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Monday, October 4, 2010

Posh Pork

My dear hubby is a late afternoon/early evening exerciser.  Me?  If I don't work out in the morning, chances are I won't work out at all.  When he's taking his early evening run, I'm usually watching "Good Eats" on the Food Network.  I love Alton Brown's show!  It's filmed in Atlanta, where I have alot of ties and I enjoy his goofy science spin on things.

Recently, Alton did a show on pork tenderloin, one of our favorite meats to grill (I'll be sharing some marinade recipes with you soon!).  He did a twist on Beef Wellington, making it with pork.  Here's the original recipe.  It looked easy on the show and so off I went to get some puff pastry.

The dried apples were MIA at my local grocery store, so I substituted dried apricots, which I've used with pork before and knew was a good pairing.  Turns out, when I read the recipe online, that many who tried the recipe also used apricots with good results.  I also used 2 tsp of thyme.  I had very fresh young thyme so I didn't worry about getting the leaves off the tender stems.  I omitted the salt (thought the prosciutto would be plenty salty enough).  I also used 2 TBSP mustard and 2 oz of apricots.  Otherwise I followed the recipe as written.  Oh, and I rolled the pastry out on a baking mat.  Next time, I would trim off some of the ends of the pastry and make a pretty decoration for the top.

Makes 6 generous servings.  Each serving approximately 390 calories, 21 grams carbs, 20 grams fat, 30 grams protein
1 Whole pork tenderloin, about 1 pound
1 sheet of puff pastry, defrosted
2 oz dried apricots diced in blender (about 2 seconds)
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 oz package of prosciutto
2 TBSP whole grain mustard
1 egg whisked with 1 TBSP water
1 tsp flour (for your hands and/or surface when rolling the pastry)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim the fat and silver skin off the pork.  Cut pork down the long axis and flip one piece so that one "top end" is now matched with one "bottom end" and the pieces together are more symmetrical.

Chop apricots in blender or by hand. 

On a piece of wax or parchment paper, lay the prosciutto out, overlapping slightly, to create a solid piece the length of the tenderloin.  Put another piece of paper on top and roll with a rolling pin to help stick the pieces together.  Sprinkle the pepper and thyme over the prosciutto.

Put the tenderloin down the center of the prosciutto and spread the apricots between the pieces of tenderloin then push tenderloin pieces back together. 

Wrap the prosciutto around the tenderloin, using the paper to help wrap tightly.

On a non-stick or floured surface, roll out the pastry to approximately 12 x 14 or about 2 1/2 times as wide and slightly longer than your tenderloin.  Spread the mustard on the pastry about the width and length of the tenderloin. 

Position the tenderloin in the middle of the pastry and pull one side of the pastry over the top of the tenderloin.  Roll the tenderloin to continue wrapping.  Brush egg wash on the far edge of the pastry and seal. 

Crimp ends (this is where I'd cut some off for decorating the top next time) and turn over onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush egg wash over remainder of pastry.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes.  Watch the pastry-mine was browning too quickly so I turned the oven to 350 after 20 minutes.  Check the internal temperature of the pork (poke a meat thermometer through the crust into the pork) and ensure it is at least 140 degrees. 

Remove from baking sheet and put on cooling rack for 10 minutes.  Cut with serrated knife (that part was on the TV show, not in the online recipe). 

It was delicious!  I got a fist bump from my better half and "wow,  très yummy!"   I served it with boiled new potatoes and green beans for him, and baked sweet potato and green beans for me.  And, even though I didn't use apples, I served some natural, unsweetened apple sauce along side.  A Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir was the perfect accompaniment.

It's beautiful and I wouldn't say "easy" but not too difficult, especially if you are used to working with puff pastry.  It took about 15 minutes to prepare (pulling the prosciutto apart takes a bit of time!) and then baking and resting time.  Definitely special enough for company but easy enough for a non-work night for the family.  Had I not seen the TV show, I probably would have dismissed the recipe as "too much".  It isn't-give it a try.  As Alton would say, "this is Good Eats!"

I think sage as the herb would be wonderful-what other yummy changes would you try?


  1. Looks so fancy with all of the rolling and pastry ;-). Beautiful job!

  2. As the hubby I may biased but I have to say this was one delicious meal!