The Mister and I have been getting tired of our kitchen staples. For a change from pork chops, I bought a pork tenderloin from Trader Joe's. One my favorite impressive, yet simple, main dishes is a stuffed tenderloin. And we decided to give kale a try — neither of us have ever tasted it before. I decided to make bacon a recurring element in the meal: a slice of bacon cooked on top of the pork, and crumbled bacon tossed with the kale.
I used garlic, dried rosemary and sage in my pork stuffing, but many combinations of herbs and spices would work well: coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, savory and thyme are some of the more common flavorings used on pork.
Kale is a form of cabbage, and used similarly to spinach. It is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and lutein. I used frozen kale in my side dish, but fresh works just as well. Just remove the thick stems from the center before cooking.
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
Based on this recipe from AllRecipes.com
- 1 (1-lb) pork tenderloin
- ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon rubbed sage
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 strip of bacon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan or baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place tenderloin on a cutting board. Carefully make a lengthwise slit about three-quarters of the way through tenderloin (do not cut all the way through); open so it lies flat. Cover with plastic wrap, and use a meat tenderizer or mallet to flatten to ¼-in. thickness; set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about two minutes. Add garlic, and cook another 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Add to the bowl of bread crumbs, cheese and spices. Add enough of the beaten egg to moisten the ingredients.
- Spread the stuffing over the tenderloin to within ¼ in. of edges. Close meat and place the strip of bacon on top; tie with kitchen twine.
- Cook, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 150 degrees F. Let stand for 5 minutes for carryover cooking before slicing.
- 2 bunches fresh kale, stems removed, or 10 ounces frozen kale
- 8 slices bacon, cut in half
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- If using frozen kale, cook according to package directions.
- If using fresh kale, bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the kale, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until tender.
- Place bacon in a large skillet, then place over medium heat. Cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve 1 teaspoon of bacon fat.
- In the reserved fat, cook onion and garlic until onion is tender.
- Toss together the kale, bacon, onion, and garlic, then season to taste with salt and pepper.