I’d earmarked this recipe a while ago as looking interesting, as it had all the makings of a lovely autumn dish–pork, apple, nuts and rye bread. But the relative complexity of the preparation and needing to have all the necessary ingredients on hand had me pushing it off. A quiet Saturday evening and a quick trip to the grocery store soon remedied my reservations, and we were on our way.
from The Best of Gourmet 1990
¾ lbs pork tenderloin, trimmed of any membrane, cut crosswise into 12 slices, and pounded thin
flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup chicken broth
½ tbsp red currant jelly
For the stuffing
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ rib of celery, chopped
1-½ tbsp unsalted butter
½ Granny Smith or other tart green apple, peeled, cored and cut into ¼” dice
3 pitted prunes, diced
2-½ tbsp pecans, minced
1-½ tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
⅛ tsp dried thyme, crumbled
½ tsp ground sage
a pinch of nutmeg
1 cup rye bread, cut into ⅓” cubes
Make the stuffing: In a skillet cook the onion and celery in butter over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened. Add the apple and cook the mixture, stirring for 3 minutes. Stir in the prunes, pecans, parsley, sage, thyme, nutmeg and bread cubes and toss mixture until it is combined well. Season the stuffing with salt and pepper.
Spoon about 1-½ tbsp of stuffing onto the center of each pork slice, roll the pork up, tucking in the ends, and secure the rolls with wooden picks. Dredge the pork lightly in the flour, shaking the excess. In a large skillet, heat butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides. Sauté the pork rolls, turning them, for 6 minutes or until they are browned. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add the wine to the large skillet and cook the mixture over moderately high heat, scraping up the brown bits, for 1 minute. Stir in the broth and jelly, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and boil it, stirring until the jelly is dissolved. Add the pork rolls in one layer and simmer them, covered, for 15 minutes. Transfer the rolls with the slotted spoon to a platter and keep them warm, covered. Boil the sauce over high heat, stirring, until it is thickened slightly. Season with salt and pepper and pour it over the pork.
A few notes on preparation: We couldn’t find red currant jelly so we used lingonberry jam. We also substituted pitted dates for the prunes.
Though the recipe was somewhat involved in its preparation, it certainly produced a delicious end product! I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but it had a wonderfully complex, round flavour. The pork was done just right, still moist. With a side of mushroom risotto, it was a wonderful, surprising meal. D noted he’d like to try sautéing the rolls in butter and oil instead of just butter so the butter wouldn’t brown as much, as browned butter does add its own distinctive flavour to the mix. D thought that it might be nice to try a pork loin instead of tenderloin in order to get larger rolls, though I mentioned that I liked the relatively small rolls that the tenderloin produced.