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Roast Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Honeyed Apples and Pecans

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Serves 6

  • by James Villas from Pig: King of the Southern Table

In the South, apples and pecans are often combined to make all sorts of salads, breads, and stuffings, and when a little honey (still another nod to the incurable Southern sweet tooth) is added, as in this subtle stuffing for roasted pork tenderloins, the flavor is nothing less than sublime. What I like to do is roast also a few small unpeeled new potatoes right next to the tenderloins, cut them in half, and saturate the tops with enough butter to run off onto the plates and provide a "sauce" for bites of pork.

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled cored, and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 scallions (part of green tops included), finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two 1-lb. pork tenderloins
  • 3 Tbs. peanut oil

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl, combine the apples, pecans, scallions, honey, and salt and pepper, stir till well blended, and set aside.

Rub the tenderloins well with the oil and place on a work surface. With a sharp knife, cut a pocket lengthwise in each tenderloin to within about 1/2 inch of the other side, fill the pockets with equal amounts of the apple and pecan mixture, tie the tenderloins with butcher's twine to close the pockets securely, and season both with salt ad pepper. Transfer the tenderloins to a large, heavy rimmed baking pan and roast till tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, discard the twine, and let stand for about 10 minutes before carving and serving.

Learn more about James Villas' cookbook Pig: King of the Southern Table by reading Nadia Arumugam's book review from the June/July 2010 issue of Fine Cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Maple Pan-Roasted Baby Carrots.

Photo: Lucy Schaeffer

My family really likes this! I also thought it was a little bland the first time I made it. Since then, I add either chopped fresh jalepeno or jarred jalepeno and it gives it the kick it needs!

I agree that this is a rather bland recipe. I think the suggestion of a maple sauce/glaze is an excellent one, and would really help the flavor.

I found this to be rather bland tasting. I think it needs some kind of sauce.

Here is what I did. I added chopped fresh Rosemary in the stuffing. You can also use Pears instead of apples - They go real great with pecans!! Just before it is time to serve, drizzle with Maple Syrup and Grill for a minute or so. Absolutely divine. jo-jo

I don't eat mammals but I prepared this dish for my husband and a friend. I followed the instructions to the letter. It was so simple to put together and was ready in a flash. Both the men liked it and cleaned their plates. I served it with roasted potatoes and steamed carrots. I had some of the stuffing left over so rolled it up in a couple boneless chicken thighs for me. It was pretty good but just a little bland. If I was going to make it again I would add some chopped, dried cranberries or make a reduction of some kind to drizzle over the top just to give it that little extra it seemed to need.

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