasted red peppers, grated parmesan and basil because they were in my fridge. But, I do want to stress that you can stuff your pork tenderloin with anything you like. Just make sure the filling is cut into smaller pieces to make it easier to form the roulade. You also want to make sure any vegetable used in the filling is sautéed to cook off any excess water, and then cooled. You can even go as simple as stuffing your pork tenderloin with breadcrumbs, herbs of your choice and garlic. The choice is yours!
Here are the steps in order to successfully make this dish at home.
Using a sharp knife, remove the connective tissue (aka silver skin) from the tenderloin. There’s not a lot of it, but I remove it because it’s tough. I do leave any fat that’s on the tenderloin, because that will help with the flavor.
Butterfly the tenderloins. Easier said than done, but the more you practice this technique, the easier it will be.
- Using a sharp knife (ideally a slicing knife), make a cut up and down the entire length of the tenderloin horizontally making sure you don’t cut all the way through.
- Open the pork tenderloin like a book. At this point you have butterflied the tenderloin, but it’s just not quite thin enough to stuff and roll into a roulade, which takes me to the next step.
- Still using your sharp knife, make a similar slice as before from top to bottom lengthwise on each side of the “book”, again being careful not to cut all the way through. You want the tenderloin to remain in one large piece. Open the additional flaps you have made. You should now have a pretty large piece!
Watch my video to see this last step all at once:
Cover the tenderloin with parchment, and use a meat mallet to thin it out a bit more. This also ensures the piece is even in thickness.
Season the inside of your butterflied and pounded pork tenderloin, and spread the filling out leaving a 1/2- to 1-inch border. Roll the tenderloin up jellyroll-style tightly around the filling.
Secure the roulade with twine so it doesn’t come undone when cooking. You can cut individual pieces of twine, and secure it that way, or watch my video using a butcher’s technique. You can also secure the roulade with toothpicks, but I find this hard to do.
Treat yourself to an adult beverage because you did it! And honestly, don’t worry if it looks a bit on the rustic side. This is full of techniques that take practice, patience and time. I promise the end result will be delicious.
To cook the pork roulade, sear in oil in a hot pan until golden brown on all sides, and then roast in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 135° inside.
Let the tenderloin rest for 10 minutes, remove the twine and cut into 3/4-inch slices. I guarantee you’ll get “oohs and ahhs” when you slice into it.
When thinking about what to serve with the roulade, I wanted to keep it simple and fresh allowing the pork to shine. So, I made some roasted potatoes and a simple, bright green salad to accompany the pork. Devine for a Monday night!
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Spinach, Roasted Red Peppers and Parmesan
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 3-4 servings
Active time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour
1 red pepper, roasted and cut into small dice (see note, below)
2 cups chopped frozen spinach, squeezed dry
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pork tenderloin, connective tissue removed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- To prepare the filling, mix together the red peppers, spinach, cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Using a boning or slicing knife, cut the tenderloin horizontally, so you can open it like a book. Tip: Make sure you don’t cut all the way through.
- Cut each side of the “book” in half again making sure you don’t cut all the way through.
- Place a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on top of the butterflied tenderloin, and using the flat side of a meat mallet, lightly pound until 1/4-inch thick.
- Season the inside of the tenderloin with salt and pepper to taste, and spread over the tenderloin, leaving a 1/2- to 1-inch border around the edges.
- Snugly roll the tenderloin around the filling, and secure the roulade with 4 to 5 pieces of kitchen twine. Season the outside of the roulade with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the grapeseed oil. Sear the roulade on all sides until well browned.
- Transfer the pork to a rack set over a roasting pan or a sheet tray, and roast until the internal temperature reads 135° on a meat thermometer. Transfer to a cutting board, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove the kitchen twine, and cut the roulade into 3/4-inch slices. Transfer to a platter, and serve.
Note: To roast a pepper, place it directly on your gas burner and cook, turning occasionally, until the skin is completely blackened on all sides.
Place the pepper in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to steam for about 15 minutes. Remove the skin and seeds from the pepper, resisting the urge to rinse it, and cut as needed for your recipe.
Our Owner/Chef Shelley Young also has this video on how to roast peppers:
Pork tenderloin really is such a versatile piece of meat. It can be stuffed, grilled, sautéed, roasted, fried, cut into medallions and breaded, cut into cubes and skewered, cut into strips and sautéed in a stir fry… the list can go on and on. Join us this Sunday, May 16th at 4pm CST for our Virtual Sunday Dinner on the Grill: Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Apricot-Balsamic Glaze class. Or, practice your roulade-making skills in our Virtual Chicken Cordon Bleu class on Saturday, June 19th at 6:30pm.