Apple and Date Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
It’s been a highly stressful and emotional time for me this past week; just a complete accumulation of everything, from my computer failing me to my feeds not refreshing (which appears to be fixed now, thank goodness), and all kinds of highly emotional events. My mom got married, and no matter how joyful and super exciting an event it has been, it also brought back painful memories of my dad’s passing, and didn’t fail to remind me of how hurtful the sting of being single for so long can be, at times. To top it all off, it’s been a particularly brutal ahem, well, you know… “hormonal cycle”, if you get my drift.
Working out has been really, really tough: I struggled to finish, and even start, every single one of them. Fear not though, I worked out still; only not as hard as I know I can. I felt like giving up at least 300 times! It may not have helped that I decided to change my workout schedule and start MUCH earlier, to accommodate my son who is working night shifts for a little while. To help him out, I arrange for my workouts to be over by the time he hops into bed at around 8:30am, so I don’t keep him up with my [very loud] music. That would be the time at which I usually start to think about getting started… Lifting heavy stuff and pedaling real fast so soon after opening my eyes doesn’t appear to be sitting well with me.
Also too, I felt hungry all the time, but never for the right things. Read, I got MAJOR, uncontrollable sugar cravings. The worst I’ve had in years. So yeah, I felt the gravel beneath my wheels on quite a few occasions. It wasn’t all smooth asphalt for this foodie, let me tell ya. There may have been a few slips, which included but may not have been limited to several trips to the ice cream parlor, some handfuls of candy, a few pieces of dark chocolate, lots and lots of fruit, yogurt and whey protein powder in replacement of real food (not that bad, but not optimal, still) and even… *gasps* whole-grain bread and fully non-paleo cake! Hey, no one makes paleo wedding cakes, you know… and who can resist a slice of wedding cake? Certainly not me, certainly not now!
GAH! I think it’s about time I got back on asphalted road now. I might not be ready for the highway just yet, i.e. I won’t be whipping up beef liver or cracking open a can of smoked herrings for breakfast this week, but the scenic route will do fine, so long as it’s not gravel! I think that this lovely Apple and Date Stuffed Pork Tenderloin highly qualifies.
Besides, it honestly tastes so good, it almost goes down like candy!
We’ll start by making the stuffing, so it has a chance to cool down a little bit before we actually stuff it in the meat.
Cook a diced red apple in a medium sized skillet set over medium heat, until it’s slightly softened. Then, add some apple juice and continue cooking until all the juice is evaporated. Mash the apple roughly with a with a spoon, if you feel it hasn’t broken down enough. You want the mixture to look like real chunky applesauce. Oh, and if you don’t care for the peel, feel free to remove it. You’re not gonna hurt my feelings!
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, except for the pork tenderloin of course, and then mix until very well combined.
Now we’ll let this cool for a few minutes while we work on butterflying the pork tenderloin.
I know a lot of people aren’t really comfortable cutting meat, but that one is real easy, you’ll see.
Simply slice the tenderloin lengthwise, while holding your blade parallel to the cutting board, and go only about 3/4 of the way through. You don’t want to cut the tenderloin in half!
Open the tenderloin like a book and then press it down with your fingers just to help flatten it up.
Now mound the apple mixture right in the center of the meat and then spread it as evenly as you can across the entire surface of the tenderloin.
Fold the tenderloin back onto itself, trying to contain all that tasty stuffing inside the roast as best as you can.
Don’t hesitate to push it back with your fingers if you have to.
Tie up your tenderloin nice and tight with butcher’s twine.
About that… maybe someday I’ll be able to show you how to tie a piece of meat, but I’m afraid I need a little bit more practice before I can do that! For the time being, me tying up a roast and especially a stuffed roast, is a bit of a scary sight. I think I’ll spare you. Besides, I’d probably end up confusing you…
Trust me, you’re better off watching the above video; you’ll be much better served, I swear. And like the guy says, it’s not that complicated; practice makes perfect!
Once you managed to tie up your roast, wrap it up in plastic film and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or up to the next day.
When you are ready to cook your meat, preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high (400°F), then cook the roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning it from time to time, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 145°F.
Avoid placing the “exposed” stuffing, if present, directly on the grill. There’s a very good chance that it’ll stick and you’ll end up losing precious chunks of it. That would be such a shame.
If you’d rather cook this indoors, you can bake it in a 400°F oven. Sear the tenderloin first in a very hot pan, then cover it lightly with aluminum foil and transfer it to the oven; bake for about 20 minutes, or until the temperature on a meat thermometer reads 145°F.
Let the cooked stuffed tenderloin rest, lightly tented with aluminum foil, for about 5 minutes, then remove the twine, carve and serve.
Now tell me what you think. Wouldn’t you agree that this is totally meat candy?
Apple and Date Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 1 large pork tenderloin, (about 750g | 1.65lb)
- 1 cup fresh pressed apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
- 1 large red apple, diced
- 6 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons Old Fashioned Dijon Mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cook the apple in a medium sized skillet set over medium heat, until slightly softened. Add the apple juice and continue cooking until all the juice is evaporated. Mash the apple roughly with a with a spoon, if necessary, so the mixture looks like real chunky applesauce. Kill the heat.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, except for the pork tenderloin, and mix until very well combined. Let cool for a few minutes while you work on butterflying the pork tenderloin.
- To do that, slice the tenderloin lengthwise, while holding your blade parallel to the cutting board, about 3/4 of the way through. Open the tenderloin like a book and press it down with your fingers to flatten it up.
- Mound the apple mixture in the center of the meat and then spread it as evenly as you can across the entire surface of the tenderloin.
- Fold the tenderloin onto itself and tie it up nice and tight with butcher's twine.
- Wrap the stuffed roast in plastic film and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours, or up to the next day.
- When you are ready to cook your meat, preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high (400°F), then cook the roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning it from time to time, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 145°F. Avoid placing the exposed stuffing, if present, directly on the grill.
- Let the stuffed tenderloin rest, lightly tented with aluminum foil, for about 5 minutes, then remove the twine, carve and serve.