A butterfly-cut pork tenderloin offers a way to literally stuff the tenderloin with as much flavor as possible. Instead of applying rubs and marinades to the outside and cooking stuffing on the side, the tenderloin is cut open so you can add herbs, spices or even a homemade stuffing and roll it all up together. The technique is fairly simple to master, but the punch of flavor and visual presentation will make it look as though you've spent hours slaving over the meal.
Things You'll Need
- Cutting board
- Large knife
- Plastic wrap
- Meat mallet
- Stuffing ingredients
- Rubber spatula
- Butcher's twine
- Roasting pan
- Instant-read meat thermometer
Lay the tenderloin on a cutting board with a short end pointing toward you.
Lay a knife against the side of the meat, the flat part of the knife blade parallel with the cutting board. A boning knife or chef's knife works well.
Slice into the tenderloin as though you were cutting the tenderloin in half, but stop cutting about three-quarters of the way through the roast.
Open the roast up, using the uncut one-quarter of the roast as a hinge that keeps the roast together. Cover the roast with a piece of plastic wrap and pound it with a meat mallet to uniform thickness.
Spread your choice of filling or stuffing over the opened and flattened tenderloin. This might be as simple as a blend of fresh herbs and spices, chopped onions and mushrooms mixed with rice, sausage and breadcrumb stuffing, diced apples and onions, or any other pairing desired.
Roll up the tenderloin along the long side; when you look at the short sides, there's a pinwheel design. Tie the roast together with butcher's twine, if desired, or simply keep the seam side facing down.
Place the butterflied, rolled tenderloin roast in a baking pan. Preheat the oven to 425 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roast the stuffed tenderloin for about 15 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the center of the thickest part reads at least 145 F, the USDA's safe temperature guideline for cooking pork. The result will be juicy, but with a slightly pink center, so cook it up to 160 F if you prefer well-done meat.
Remove from the pan and allow the tenderloin to rest for three minutes so the juices distribute evenly throughout the meat. Cut into portions about 1 inch thick and serve.
Tips & Warnings
- Leave a 1-inch margin free of the stuffing so it doesn't squish out as you roll the tenderloin.
- The stuffing ingredients you employ might require precooking to soften the food before rolling it up in the tenderloin. A stuffing that includes potatoes or ground sausage, for example, is unlikely to cook thoroughly in the short time it takes to cook the tenderloin.
- All ingredients must be cooked thoroughly to 145 F before setting the tenderloin aside after cooking, especially since the ingredients come in contact with raw meat.