On this weeks InstagramStories I cooked an easy meal of Mushroom Herb Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Roast &Tarragon Potatoes. This was an unplanned meal, birthed strictly out of convenience and affordability. At four dollars for a lean All-Natural Pork Tenderloin it’s an obvious protein choice for families on a budget. We always have herbs in the fridge, they’re under two dollars per package and I use them throughout the week. On this particularly cold week (in the single digits) the freshest option at the market were Rosemary and Thyme. I utilize Rosemary most often in earthy meals because of its pungency and pine-like aroma, Thyme also having woodsy characteristics pairs well with the like, and happens to also be a major component of my favorite classic French dried herb blend herbes de Provence. Baby bella mushrooms and yellow onions are also a staple of our meals and therefore made the cut on this dish. Baby Bellas/Portobellos is our recurrent choice of mushroom because they have more of an intense meaty flavor than their conventional grocery store contender, the white button mushroom. If I’m being totally honest I would prefer the elusive honeycomb shaped Morel, even if just for the sake of epicurious photography (commonly known as food porn). Yum. Butter, well that’s a necessity in our home and this recipe used less than half of a stick, at around four dollars a box that’s only fifty cents worth of butter in the entire meal. Waxy red potatoes are a happy medium for roasting. At about four dollars a bag they trump my favorite potato, the fingerling, which can double that price and some. The splurge item in this meal was tarragon oil used with the potatoes, in the past we bought specialty flavored oils from a company called 41Olive. They used to offer 4-60ml bottles of various flavored oils or balsamic vinegar’s for twenty dollars, alas inflation has the minis at 6-60ml for forty dollars. If tarragon oil is nowhere to be found fresh herbs can make a perfect alternative, tarragon’s flavor is similar to that of star anise, black licorice, and fennel. And as I think about the price of infused oils versus the price of first or second press olive oil and fresh herbs I find that I need to make my own, we’ll leave that to a future blog post in the spring! Technical issues may arise in this recipe because as the roast is stuffed it also needs to be tied with cooking twine. In the video linked shows how I’ve tied my roast. If I can do it, you can do it. I suppose that calls for a “congratulations!” Between attempting to tie square knots and spouting profanities in frustration of said action, you ought to feel like a proud United States sailor. #GoNavy This meal always reminds me of dinner-time growing up, not because of yelling profanities, although my mother and father were rowdy sailors, but because Dorothy is known for her amazing pork roast! Well that’s the breakdown of the meal, now let’s get to the recipe.
(Tarragon potatoes were simply red potatoes chopped into cubes with skin left on, tossed in pink sea salt, cracked peppercorns, tarragon oil and baked in oven in a pre-greased pan until tender.)
- Smithfield All Natural Pork Tenderloin (1.5-2lb)
- 2 sprigs Rosemary (stripped from stem)
- 4 sprigs Thyme (stripped from stem)
- 2oz Unsalted Butter (melted)
- 1/4cup Yellow Onion (diced)
- 1/2 cup Baby Bella Mushrooms (sliced)
- Roast Seasoning (or just Salt&Pepper)
- Cooking Twine (about 2ft)
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Bring Tenderloin out of the fridge and let it rise up to room temperature.
- Melt Butter. Strip herbs (you can chop the leaves after stripping if you prefer) add them to melted butter to heat up their flavors and infuse the butter. Place butter in freezer until soft and pliable.
- Chop onions into a fine dice, slice mushrooms.
- Place tenderloin with the fat cap facing down (the dense white layer of fat, do not trim it off). Just as you would slice a bread roll to make a sub, slice the tenderloin down the center of the roast. (The alternative method would be pounding your roast thin and then folding it over after stuffing, whichever is your preference. Sometimes you need to hammer some meat, no one's judging, go hog wild if you need some therapy.)
- Open the butterflied roast and stuff the mushrooms and onions in.
- With cooking twine, tie the pork roast closed to keep the stuffing in.
- Rub roast seasoning over the entire tenderloin.
- Heat large skillet on medium high. Preferably nonstick, or better yet a cast iron. Sear all sides of the roast until nice brown coloring developes, about 10-15 minutes.
- Take pliable "maitre d" herb butter and spread overtop stuffed roast.
- Place oven-proof pan (or transfer to greased baking dish) directly in heated oven and bake until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 145 degrees.
- At 145, remove roast from oven and cover with foil to rest for 10-15minutes. Rest time is a perfect time to make gravy with the pan drippings, and a light roux of equal parts cooked flour and butter.
- Cut twine and slice to serve.